Sling TV is a premium streaming service that was unveiled on January 5, 2015 at the Consumer Electronics Show. If you haven’t tried it yet then you can sign up for a 7 day free trial. Popular cable/satellite channels are offered with the service as well as an ala carte feature to add others. Sling TV is targeted toward a group of people the industry calls cord cutters. The cord cutters are those people that have dropped high priced cable and satellite services in favor of a combination of free to view TV stations, video on demand, and Internet Protocol Television (IPTV). In regards to that, Sling also understands that there are certain channels the cord cutters would still like to see without paying a crazy amount to do so. An example of this would be HBO. Generally, the HBO viewership jumps beginning the first weekend in April and dies off around mid June. You could get three months of HBO and drop it after that point.
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Currently, Sling TV is offered on many platforms, and there is also an international version. That said, depending on where you are trying to access it from, you would be geo-blocked based on your IP address. However, you can unblock Sling TV and view from anywhere with a VPN.
Whether you only watch a certain number of channels, or like to stream movies, Sling TV is a good idea. With the growing cost of cable, it becomes increasingly important to cut back where you can. Many people only watch a few channels anyway. The average American only watches about 17 channels out of the 189 potential channels they have access to. Some sports fans literally only have cable to be able to watch sports. Still, others will turn their TV on to something like the Food Network or History and just watch continuously. So what if you could get a good number of those channels at a good rate without having to pay for things like franchising fees? That would be a great thing.
Sling TV is available on a variety of different platforms, from smart TVs, to mobile phones, to gaming consoles to computers. For smart TVs and video players, the supported platforms are Amazon FireTV, Roku, and Nexus Player. Phone and tablet support includes iOS 7 or higher for Apple, and 4.0.3 for Android. Surprisingly, only the XBOX One is offered for support on gaming systems. Lastly, for comps, Sling supports Snow Leopard 10.6 & higher for Mac, and Windows 7 or higher the PC.
Let’s have a look at the channel line up for Sling TV. There is a basic package for $20 a month, then up to five addon packages. Six if you include HBO, because it has it’s own category.
- ABC Family
- Cartoon Network/ Adult Swim
- El Rey
- ESPN 2
- Food Network
- Travel Channel
Depending on what additional channels you want, you could get away with not paying much over the $20 a month. For each additional package, it is $5. The exception is adding HBO, that one is $15. The bottom line is, you can get access to all of Sling’s channels for $60 including HBO. Not too bad considering that can be half the price of regular cable.
What happens if you are traveling abroad from the US, or you do not live in the US and you want access to the US library? Well that is when a good VPN service will come in handy. Despite promises of international content, you would still be geo-blocked outside of your home region for some content. Geo-blocking is a technology that detects your location based on IP address. If you are outside of a supported region, you will be blocked.
Which VPN service should you choose? That depends on your goals, truly. We have some good recommendations that have custom clients, you would only need to select a server and connect. The VPN client will do the rest.
If you are worried about security, we recommend ExpressVPN. The company does not keep logs and and has a network lock feature (kill switch) that will kill your VPN connection any time the internet drops. This feature helps to protect your security until the VPN connection is re-established. If you just want to make sure you have access to the US library of Sling TV, the ExpressvPN MediaStreamer (Smart DNS) is the way to go. They have a Smart DNS feature that will unblock any geo-restrictions, without having the overhead of encryption. Keep in mind that ExpressvPN members have full access to both services. We think you will be happy with our choices of VPNs. We have carefully selected them over other leading VPN services based on security (log policy and encryption), number of server locations, speed, functionality, reliability, and price. We also looked for services with a good network of VPN servers across the globe. The VPNs in this post are all excellent services, but if you would like more choices, please see our list of the top 10 VPN services.