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What is Sling Freestream?

Sling TV Freestream logo.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

If you were to ask about the biggest trend in streaming video of late, chances are it’d be something called FAST. That’s short for free, ad-supported television. It’s everywhere. And if you’re looking to watch something without having to pay yet another monthly fee, it’s got you covered.

Sling TV has its own FAST service, called Sling Freestream. As the name implies, it’s free. In fact, you don’t even have to have a Sling TV account to watch.

Sling Freestream features more than 400 live (as in linear, which means that you’re watching the same thing at the same time as everyone else) channels and more than 40,000 on-demand shows and movies. It’s very much in the same vein as what you’d get with other FAST options, like Tubi, Amazon Freevee, or Pluto TV. Only this one’s from Sling, and creating an account is not required.

While Sling Freestream doesn’t require an account, you might still consider creating one because you’ll get a few extras. If you have a Freestream account, you’ll be able to designate favorite channels, add shows to a watchlist, create user profiles, and add parental controls. (That last part is especially important for FAST services.)

The Sling TV channels guide.
Channels that are part of Sling TV’s Freestream service appear in the guide same as any channels you’re paying for. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

Sling Freestream is somewhat separate from the core Sling TV experience, but it’s not entirely detached. If you’re a Sling TV subscriber, you’ll find the Freestream channels in your live guide, under its own Freestream filter. You’ll need to have at least one of the Sling TV tracks for this, though, but it works whether you only have Sling Orange or Sling Blue or both.

One thing that Freestream doesn’t have is the ability to rent movies. Sling says, “We’re actively working on it.” That’s far from a deal-breaker, though, as Freestream’s competition doesn’t rent movies, either. Well, unless you count Amazon Freevee, we suppose. The bottom line is that these are FAST services and not traditional rental services. So you’ll open up Freestream, watch whatever’s on, then go about your day. If you want to watch the latest and greatest and don’t mind paying a few bucks to rent it? That’ll still require a different service. That’s just the way it is.

It’s worth reiterating that this is all separate from (but also a part of) the full Sling TV experience. You don’t have to have a subscription to Sling Orange or Sling Blue to use Freestream. But if you do, you’ll find those channels integrated in the guide. It’s just another entry in the long line of services that give you a good bit of content for nothing more than a few minutes of your attention by way of advertising.

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Phil Nickinson
Section Editor, Audio/Video
Phil spent the 2000s making newspapers with the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, the 2010s with Android Central and then the…
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