One of the most exciting things to come out of CES this year was the announcement of Sling TV, a streaming-only cable television subscription service coming to the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch answered a few questions yesterday in a Reddit AMA session and revealed some new information about the service. Here’s a rundown of everything we know, new and old, about the upcoming service.
Base Content & Pricing
$20 a month will get you live access to ESPN, ESPN2, CNN, TBS, TNT, HGTV, Food Network, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Travel Channel, ABC Family, Maker, and Disney Channel. Pricing is month-to-month with no contracts.
Additional Content & Pricing
A $5 per month “Kids Extra” package will add Boomerang, Baby TV, Duck TV, Disney Junior, and Disney XD.
A $5 per month “News & Info Extra” package will add HLN, DIY, Bloomberg, and Cooking Channel.
There are plans for a “Sports Extra” package which hasn’t been detailed yet, but is expected to bring additional ESPN channels “as well as other popular sports networks”.
There seems to be no plans to offer local networks (CBS, NBC, ABC, etc..). Sling TV’s CEO said “one of our core tenants is not forcing subscribers to pay for channels that [they] are already getting for free.”
Devices & Access
Sling TV will be available on both the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. Additionally, you will be able to view the service on Roku, Xbox One, iOS, Android, select LG Smart TVs, select Samsung Smart TVs, and desktop computers. Playstation will not be included at launch, likely due to Sony’s recently announced competing service, Vue TV. You can access Sling TV from as many different devices as you wish, but you can only watch on one device at a time. It can only be accessed from the United States.
Apple TV & Chromecast
Sling TV on iOS will be able to use AirPlay to watch content on an Apple TV, but there are no plans for a dedicated Apple TV app. Chromecast will not be supported at launch, but support will come later in the year.
Audio & Video
Video streams will be in either 720p or 1080p depending on the channel. There will be options to limit bandwidth if you’re worried about data usage. Most channels will support Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound audio.
DVR & Video-On-Demand
You will be able to pause, rewind, and fast-forward some live channels. TNT, Cartoon Network, and TBS are confirmed to support this feature. Certain channels will include a 3-Day replay feature that gives customers the ability to watch some shows that have aired in the past three days. HGTV, DIY, and Food Network are confirmed to support this feature.
Subscribing to the base content will include access to WatchESPN. However, it’s unclear if all WatchESPN content will be included. It may be limited to ESPN and ESPN2 content.
Xbox Live members will receive a 30 day free trial of Sling TV on Xbox One due to a partnership between Microsoft and Dish.
No other platforms have announced a free trial. UPDATE: A 1 week free trial will be offered to everyone receiving an invitation. No word if the 1 week free trial will still be offered once the service becomes available to everyone.