Dish Network has joined the ranks of TV providers offering streaming TV service, with its announcement of Sling TV.
The new service was unveiled at CES 2015 in Las Vegas earlier this week and is expected to be rolled out to consumers some time in the first quarter of 2015. Sling TV is aimed at the growing number of people who are cutting their cable or satellite TV subscriptions and getting their TV content over the internet. With its Sling offering, Dish Network becomes part of the wave started when HBO announced in the fall that it will be offering a standalone streaming service.
Sling TV will be priced at $20 a month for its basic service, a fraction of what cable subscribers have been accustomed to paying. The basic Sling package will feature 12 live channels: ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, ABC Family and CNN. The lineup of content will also include Video on Demand and the best of online video. This lineup is expected to expand over the coming year, and there will also be additional “genre packages”, like kids programming and news, available.
Sling will be easy to sign up for and use – there’s no contract or commitment, and no credit check required. And it doesn’t require any hardware installation. Sling TV will be accessible via a web browser on your desktop or laptop, as well as on a number of popular devices. As of now, the list of supported devices is expected to include Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Google’s Nexus Player, select LG Smart TVs, Roku players, Roku TV models, select Samsung Smart TVs, Xbox One from Microsoft, iOS, and Android. You’ll be able to access Sling on your broadband connected devices both at home and while on the go.
The target audience for Sling are the so-called “cord cutters”, as well as those who have never paid for cable service. (If you’re one of the many using a shared Netflix or HBO GO password, this means you). Joseph P. Clayton, President and CEO of DISH said in the company’s press release,
Sling TV is designed to provide a high quality TV experience, delivered over an IP-based content delivery system. It will utilize adaptive bitrate streaming technology, to ensure the best possible streaming quality, regardless of fluctuations in network quality or location.
Sling doesn’t include DVR recording, but it will allow you to pause, rewind, and fast forward. On some networks, you can even view content which aired live over the past three days, without having recorded or saved anything in advance.
What do you think about Sling? Does this help you make the move to cut your own cable connection? Or, if you’ve already cut the cord, will you give Sling TV a shot? Or, were you one of the lucky ones who got to try it at CES this week? I’d like to hear your thoughts.