Although Netflix and Amazon Prime Videos took over the living room, Live TV still appears to be lurking around the corner every time there’s live sports event going on like the Superbowl or like the recent NFL seasons.
You might be a hip expat living in the countryside of Europe or someone who just want to watch American TV abroad online you’ve got an array of options. You know like there’s more than one way to skin a cat. The popular one being – Hulu Live, YouTube TV, Sling and DirecTV etc. For this instance, we’ll pick up Sling TV as it offers the most bang for its buck.
What is Sling TV exactly?
Sling TV is a service that allows subscribers to watch live and on-demand TV channels. Consider it, just like a cable or satellite TV service, except it’s streamed over the internet, you can stream it on your TVs, computers, Apple TV, Roku and smartphones, and there are no contracts, and you can cancel or resume service anytime you want.
Even after the price hiked, Sling TV still remains one of the cheapest ways to watch live TV on the Internet. If we look at similar services that stream live TV channels, like – YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now etc, all of which start at $35 to $45 per month. While Sling TV still remains at $25.
But, there are not one but two flipping hurdles; one, these services are only available in the US and two, you’d need an American credit card to sign up for it. I overcome this restriction and watched the NFL from outside the US without US credit card. I’ll show how. So, let’s see how it’s done.
Watch American TV Abroad Online
Step One: Get a VPN
The first thing you will need to access to access HBO Now outside of the States is a VPN. There are plenty of free and paid VPNs you can choose. And fortunately, unlike Netflix, where Free VPNs doesn’t work anymore, almost every VPN we tried to work for HBO NOW.
For this instance, I’ll recommend getting a Smart DNS Proxy. The reason being it offers both a VPN and Smart DNS, meaning you set up smart DNS on your router and watch US TV shows from all your devices. So, head over to SmartDNSProxy and create a free trial account. It just cost $5 per month but the good news is they have a 14-day free trial, so if you decide not to continue, you can cancel before that. It doesn’t require credit card info as well.
Once you have set it up, turn on the VPN and switch to the United States.
Step Two: Choose Sling TV Plan
Now that you’ve got a VPN if you visit Sling TV, you can access the website. Take a look at their various plans. It comes in 3 different packages – Orange, Blue, and Orange + Blue
Sling Orange: $25 per month. 22 channels, including ESPN and Disney (but not Fox or NBC channels). Limited to one simultaneous stream at a time.
Sling Blue: $25 per month. 35 channels, including Fox and NBC channels (but not ESPN or Disney channels). Up to three simultaneous streams.
Sling Orange + Blue: $40 per month. Includes all channels from both. Up to four simultaneous streams, but only one at a time of Orange channels.
For this instance, I’ll choose the Sling Blue because it comes with Fox, which has the rights to most NFL seasons.
Step Three: Get a Sling Gift Card
Next, we need to buy a gift card for Sling TV as it only accepts US credit card.
So, head over to mygiftcardsupply.com (we have tried multiple gift card company and this is the only one that works with a non-US credit card and Paypal)
You can get between $25 and $100. For now, I’ll just go with $25 plan (for which I’ve to pay $28 that includes their commissions) and check out with my Paypal. Enter your Name, Email and verify your phone number.
Once done, you’ll get the code in your email with a minute or two. Sometimes, if their system detects an error problem in the payment, you may have to try from another payment method.
Step Four: Sign Up for SlingTV
Now that you have a VPN and Sling gift card, you are now ready to sign up for Sling TV. Head to SlingTV’s gift redemption page. Click “New User? Redeem Here” and set up your account.
You need to add a US billing address for tax reasons. They need an exact address, so make sure you type in something realistic, like a real hotel address in New York. Also, some sports events like NFL are region restricted, so make sure you pick the state whose matches you want to see the most.
Select whichever package and premium extras you want. And scroll down to choose next.
Next, it’ll ask you for your payment information, don’t add a credit card (the 7-day free trial may look tempting but don’t fall for it), instead of scroll down and enter the gift card that you just got in your email. And that’s it. Click “Finish and Submit” to set up your account.
The downside to the whole plan is though that you can’t choose a monthly billing cycle. So you’d need to keep your Sling account going with a gift card, like a gift card salesman. Just head over to My Account preferences page on the Sling website and select the “Add Gift Card” link. Enter a new code, click the “Redeem” button, and you’re back in action.
Does it work on Smartphones and Apple TV?
Unfortunately, the Sling TV app is region blocked on Android, iPhone, Apple TV, and other streaming devices. So, there is no way to directly make it work. That said, we tried sideloading it on Sling TV Android app with VPN, and it works flawlessly. Simply download the Sling TV apk from ApkMirror on your Android smartphone and install it. Next turn on the VPN, switch to the United States and then log in. to Sling TV app. Make sure you don’t give it location permission when ask, and it should work fine. Sadly, there is no way to sideload apps on Apple TV, iPhone or other streaming devices.