Dish Reports Sling TV Has Grown to 2.2M Subscribers as of the End of 2017

Dish Network today reported official numbers for its streaming television service Sling TV, which marks the first time that the company disclosed the service's subscriber numbers separately from its traditional pay TV numbers. According to Dish, Sling TV had 2.212 million subscribers as of the end of 2017, aligning with previous estimates that the service had well over 2 million subscribers (via TechCrunch).

Sling TV was one of the first streaming TV bundles to launch, so its continued high ranking in regards to subscriber numbers makes sense. Following Sling TV remain services like DirecTV Now (1 million subscribers as of December 2017), PlayStation Vue (455,000 as of December 2017), Hulu with Live TV (450,000 as of January 2018), and YouTube TV (300,000 as of January 2018). Sling TV and PlayStation Vue launched in 2015, DirecTV Now launched in 2016, and Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV each debuted in 2017.

Dish further detailed Sling TV's subscriber growth in its 10-K filing this week, stating the service had 623,000 subscribers in its first year on the market, then grew to 1.5 million by 2016, and 2.21 million by the end of 2017. More users switching from traditional TV bundles to streaming services are believed to be impacting Dish's revenue, however, with its total 2017 revenue at $14.39 billion, down year-over-year from $15.21 billion. In total, 1.1 million users were reported as having dropped Dish's pay TV bundles in 2017.

Like other streaming TV services, Sling TV allows users to choose between various tiers, with prices that start at $20/month for a small amount of channels and then increase in price as more channels are added. Sling TV is one of the cheapest services to enter with this price, while rivals like YouTube TV cost $35/month, and Hulu with Live TV and PlayStation Vue start at $39.99/month. DirecTV Now also starts at $35/month, and has an ongoing deal where new subscribers can pay for three months of service at $105 and get a 32GB Apple TV 4K for free.

Although Sling TV has been out for longer and subsequently has more robust features, some of the newer services are still in beta and testing updates that have yet to launch to a wide audience. These include DirecTV Now's beta test of a Cloud DVR, which is now said to be coming this spring, as well as Hulu's decision to add a more traditional channel guide for its users. Earlier in February, YouTube TV launched an app for Apple TV after delaying the initial launch from 2017.

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Sling TV Debuts Desktop In-Browser Player for Google Chrome

Sling TV announced its first in-browser desktop content player on Tuesday. Using the latest version of Google Chrome, subscribers to the streaming television platform can log in at to access their favorite content and start playback right from within the browser.

It's not yet clear at what quality the content is played within the browser, but Sling TV customers watching on Google Chrome do get access to popular features like "My TV", the "Continue Watching" ribbon, account settings, parental controls, and more.

Sling TV cautions that the Chrome in-browser player is still a beta version, but no app, plug-in or flash player download is necessary.

The service says it will continue to roll out additional features as the browser player matures, including access to cloud DVR and a grid guide. For more information on Sling TV-supported devices, visit

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Sling TV Update Brings Cloud DVR Service to iPhone and iPad

Online streaming television service Sling TV has made its cloud DVR feature available on iOS for the first time. The latest version of the Sling TV app for iPhone and iPad includes the ability to record shows and movies on the majority of available channels. The feature made its way onto Apple TV in April.

The service's DVR "First Look" option costs an extra $5 per month on top of a regular Sling TV subscription and gets users 50 hours of cloud storage. Once that space has been filled, older recordings are automatically deleted to make way for new ones.

When a user opts to record an episode of a TV series, they can set the app to record new episodes as well or only the chosen one. Alternatively, they can download entire series, while specific recordings can be protected so they don't get automatically deleted.

Channels excluded from the DVR recording feature are the following: ABC, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney JR, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN 3, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Bases Loaded, Freeform, and the SEC Network.

The latest version of Sling TV includes the new DVR service for those with the "First Look" subscription. The app is available to download for free on the App Store. [Direct Link] The service is only available within the U.S.

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Sling TV’s Cloud DVR Functionality Comes to Apple TV for $5 Per Month

Starting today, Sling TV is expanding its Cloud DVR service to Apple TV users. Sling TV subscribers with an Apple TV can purchase 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage for $5 per month, which is a fee in addition to the standard Sling TV subscription cost.

Content stored in Sling TV's Cloud DVR remains indefinitely, and the service supports pausing, rewinding, and fast-forwarding through saved shows and movies. Most Sling TV content, including live TV, sports, and movies can be saved to the Cloud DVR service, but Sling says the DVR functionality is not available on all channels that it offers, including Disney, FOX, and ESPN.

Here are some features currently available through Cloud DVR "First Look":

Watch anytime, anywhere- Record your favorite programs and watch whenever you want across all Amazon Fire TVs and Fire tablets, Android mobile devices, Android TVs, Apple TVs, Roku streaming players and Roku TVs. AirTV Player is not currently compatible with Cloud DVR.

Conflict-free recording- Record multiple programs simultaneously, and forget about recording conflicts.
Keep recordings as long as you want- With Sling TV, your recordings won't expire as long as you remain a Sling TV subscriber with Cloud DVR.

Auto-managed recordings- Sling TV will make room for new recordings by deleting your old recordings as you reach capacity, starting with your oldest 'watched' recording, so you can binge on your new favorite show.
To enable the Cloud DVR service, Sling TV subscribers need to sign into their Sling TV accounts on the Sling website and choose the "Add Cloud DVR" option. The service works on the Apple TV, Roku, Amazon, and Android devices.

Sling TV, owned by Dish Network, offers 30+ channels at prices starting at $20 per month. Three packages are available, with the high-end package that includes 50 channels priced at $40 per month.

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Streaming is a disaster, do not cut the cord, just don’t do it


You want to cut the cord. You hate your cable company. You hate their calls, their promotional offers, their bills, their service reps. And the option to get away from them, in the form of the future: Streaming. A little digital river for you to dip into, and find yourself, outside of the traditional means of getting you’re favorite TV and movies. You’re on your own. Your in the wild. The future is yours, and it’s cordless. Except for one, single problem: The fact remains that in 2016, cable remains a far better, more stable experience than any streaming service out there.

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YouTube musical comedy group The Gregory Brothers launch new series


The Gregory Brothers, a musical comedy group best known for their popular YouTube Songify the News series, are going globetrotting.

The Brooklyn-based family band on Wednesday launched a new series called Song Voyage. It was created by digital content studio Portal A and distributed by MakerStudios.

Mashable got an exclusive look (above).

The comedy series follows the band as they travel the world — to Australia, Japan, Mongolia, the Philippines, South Korea, and Vietnam — to collaborate with offbeat musicians. At the end of every episode, the band debuts the fruit of their collaboration – a never-before-seen music video set to an original track. Read more…

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Sling TV gets a great cloud DVR, but there’s a catch


Sling TV is sweetening its Internet-based live-TV service with a feature typically associated with more traditional cable plans: a DVR. But unlike a normal DVR, this one is based in the cloud.

Sling isn’t the first Internet TV service to offer a DVR; Sony’s PlayStation Vue offers one, too. However, Sling TV’s cloud DVR — which launches in beta on Monday — has an edge: The recordings, up to 100GB worth, have no expiry date.

“Unlike other OTT [over the top] services, we’re delivering a true cloud DVR with no 28-day restriction on your recordings, marking another win for Sling TV and our customers,” said Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch in the official announcement.   Read more…

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