Sling TV screenshot

Better late than never — at last it’s possible to get premium entertainment without having to become a cable subscriber.

Sling TV, Dish’s new web-based subscription service, promises a revolution: in exchange for a flat fee of twenty bucks per month, it taps the Internet to deliver a package of ESPN and a bunch of other premium live feeds to a plethora of different devices, no contract and no commitment required, Re/code reported Monday.

The staggered roll-out begins today: just register on the Sling.com website and wait patiently for that invite to hit your inbox (they’ll start sending them at midnight). The service will be “widely available in the next couple weeks.”

Sling TV broadcasts in both 720p and 1080p and includes Dolby surround sound. And it’s nothing like the old cable guide: you get to see everything that’s live using the On Now tab in the mini guide.

Re/code reports that some of the channels that deliver streams to Sling TV, like Scripps’ Food Network, let you pause and rewind shows, or watch them again after they’ve aired.

You can’t skip ads, though, which is a bummer.

So, what exactly does $20 per month buy you?

For starters, how about live feeds from ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, ABC Family and CNN?

And if that’s not enough entertainment for you, additional packs will be available for $5 per month each.

In case you’ve been wondering, having ESPN through SlingTV gives you access to WatchESPN programming and functionality. If you’ve ever tried using WatchESPN through DirecTV, you’ll appreciate this.

Supported devices include Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Google’s Nexus Player, Roku players and TV models, select smart TVs from LG and Samsung, Microsoft’s Xbox One console, iOS and Android phones and tablets and Mac and Windows PCs.

Notably absent: Sony’s PlayStation, Google’s Chromecast and the Apple TV.

Though you can have Sling TV on as many devices as you want, at launch the service will be a single-stream affair meaning you’ll be able to have Sling TV on multiple devices, but only watch it on one devices at a time.

Sling’s CEO fielded many questions by cord-cutters in a Reddit AMA so check it out to learn about the fine print and other details.

Cord-cutters will have plenty of reasons to celebrate because it’s not just Sling TV: later this year, HBO will finally bring its premium content to the Internet generation so you’ll be permitted to buy an online-only subscription to HBO.

On top of HBO and Sling TV, Sony recently announced bringing a similar service called Vue to market.

So, what do you guys think?

Is the age of web-based subscription TV finally upon us?

Source: Re/code

  • I think the age of web-based television is upon us. Look at what Netflix and Hulu have already done!

    • Kaptivator

      But then there is the age of data caps to limit Netflix and those of the like. I’m in the process of getting Gigabyte internet (or fiber optic lines) ran through my neighborhood now. However, others may not be as lucky to have something without caps now. ISPs will find ways to make money, so the difference that you save by “ditching cable”, some will give back by paying for higher “Internet Package Plans”. Its all a rip off.

      • Rowan09

        If the speed transmitted to you is slow it doesn’t matter much how fast your internet speed is going to be. If your over 10mbs up and down you should be good.

      • Kaptivator

        Not a speed cap…But a data usage cap. Ex: Comcast currently has a 350 gig data cap per month implemented. If you go over once…Notice 2nd time…the bump you up per 10 gigs at a certain dollar amount in addition to your base. Bigabit (as Jason Mauai corrected me) is unlimited data…meaning no data caps. Pretty much a data buffet.

      • Rowan09

        Sorry I misread. You shouldn’t go over your data cap (which ever provider I know have anyways) by just streaming Netflix. It’s more for people that download a lot of movies that usually go over the data cap.

      • Stella Iluminada DeJesus

        Wrong. I quit Comcast when they mandated the data cap. When I looked at my historical data usage, I was only using at the most 50gb a month before I had got Netflix. When I started my Netflix service my data usage jumped to 650+gb per month. So switch to Att that has no data cap.

      • Rowan09

        Damn I stand corrected. That’s a lot of streaming

      • Stella Iluminada DeJesus

        Yeah, we were streaming a lot because we had cut the cord and only had Internet. So if most of your tv watching comes from streaming you will go over the threshold set by Comcast. Even though Comcast is faster, I switched to Att which is not enforcing the data cap at this time. Also, when we cut the cord we had got hooked on tv series which we never used to watch when we had cable. So we were having lots of marathons. Lol

      • Kurt

        Here and most places, Comcast has no data cap anymore. It used to be 250Gigs. But currently there is none.

      • Jason Mauai

        GigaBIT

      • Kaptivator

        my auto correct bro..but thanks

    • omakad

      Well in Atlanta, comcast is capping all internet at 300GB per month. After that you have to pay extra. So they will get you that way. Soon this is gonna be across the states. So yes, age of Internet TV is here but also of 100’s of $$$ in internet overage fee’s.

  • Do we really need live TV? Except for live event coverage I can’t think of any reason to watch live TV and no ad skipping when paying for a service? Way to f**k your consumers I could understand if it was free with ads…

    I also doubt it’s true to the global nature of the Internet. I’ve not tried but following the link in this article will almost certainly take me to an “Although we have the capabilities to process your money we don’t want it, either move to the U.S. or close this tab” page…

    In short this seems like a failure waiting to happen.

    • iBanks

      Well…. I can’t skip ads right now while watching live TV and its a paid service, so why the cry?

      • There’s plenty of devices that can skip ads. Some DVRs / PVRs have a dedicated button for skipping adverts…

        Obviously they require you to lag behind enough minutes to skip the ads though however this is not possible with streaming services and the ads should be unnecessary if they’re charging for the service. As for you paying for TV you aren’t paying networks you’re paying a cable company so the ads are obviously justified there since they need want to make money…

      • iBanks

        Then you must be lucky to have such a DVR/PVR because my x1 system with xFinity (Comcast) doesn’t do such a thing unless the showing is recorded or if you allow the live program to lag behind as you say, but then at that point it’s not exactly “live” if you’re behind everyone else in viewing. And as for paying, well… You aren’t paying the networks here either, you’re still paying a “cable company” hence Dish so are the ads not justifiable here? Just trying to understand.

      • My point in regards to streaming services is that for the most part they are just licensing content so any content licensed is already paid for so the ads are just extra money for greedy individuals this is why I don’t think the ads are justified 😉

      • CryptoCoin420

        I pay for DirectTV and i think paying for a service ($80 a month!) and paying to watch lame ass Commercials is a joke as well. I am trying to get rid of TV and not have to pay for it, XBMC has a ton of great options but none for streaming live football games (that i know of, ESPN would be nice or NFL Network), which what I will miss the most.

      • Blip dude

        Oh man, I finally was able to convince my Mother to get rid of DirecTV 2 years ago and she is thankful that I was able to convince after being so hard headed about it. She realized she never even watched any of the Cable channels and now saves $100/month minus Netflix, brother pays for Crunchyroll, and I pay for Hulu+. I would consider this but I have a tons of movies and these are channels I never even watched. Not a sports buff so I can obviously do with ESPN. I am however, not bashing on this, because I know others will sure as hell benefit from this.

  • disqus_rcikS7fUoL

    Give me local channels also and I’m sold! I miss Aereo.

  • pauleebe

    AppleTV is excluded, because Apple has their own service rolling out this year.

    • George

      I doubt that

    • iPhoneWINS

      hmmmmm

  • Mr.Coolfreak

    In the future hopefully we can add specific channels including international

    • Rowan09

      Just use XBMC and get Phoenix

      • iPhoneWINS

        XMBC is complicated cumbersome and glitchy as hell.. oh and its slow

      • Rowan09

        It’s really not once you get use to it. I use it on my phone and Fire TV and it’s very stable. Kodi is very stable and so was 13.2 as well.

  • Parker Crain

    Can’t wait!!! Pair with an antenna and I’m set!

  • Delric Thomas

    Just one question. Will that cost only cover one user? Like it currently is. This is always been my problem with SlingPlayer,(I should say their downfall) that it only allows one person to watch at a time.

  • Chindavon

    No local channels?

    • Curmudgeon

      Use an antenna. It’s clearer than any streaming option and runs about $20-$50 for a one-time purchase. You also get more local options than the cable companies provide. I get 4 PBS frequencies: 2-regular, 1-Create (cooking, woodworking and so on) and PBS Kids. We also get 2-NBC, 2-ABC and 2-CBS stations.

      Channel Master sells a HDTV antenna that has a 1TB internal hard drive for DVR purposes. It has a free channel guide that displays 2 weeks of local content. It’s pricey at $400 or so but it does the job.

      • Chindavon

        Been there, done that with antennas. I hated seeing it and messing around with it. No thank you.

      • Curmudgeon

        I can respect that. I kind of see it as a hobby or game. It’s fun to make your own and see how sensitive you can make it. There are all sorts of plans online and my goal is to pull in most of the stations in my state. I just despise the cable companies so much (even though I buy their internet) that I feel like I’m cheating them when I can pull in multiple channels from nearby cities.

      • Chindavon

        I may be okay with it if I didn’t have to constantly fiddle with it on half of the channels, especially during crappy weather. I do, however, like the direction with these cord cutters movements. Apple will hopefully join in (rumored) and everyone fights for our business.

      • Curmudgeon

        I agree that this competition between streaming services will give us a better product. I just don’t see the almighty Comcast/Warner/Cox juggernaut allowing this to travel over their infrastructure much longer. Their FCC will stomp this out soon enough. Even if they just demand a cut of the action; it will hike up the costs for these services to the point where it’s a wash with a basic cable package while being much more cumbersome.

  • 空白

    Why no PlayStation? (。ŏ_ŏ)

  • iPhoneWINS

    I have been waiting for $20 cable for a long time but the big companies refuse to give it… I have a feeling this sling option will lack many features so I will wait for a hands on review..