Internet TV services by Apple and Sony may be comingand , respectively, but is here today, and it's growing fast.
As promised at launch, the service is now available on the Xbox One, making it the first game console with a Sling TV app and the third big-screen platform, afterand Roku. Sling TV is also available on iOS and Android devices, as well as Mac and Windows computers.
Sling alsothe selection of channels in its "Best of Live TV" core package, which costs $20 per month. A&E, History, H2 and Lifetime are now included in the price. They'll be live by the end of March.
Sling is also rejiggering two of its $5/month add-on packs, renaming them and shuffling the channel lineups.
More March Madness with truTV
To coincide with the first games of the NCAA Tournament, known as March Madness, Sling also added Turner channel truTV to its $5/month Lifestyle Extra pack. The channel will carry numerous games, starting today.
TNT and TBS, which are available in Sling's base package, will also air a wide selection of games starting Thursday, March 19. In total the three Turner networks will air 49 tourney games and cover the first three rounds, as well as select regional finals and the two Final Four games on April 4.
CBS, which is not available on Sling TV, will carry the remaining 22 games including the national title game on April 6. For the record, CNET is published by CBS Interactive, a division of CBS.
Xbox One: Promotions and Kinect
Aswith a Sling TV hardware launch, the companies are offering incentives to get users signed-up. According to the press release:
"Current Xbox Live members who have an Xbox One will receive one month of Sling TV free, after downloading the Sling TV app from the Xbox One Apps Store. Additionally, the first five thousand customers who purchase an Xbox One in a Microsoft retail store or at MicrosoftStore.com between March 17, 2015 and March 22, 2015 will receive three free months of Sling TV service."
Sling's press release also mentions that the Xbox One app alows for gesture-based control for users of the, and integration with other Xbox One features like Xbox One's Snap multitasking feature.
Here's the current list of Sling TV-compatible hardware:
Sling TV devices
|TV devices||Roku (TVs, boxes and streaming stick), Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Xbox One|
|Mobile devices||Android phones and tablets, iOS phones and tablets (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch), PC and Mac computers|
|"Coming soon"||Chromecast, Google Nexus Player, Android TV devices (select 2015 Sony and Sharp Smart TVs), Samsung & LG Smart TVs|
|Not available||PlayStation (3 or 4)|
While Xbox One compatibility was mentioned by Sling at launch, the service has not announced any plans to come to Xbox 360 consoles. Given the imminent launch of Sony's competing PlayStation Vue service, we don't expect a Sling TV app for PlayStation consoles anytime soon.
We'll have an updated hands-on with Xbox One as part of thesoon.
New channels and lineup details
With the addition of A&E, History, H2 and Lifetime, the base $20 per month package now stands at 20 total channels.
Meanwhile the underwhelming "News & Info Extra" $5 per month add-on pack has been cancelled after a run of just six weeks and its channels redistributed and augmented.
Effective immediately, you can add the Lifestyle Extra pack and/or World News Extra pack to your subscription for $5 per month (legacy "News & Info Extra" subscribers get grandfathered in and receive both packages for $5). Each features channels both new and old (to Sling), including WE tv, FYI, LMN and a selection of international news channels. The other three add-on packs remain unchanged.
Here's how the current packages break down:
Sling TV packages
|The Best of Live TV (core)||$20 per month||ESPN, ESPN2, AMC, TNT, TBS, CNN, A&E, Lifetime, History, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Disney Channel, ABC Family, IFC, H2, El Rey Network, Maker, Galavision|
|Sports Extra||+$5 per month||SEC Network, ESPNews, ESPNU, Universal Sports, Univision Deportes, beIN Sports, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Bases Loaded, ESPN Goal Line|
|Kids Extra||+$5 per month||Disney Junior, Disney XD, Boomerang, Baby TV, Duck TV|
|Lifestyle Extra||+$5 per month||truTV, Cooking Channel, DIY, WE tv, FYI, LMN|
|World News Extra||+$5 per month||Bloomberg TV, HLN, Euro News, France 24, NDTV 24/7, News 18, Russia Today|
|Hollywood Extra||+$5 per month||EPIX, EPIX2, EPIX3, EPIX Drive-In, Sundance TV|
FYI and LMN are new additions and labeled "coming soon" by Sling. Aside from A&E, History, H2 and Lifetime coming by the end of March, all of the other channels are available immediately.
We'll update the Sling TV review once we get the chance to try out the new additions.
Correction: An earlier version of this article confused new addition A&E with AMC, which has been available since March 4.