How to Save $100/Month with Sling TV

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**Updated 08/16/18

When Andrea and I decided to get out of debt, we started off by cutting back our lifestyle….a lot. We stopped going out to restaurants, we stopped going on vacation, we sold our cars, and then we did the unthinkable….we cut our cable!

Our cable bill was $120/month.

When you’re completely broke and living paycheck to paycheck, you no longer have the luxury of paying $1,440/year to watch television. This is called separating the wants from the needs.

 

How Do You Watch Television without Cable?

The first thing I recommend is to watch television for free. Depending on where you live, you can have access to your local channels for free via an HD Antenna. The quality is still high-definition, the picture is crystal clear, and it’s absolutely free. You will need to buy an HD antenna, but the antenna we use cost around $36.

Absolutely Get an HD Antenna

Chris Peach Head Shot 2

There is absolutely no reason at all to pay for your local channels. You can get them for free in HD quality via an Indoor HD Antenna or Outdoor HD Antenna (if you live more than 30 miles from the towers). They are less than $40 and then it’s free local channels for life.

 

But, what if you wanted to watch the same channels on cable starting as low as $20/month without any contracts?

The answer is Sling TV.

 

What is Sling TV?

Sling TV was launched on February 9th, 2015 by Dish Network as an alternative to cable television. The average cable bill in America today is $120/month with those annoying annual contracts.

Sling TV’s basic package offers 25+ channels for only $25/month and NO contracts.

How Does it Work?

Sling TV streams live channels to your television over the internet. No more cables throughout your home or waiting for the cable guy to show up between the hours of 8am – noon the next day. I can’t stand that crap! When you order Sling TV, it appears on your television instantly.

Since Sling TV streams through the internet, this means you can take your channels with you wherever you go or wherever there is an internet connection. You can stream Sling through any television, video player, mobile device, gaming console, laptop, or computer.

What Channels Can I Watch?

Sling TV has three different packages depending on what channels you want to watch and how much you would like to spend each month.

Your two most affordable packages are going to be the Sling Orange and Sling Blue which both cost $25 a month. If you subscribe to both packages, you can get a $10 monthly discount and only pay $40 a month.

In addition to these core channel lineups, you can also add extra packages that start at $5 a month.

Sling Orange Package ($25/month)

In the beginning, this was the only package Sling offered, but now this has changed to their entry level package at only $25/month for over 30 channels. The channels offered are:

ESPN, AMC, CNN, HGTV, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, History Channel, Disney Channel, ESPN2, ESPN3, ACC Network Extra, TNT, Food Network, TBS, BBC America, Freeform, IFC, EPIX Drive-In, Tribeca Shortlist, A&E, El Rey, Viceland, Lifetime, Travel Channel, AXS TV, Newsy, Cheddar, Bloomberg Television, Local Now, Flama, and Galavisión.

Sling Blue Package ($25/month)

This is the next tier at only $25/month for 45 channels. The channels offered here are:

FOX (Local), NBC (Local), FOX RSNs, NBC RSNs, NFL Network, AMC, FX, CNN, HGTV, Comedy Central, USA, Cartoon Network, History Channel, TNT, Bravo, Food Network, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, NBC Sports Network, TBS, BBC America, FXX, SYFY, Nick Jr., IFC, EPIX Drive-In, Tribeca Shortlist, A&E, El Rey, Viceland, truTV, Lifetime, Travel Channel, AXS TV, BET, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, Newsy, Cheddar, Bloomberg Television, Local Now, Univision, UniMás, Flama, and Galavisión.

 

The main differences between the Orange and Blue package is the Orange has ESPN, Freeform (formerly ABC Family) and the Disney Channel, while the Blue package drops those three and picks up 18 other other channels including all the FOX Sports and the Nick Jr. Channel.

If you’re not going to watch Disney or ESPN, Blue is the better package. You can stream your local market channels. Plus, sports fans can still access FS1, FS2, NFL Network, and NBC Sports. Sling also gives you access to your regional Fox Sports network too.

You can stream on up to three different devices at once with this package.

Combine Orange + Blue Packages ($40/month)

Sling TV also offers all of their channels together for only $40/month. This is a total of 70+ channels for less a third of the average price of cable.

You can also stream on up to four devices simultaneously.

Add Ons

Sling TV also has 34 extra add-on packages for $5-15/month, including a Sports Package, a Kids Package, and a Best of Spanish TV package. One add-on package Sling offers is HBO for $15/month or Cinemax for $10/month.

 

With the HBO and Cinemax packages, each channel will have the same On Demand features as HBO GO and Max GO. This means you can watch each season of Game of Thrones and Banshee.

sling tv hd antenna

You might also like Sling’s 4-Extras Deal that slashes the price from $20 to $10 by combining theses four extras:

  • Kids Extra
  • Lifestyle Plus Extra
  • Comedy Plus Extra
  • News Extra

Now, you can stream Hallmark, Disney Jr., Disney XD, Boomerang, TV Land, and DIY Network to name several options that don’t come with the Blue or Orange packages. Even if you subscribe to Sling Orange and add the 4-Extras Deal, you’re still only paying $35 a month for cable tv. That’s still a real bargain.

What Devices Do I Need to Stream?

Sling TV works with a variety of different TVs, players, phones, tablets, gaming consoles, and computers. If you’re currently streaming Netflix or another free movie app, you can most likely stream Sling TV.

This includes Apple TV, Roku players, Amazon Fire TV players, Smart TVs, and Chromecast.

 

You can also watch Sling TV via a mobile device streaming to your television.

 

XBOX ONE Game Console is also an option for Sling TV.

 

You can also watch on your computer.

 

You can download the app to watch Sling TV from a PC or Laptop, when viewing the list of devices, or simply get the app at the bottom of their website here:

sling tv hd antenna

 

What About Local Channels?

When purchasing the Orange package, you will not have access to local channels via Sling TV, which is why you will want to get an Indoor HD Antenna or and Outdoor HD Antenna to watch your local channels for free.

With the Blue Package (or Orange + Blue) you will have access to the local FOX and NBC channels via Sling TV.

The bottom line: Buy an HD Antenna and get all of your local channels for free.

 

Is there a Contract?

Sling TV does NOT have contracts. You can watch month-to-month and cancel at any time without a paying a penalty.

Any Special Offers?

Yes, and they’re actually really good offers.

First 7 Days Free

I recommend you try Sling TV out for 7 days for free because free is awesome. After 7 days, you don’t have to sign a contract or anything stupid like that. You can go month to month starting at $20/month. Why is anyone still paying for cable again?

 

Other Offers

You can also find a bunch of other offers for free or discounted streaming devices, like a Roku Express, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and more on the bottom of their website.

 

What is their Cancellation Policy?

I will tell you that I have had Sling for over a year and I will never leave them. However, if you need to cancel, you can do so over the phone or online. Remember, there are NO CONTRACTS, so cancelling is really simple.

 

The Problems with Sling TV

 

How many devices can I use at a time?

Everything in life has the good and the bad, and so does Sling TV.

The first downfall of Sling TV is if you choose to purchase the Orange Package, you can only watch Sling TV on one device at a time. 🙁  This is also the case if you have the Orange Package plus extras.

However, if you purchase the Blue Package, you can watch Sling on up to 3 devices at the same time.

Or, if you purchase the Orange + Blue Package, you can stream on up to 4 devices at the same time. This is because you get the combined number of streams from both packages. Pretty cool, right?

Regardless of which package you choose, you can stream HBO Connect on three devices simultaneously. Even if you can only have one stream with your Sling Orange packages, your HBO Connect extra supports three streams!

 

How fast does the Internet have to be?

Sling recommends at least 3MB/s for watching Sling on tablets and phones, 5MB/s for watching a single stream of Sling on television, or 25MB/s for households where multiple streams or devices will be using the internet connection at one time.

Personally, I would recommend 25MB/s for your internet speed. I have found that to work best for our family after using the service for over a year.

 

Will Sling TV work outside the United States?

Unfortunately no. Sling is currently only offered inside the United States.

 

What about the NFL Games?

Most NFL games are available on local channels with your antenna. Games simulcast on NBC will be available in markets where NBC is offered with Sling. The NFL Network on Sling Blue offers pre- and post-game analysis.

 

Can You Pause Live TV?

Most channels let offer pause and rewind capability. Some local channels and sports channels don’t. But if you need to pause to get a snack or take a quick phone call, you can quickly catch up and even fast forward through the commercial breaks you missed.

 

Does Sling TV Have DVR?

Yes. Sling offers a DVR add-on that costs $5 a month for 50 hours of cloud storage. If you want to record multiple programs to watch later, you now have the option. It’s even possible to DVR your local channels using your external OTA antenna too!

Not every channel has DVR capability, specifically any ESPN or Disney Channel. You will either need to watch these channels live or catch the on-demand the next.

 

Free On-Demand Programming

Thankfully, most channels have on-demand programming. If you can’t watch your favorite show live, you will most likely be able to catch up the next day when you have a convenient time to watch.

However, you will still need to act fast as most on-demand programming is only available three days after the air date. Some channels let you watch a show or movie up to seven days later. If you’re going to be traveling or extremely busy during the week, you will want to consider adding the DVR add-on for at least the next month.

If you don’t want to pay extra for Cloud DVR, the on-demand programming adds substantial value to Sling. Possibly the largest tradeoff with the on-demand programming is that it’s virtually impossible to skip the advertisement breaks. To have enhanced fast forward and rewind capability, you need the Cloud DVR add-on.

 

Can I Watch Shows on Cable Channel Apps?

Many cable channel apps let you watch the on-demand programming on their app when you log in with your Sling TV account information. The channel has to be included in your current subscription to stream, but this hack can be more convenient than loading the Sling app at times.

 

Does Sling TV Offer Every Cable Channel?

You will find some channels missing on Sling TV. In most cases, you probably won’t get every local or regional channel. That’s why it’s crucial to get an antenna if the local channels are important to you.

Because Sling is offering cable tv at a steep discount, you won’t find some national cable-only channels either. The list can always fluctuate depending on contract negotiations, but make sure you check the extras if you don’t see a channel you enjoy in the Orange or Blue packages.

 

What Does Money Peach Recommend?

If you’re deeply in debt and trying to get out from underneath this mess, then I recommend you cut the cable and simply buy either and Indoor HD Antenna or and Outdoor HD Antenna. Sling TV is a much better option than cable, but it still is a want vs a need.

However, if you’re looking to just get started, then I would simply start out with the most basic Orange package for FREE for the first 7 days. This way you can get a feel for it, see if it’s what you like, and then determine if you’re really going to want to upgrade to the Blue or the Orange + Blue packages.

Remember, the whole goal here so SAVE money.

 

What Do We Currently Have?

I have an outdoor HD antenna on my roof because we are about 40 miles away from the television towers, and the outdoor antenna brings all the local channels in crystal clear.

I also recently upgraded to the Blue package of Sling because my son and I love watching our Arizona Diamondbacks on FOX Sports. However, we will either drop down to the Orange or upgrade to the Orange + Blue come football season because ESPN has our favorite – Monday Night Football.

 

The Numbers

The average cable bill alone is $120/month. If you simply start out with Sling’s Orange package, you will be saving $100/month. Over the next 3 years you’ve saved $3,600, and over the next decade you’ve saved $12,000!! Again, why is anyone still paying for cable?

 

Watch your favorite shows and save money. Get Sling TV.

 

That’s how I roll 🙂

 

Full Transparency

I have been using Sling TV for the past 3 years because it’s a really great product and we save a ton of money each month. With that said, I am also an affiliate with Sling TV, which means if you switch over to Sling TV through my link, I will receive a thank-you commission from Sling TV.

If you are okay with this, then thank-you! However, if this doesn’t jive with you, simply close out the browser and go to Sling’s website in a new browser.  Either way, you are getting the exact same deal and I would never know about it. 🙂 But, thank-you referrals are ALWAYS appreciated!

 

 

Do you Know Anyone Else Who Wants to Switch Over to Sling TV?

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More and more people are cutting the cable cord because it’s getting pretty ridiculous to keep paying when you no longer have to. Let a friend, family member, or your favorite Uncle Joe know about Sling by using the sharing buttons above. Bada-bing-bada-boom!

Thanks so much for the Money Peach support!

-Chris Peach

 

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44 replies
    • Peach
      Peach says:

      Thomas, yes and no. You have some options out there depending on the channel you are looking to “DVR”. If you are looking to DVR Fox, NBC, CBS, ABC, etc. then you can actually get the free app through Apple TV and Roku. The apps do have all the shows and you can watch them on demand. In addition, Sling TV has the option of “Available Content” for each channel – which is usually the episodes from throughout the week. You can check out a video I put together to show you how this works here: How Does Sling TV Really Work (Facebook Live)

      Reply
  1. Jillian
    Jillian says:

    I have been looking into Sling for a little while. One other thing to note is that since it streams through the internet, you can’t record (or as I still say “tape”) any shows… which is an issue for me since I am usually not home when my favorites shows are on. I still think it’s a great option, but that is one thing people should be aware of.

    Reply
    • Peach
      Peach says:

      Hi Jillian,

      There is actually a way around that and I put together a Facebook Live Video Here to explain how you can do this. Sling TV does have On Demand shows for the channels they support, but you do have the option for the local channels. You can get an app for NBC, FOX, CBS, and ABC, and the app will have the shows you are currently recording. There is a little hiccup – the episodes will be released to you the week after they go live if you’re going for the FREE option. For most, they are willing to save $100+ per month to watch their favorite show a week after it is released.

      Reply
  2. A
    A says:

    Peach, what about your internet cost? What’s the most cost effective way to get internet service so that I can take advantage of sling TV and kiss my cable bill goodbye?

    Reply
    • Peach
      Peach says:

      Your internet cost isn’t going away (ever). You will need interent to stream Sling TV, but the interent should be $60 – $65 per month. I recommend getting an internet connection with at least 25 MB/s. Sling does say you only need 5 MB/s, but I will tell you that after a year of using Sling TV, I would bump it up to the 25 MB/s if you haven’t already done so. Isn’t anything less sort of like 56k dial up modem (Welcome, you’ve got mail)?

      Reply
    • Peach
      Peach says:

      Jack, Great question!

      I would say break the contract. Even if it costs you $150 to break the stupid thing, you’re going to break even in less than 2 months time. I would much rather you break even in 2 months or less versus paying full price for cable/satellite so you can finish out the term. Break the contract and then break even in a 2 -3 months. You’ll be saving money from that point forward.

      Reply
  3. vee
    vee says:

    I have been Contemplating about cutting out cable for a while now…so this info is extremely helpful. I would like to know what type of indoor antenna I can purchase. Thanks!

    Reply
  4. Lauren
    Lauren says:

    Thanks for this update on Sling. I have been using it for as long as you and didn’t know they created channel packages. I think the Orange works great for our needs. We have an indoor antenna, but it isn’t working as well as it did in our last town, so we might need an outdoor one. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Peach
      Peach says:

      Hi Jennifer,

      Thank-you! The answer about adding or removing HBO anytime you want is YES. All you need to do is login to your Sling account and add/remove from your account. It will all happen in real time. Great question 🙂

      Reply
  5. Julie at Nest Egg Chick
    Julie at Nest Egg Chick says:

    I’ll second those HD antennas. I got one 2 years ago for $9 and it works great! Combined with a used Tivo with a lifetime subscription from ebay, I now have free tv! I can watch live and record, with no monthly charges. I’ve never heard of Sling, but it sounds like a good alternative for people who want cable channels, too.

    Reply
    • Peach
      Peach says:

      Great Question Kevin!

      Yes, it works 1 of 2 ways.

      1. If you use a Roku 2, Roku 3, or Apple TV, the device will plug into your receiver just like a Blu-Ray or DVD player would.
      2. If you have an app in your Smart TV, then you would connect a cable from Audio Out on the back of your TV to the Audio In on the Surround Sound Receiver. This is also how you would get Surround Sound from your HD Antenna.
      Reply
  6. Christina S.
    Christina S. says:

    An even cheaper option is to not pay for anything and just hook up a laptop to your TV with an HDMI cable, go directly to the network website of the show you want to watch, install adblocker, and you’re good to go! This is how we watch almost all of our TV shows! The only thing we choose to add on and pay for is Netflix & Amazon Prime, which is roughly $16/month total. Bonus if you can get a good friend’s online cable account password you can have access to watch shows the day after they air instead of some that make you wait a week. Some networks will also let you stream live. =D

    Reply
  7. Brandon
    Brandon says:

    If I add a 2nd stream for $20/month on the blue package, can I stream on one device at my home while my parents stream on another device at a different home at the same time?

    Reply
    • Peach
      Peach says:

      Hi Brandon, if you have the Sling Blue for $25/month, then you should be able to stream on multiple devices at the same time, irregardless of the location. I haven’t tried it, but I’m assuming it is similar to a Netflix account? Great question and let me know if you it ends up working at multiple locations.

      Reply
  8. Jon T.
    Jon T. says:

    Hi Peach, can I share my account if I’ll get the combine(orange and blue) subs to my brother who lives in adjacent town then we will split the bill every month? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Peach
      Peach says:

      Hi Jon,

      According to Sling’s FAQs, you can stream up to 3 different devices at the same time with the Blue and the Blue+Orange tier. I have not tried doing this myself, but it does say this is acceptable per the terms and conditions on Sling’s website.

      Great question!

      Reply
  9. Joao Q
    Joao Q says:

    Great post!
    After reading your post, I am almost ready to switch from RCN to Sling, but I would need to figure out how to replace my Internet service that I am currently getting from RCN. Any thoughts on this? I live in Boston (North End), MA.

    Best,
    Joao

    Reply
    • Peach
      Peach says:

      Hi Joao!

      I would recommend keeping your internet service with RCN and ditching the cable for SlingTV. Sling will actually work through your current internet provider in RCN in Boston. 🙂

      Reply
  10. Amber
    Amber says:

    Does sling tv have Fox News? We had sling awhile ago. Way before the multiple device streaming and have considered getting again but FOX news is a need 🙂

    Reply
    • Elizabeth Sparks
      Elizabeth Sparks says:

      Thank you!! I’m new to the moneypeach.com site and am quite impressed. I was thinking the exact same thing about the channel lineup for Sling. Other than CNN and mind rotting (but guilty pleasure) Bravo, not sure I’d watch any of them. If you know of any other options, post away please!

      Reply
  11. Brittany
    Brittany says:

    Hey!

    Question for you, what do you think is the most affordable internet service here in Phoenix? Sling sounds great and we are considering it. But I am also trying to cut down the internet bill as well.

    Reply
    • Chris Peach
      Chris Peach says:

      Hi Brittany! Great question but my answer is going to help much. I think the two main service providers (Cox & Century Link) are the only ones able to provide high speed, consistent, and quality internet service for the right cost. The other choices are not quite there yet – at least here in Phoenix.

      Reply
  12. Amy Dunnum
    Amy Dunnum says:

    This is July 2018.. Why are all these comments so old? I’m interested in what it can do for me now, not 2 yrs ago. Since Sling TV was started by Dish Network, would it help any with the signal that I have a Dish Network antenna on my roof already?

    Reply
  13. Todd W
    Todd W says:

    Sling isn’t a bad option, though I prefer the Hulu/Netflix/Antenna combo. Depends on your life’s desires. Also, I feel like Sling hasn’t upped their game in a bit, when YouTube and Directv are now showing up to the game.

    Reply
  14. Alan
    Alan says:

    I have used Netflix (I still have Netflix) and Hulu in the past, but have found Sling to offer the best variety and bang for the buck. I had to get rid of cable because it was just too expensive, so I went with the HD antenna for my local programming and sports. My Sling and the Internet, in general, is being accessed through my cell phone hotspot. I also ditched my long time cell phone carrier for MCS Telecom which is a pre-paid mobile service that gives me unlimited, talk, text, data, and hotspot at the equivalent of $10 per month for 5 years. So, my total TV entertainment, cell phone, and Internet budget has been reduced to under $50 per month. I could carve another $10 off of that if I eliminate Netflix, which is most likely coming next.

    Reply

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