Still on the fence about signing up for Sling TV? Then maybe DISH Network's new offer can be an incentive to make the Sling TV plunge. For a limited time only, customers who subscribe now can get one of the following: a free Amazon Fire TV Stick, a Roku Streaming Stick, $50 off the Amazon Fire TV set-top box or $50 off the Roku 3 set-top box. The catch? Customers must subscribe to the service for three months, a $60 prepaid requirement, if they want just the core Sling TV package.
DISH Network launched Sling TV earlier this week, which combines a number of popular live TV channels into one app that can be streamed over the Internet without a cable subscription. The base $20 plan includes AMC, TNT, TBS, the Food Network, ABC Family, CNN, The Disney Channel and more. There are also three $5 "Extra" plans that add additional channels dedicated to sports, news and kids. That said, customers can sign on for everything for a mere $35 a month.
So which device will be the right choice for you? If Amazon has its way, you'll be grabbing the Amazon Fire TV Stick or Fire TV set-top box when signing on with Sling TV. The company revealed on Thursday that it has added not only Sling TV to its hardware, but a handful of new apps and games to the Fire TV lineup including FOX Sports Go, TED, CBS News, Crossy Road and the Game of Thrones game from Telltale.
"The growth of apps and games available on Amazon Fire TV has been tremendous since launch—selection is up 5x since April, and many popular titles such as FOX Sports GO and Flappy Birds Family have launched exclusively on the Fire TV platform," said Steve Rabuchin, Vice President Amazon Appstore. "We're especially excited to be one of the first platforms to launch the Sling TV app—we think Fire TV and Fire TV Stick customers are going to love it."
According to Amazon, customers who prepay three months of Sling TV service will receive a promotional code that can be used to purchase the Fire TV Stick and knock $50 off the set-top box (which normally runs at $99). To apply the discount, merely add the device to your Amazon cart and then add the promotional code to the "Enter a gift card or promotional code" field during checkout.
So what Amazon device is right for you? The Fire TV set-top box includes an Ethernet port for wired connectivity to the network, voice search, 2 GB of internal storage and a quad-core processor. Otherwise, both products connect via HDMI, have built-in wireless connectivity and include a remote. The Fire TV Stick has 1 MB of internal storage and a dual-core processor.
Want a Roku device instead? The Roku 3 set-top box includes an Ethernet port, motion control for games like Angry Birds, a headphone jack on the remote, a microSD card slot for additional storage and a dual-core processor. Both devices can store over 2,000 channels and include built-in wireless and a remote. The Roku Stick also has 512 MB of internal storage.
All in all, the new Sling TV promotion is a good deal and has its sights set on potential cord cutters who are looking for ways to get their favorite channels without having to pay hefty fees to the cable companies. With Sling TV, users can not only stream live TV from the likes of TBS and AMC, but access On Demand content related to those channels. Good stuff.
Is Sling TV worth the subscription price? We think so, but then again, if consumers are looking to cut the cord, they'll need to invest in over-the-air digital TV access if they want to watch their favorite network TV shows…or just subscribe to Hulu Plus.