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.
But, what if you wanted to watch the same channels on cable starting as low as $20/month without any contracts?
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.
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.
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:
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?
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 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?
That’s how I roll 🙂
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?
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!
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