Skip to main content

No dish required: DISH’s Sling TV app brings popular cable channels to streaming devices

After months of anticipation, Dish Network has chosen to unveil its new stand-alone TV service, Sling TV, today at CES 2015 in Las Vegas. Not to be confused with the Slingbox media system, Sling TV is Dish’s independent Web TV service that will proffer a handful of live channels like ESPN and CNN from an app available via streaming devices, computers, smart TVs, Xbox One consoles, and smartphones for just $20 per month.

A trimmed down offering for those looking to ditch traditional cable and satellite services, Dish’s recent deals with content providers like Disney and Turner have helped it secure a lean but mean selection of live programming for Sling TV. The list of channels at launch will include ESPN, ESPN2, Disney Channel, ABC Family, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, TNT, CNN, TBS, Cartoon Network, and Adult Swim. Additional packages for children’s programming, sports, and other genres will reportedly become available in the near future for $5 a pop.

Related Videos

The device list for Dish’s new service at launch is impressively robust. The Sling TV app will land in Roku’s streaming boxes and streaming stick, Roku TVs, iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, Macs and PCs, Amazon’s new Fire TV and Fire TV Streaming Stick, and even Google’s fledgling streaming device, the Nexus Player. LG and Samsung Smart TVs, and Microsoft’s Xbox One gaming console are also reportedly in the works.

DISH Sling TV Guide

Though Sling TV hails from the same roots as the Slingbox media device, a separate set-top box owned by Dish’s parent company that “Slings” programming from your existing cable box to select devices, Sling TV is a completely different animal. The service, which comes free of the constraints of Dish’s own hardware, offers cord-cutters a convenient way to get a taste of live TV programming from a simple app, without the need to throw down the cash for a large-scale cable or satellite subscription.

In other words, no connection to Dish Network’s traditional satellite service will be necessary to setup Sling TV, offering truly independent Web TV from a host of devices you probably already own. No word on when Sling TV will be available yet, but a launch date is expected soon, bringing the true age of Web TV into center stage.

Editors' Recommendations

DirecTV Now vs. Sling TV: Which live TV streaming service is better?
directv now channel list pricing release date watching tv remote

If you're looking to escape cable and satellite's expensive monthly bills, restrictive requirements for set-top boxes, and frustrating channel bundles, you're probably on the hunt for a live TV streaming service. With the right service, you may be able to both save some money and escape the bonds of pay TV. But no two services are exactly alike, so some homework is required.

We're going to take a look at two of the most popular live TV services, AT&T's DirecTV Now and Dish's Sling TV, so you can see how they compare. We'll break it down by category to help you decide which service is most deserving of your hard-earned cash. So grab your scorecard, and let's do this!

Read more
Sling TV vs. YouTube TV: Which live TV streaming service is right for you?
YouTube TV

Cord-cutters seeking to rid themselves of cable or satellite have more choices than ever. And while going with free, over-the-air (OTA) TV from a quality HD antenna will definitely save you the most money, you'll have to give up a lot of your favorite channels and programs. It's exactly this compromise that has spawned the creation of a new breed of live TV streaming services, which offer many of the conveniences of cable, without the bonds of cable boxes and contracts.

Here we look at two of the most intriguing players in the live TV streaming space: Dish Network's Sling TV, launched in 2015, and Google's YouTube TV, which launched two years later in 2017. These two services may offer the same benefits to cord-cutters -- a new way to pay for live TV -- but there are big differences between them when it comes to price, channels, features, and device support. Which one is right for you? Let's do the math ...
Sling TV follows the pricing model of its satellite parent company, Dish Network, with essentially three base tiers to choose from and multiple channel add-on options. As such, you can get into a Sling TV subscription for as little as $25 per month, but that can quickly climb well over $75 per month depending on the extras you choose. For the $25 monthly base fee, you can choose between two different channel line-ups (more on these choices later) depending on your taste in TV, or you can grab all of the basic tier channels for $40 per month.

Read more
Sling TV offers free shows, a la carte subscription channels to Roku users
Sling TV

Sling TV, the streaming subscription service owned by Dish, is hoping to capture some new subscribers using the tried and tested approach of offering free samples. Starting this week, Sling said it is letting a "select" group of Roku users -- who are not already Sling subscribers -- watch individual Sling shows, and even subscribe to Sling channels without paying a cent or starting a free subscription or handing over credit card info.

The free shows include popular titles like Shameless, The Big Interview with Dan Rather, and Heartland. A Sling spokesperson also confirmed that some of the free content will be ad-supported, according to Variety. When opening the Sling TV app on a Roku device, new Sling TV users can click “browse as guest” to launch the Sling TV interface. Available programming will live in the “My TV” section. Eventually, this will roll out to all Roku users.

Read more