More often than not, this space is devoted to five feature length films, or a TV series, that has recently become available on any given streaming service or video on demand. However, I have been known to bend those rules every so often (Wrestlemania season is here again, after all). And what’s more worthy of this rule bending than the launch of the newest, and one of the most must own subscription streaming services around. That’s exactly what the world has been given in the form of Sling TV. And here are five reasons why that’s the case:
5. The price
While most subscription services clock in anywhere from $7.99 to $9.99, the $19.99 price point for this service may make the uninformed reader a little worrisome, but here’s what you get. Cord cutting. Most people have used services like Netflix and Hulu in connection with one another hoping to break free of cable services, but for those with a love for shows on networks ranging from AMC to HGTV, that can be a little hard. Sling TV fixes that. With only roughly a couple of months under its belt, it’s a young service, but it offers up a lot. A worthy replacement for cable, the service gives you access to live feeds for networks including ESPN, ESPN2, Food Network, HGTV, AMC, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network and even CNN for the newshounds out there. With a great on demand service and movies available for rent, ranging from classics to VOD day-and-date darlings, this is a lot of content for a price that makes its inclusion opposite a Netflix or a Hulu a worthwhile idea.
While it’s not available on gaming consoles yet, Roku users will rejoice as their set top box is the perfect vessel for this service. The interface for its set top version is fantastic. Sleek and visually appealing, it’s a tad sluggish at first glance, but when one remembers that it is ostensibly a cable provider in its earliest infancy it’s easy to understand a few growing pains here. However, the service truly shines when you see its app set up, primarily on any given tablet. Available on both the Apple and Android stores/markets, the service is one of the easier to use services around. Beautiful HD streaming and an easy to navigate on demand service really turn this into a subscription you will never regret signing up for.
3. Room for expansion
Still early in its life span, Sling TV already shows room for growth. With four “expansion packs” currently available for $5 a piece, the service’s base lineup has already grown, with this week seeing the much anticipated addition of AMC and even the shocking appearance of IFC to its ranks. While AMC was always thought to be included at some point, IFC is a welcome addition, a network that one would be hard pressed to argue against getting as part of a $20 streaming service. This all points in the direction of this, a Dish Network subsidiary, becoming the ultimate addition to anyone’s attempt at true cord cutting.
Speaking of IFC, did I mention IFC is now on the service? Because if not, Sling TV now offers IFC. Get it? The beloved home of independent cinema and the best of alternative comedy, IFC is a fantastic addition to this service, one that truly makes it stand out opposite the likes of Hulu. Getting the ability to stream IFC in anticipation of the finale of Season 5 of Portlandia is also a fantastic bit of business, as it now allows the network’s most iconic original show the chance to be seen by some that may not have otherwise been privy to it. Toss in its impeccable line up of movies that air nightly, and this will leave any subscriber finding few reasons to turn off the box or change the channel.
1. El Rey Network
That is, until they get a glimpse of El Rey. From the mind of Robert Rodriguez comes the service’s biggest selling point. El Rey may be relatively unknown to many people, but it won’t stay that way. Yes, this is partially a wrestling-related choice, but Rodriguez’s network has given the world its newest and coolest wrestling promotion, Lucha Underground. Amping up both the soap opera aspects of pro-wrestling as well as the physicality, this is a must watch series that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. But yes, in fact something film related is going to be mentioned here. They are the best film channel on the planet, not named TCM. With a beautiful blend of Grindhouse thrillers, B-movie Westerns and even legendary cult martial arts movies, El Rey will have any cinephile salivating at first glance. Oh yeah, and there is a series where Rodriguez interviews iconic filmmakers like Francis Ford Coppola. That’s also pretty neat. Really neat, actually.
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