If you‘re looking to cut cable TV costs but don‘t want to sacrifice live programming, Sling TV is a great option. And by installing the Sling TV addon on the Kodi media center, you get the best of both worlds – lower bills and a supercharged streaming setup.
This comprehensive guide will teach you how to install and use Sling TV on the latest Kodi 19 Matrix. Soon you‘ll be streaming ESPN, CNN, AMC and many other live channels for just $40 a month!
Why Choose Sling TV for Live TV Streaming?
As cable TV costs continue to rise faster than inflation, more and more people are cutting the cord. The average cable bill now stands at a whopping $217 per month according to ConsumerReports.org . In contrast, Sling TV offers popular live TV channels starting at just $40 per month.
Here are some of the advantages Sling provides over traditional cable:
- Costs 80% less – Sling‘s basic Orange plan has 35+ channels for $40. Comparable cable packages cost over $200!
- No contracts – Sling is month-to-month so you can cancel anytime.
- Stream anywhere – Available on all major streaming devices and mobile apps.
- On-demand included – Watch past shows from many channels.
- Cloud DVR option – Record up to 50 hours of programming.
Sling stands out with its customizable channel packages. Beyond the main Orange and Blue plans, you can add extras like sports, comedy and lifestyle channels for just $5-15 more per month. This flexibility means you only pay for what you actually watch.
What is Kodi and How Do Addons Work?
Kodi is a free, open source home theater software available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Firestick, Raspberry Pi and more. It allows you to consolidate all your media content in one place for quick access.
The real power of Kodi comes from its support for add-ons. These plug-ins developed by third parties stream free movies, TV shows, live programming and more. There are over 1000+ Kodi addons available spanning a wide range of content categories.
Unlike dedicated streaming boxes such as Roku or Apple TV, Kodi doesn‘t provide any content itself. It relies entirely on addons to supply media links scraped from various online sources. The legality of such streaming addons tends to fall into a gray area.
Officially, the Sling TV addon gives you access to the same content as the Sling TV app. But since it likely scrapes streams from Sling‘s own servers, you gain more versatility to integrate live TV viewing right within Kodi.
Why Install Sling TV on Kodi?
There are a few key reasons to install the Sling TV addon on Kodi:
- Unified streaming – Access Sling‘s live and on-demand content without leaving Kodi. No need to switch between apps.
- Works on unsupported devices – The Sling TV app isn‘t available on some streaming devices like the 1st gen Firestick. The Kodi addon lets you bypass this limitation.
- Mix with other Kodi addons – Install additional addons like YouTube, Hulu, PlutoTV etc. for more streaming options right within Kodi!
- Customizable interface – Enjoy Sling TV channels on the Kodi interface with customizable skins and layouts.
Below is a quick comparison between the Sling TV app and Kodi addon:
|Feature||Sling TV App||Sling TV Kodi Addon|
|Stream Sling TV channels||Yes||Yes|
|Mix other streaming sources||No||Yes|
|Works across all devices||No||Yes|
Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Sling TV on Kodi
- Kodi installed on your streaming device
- Stable internet connection
- Active Sling TV subscription
Now let‘s get you set up with live TV streaming through the Sling addon on Kodi!
1. Open the Add-ons Menu in Kodi
From the Kodi home screen, click on Add-ons in the left sidebar menu. This is where you manage and install all addons.
2. Launch the Add-on Browser
Within the Add-ons tab, locate and click on the open box icon labeled "Install from repository". This will open the browser to install Kodi repositories and addons.
3. Select the Official Kodi Repository
You will see a list of available Kodi repositories based on what you have installed. Find and choose the "Kodi Add-on repository". This contains vetted Kodi-approved addons.
4. Open the Video Add-ons Section
In the repository, browse to the "Video add-ons" category. This is where you‘ll find the Sling TV addon.
5. Install the Sling TV Add-on
Scroll through the list of video addons until you see "Sling TV". Select it, then confirm the installation by clicking the bottom right Install button.
Kodi will now download and install the addon. Wait for the "Add-on installed" confirmation message.
6. Access the Add-on from the Home Screen
Once installed, go back to the Kodi home page. Click on Add-ons in the sidebar again, then open Video add-ons and select the Sling TV addon icon to launch it.
7. Sign in to Your Sling TV Account
The Sling TV addon will ask you to sign in with your Sling TV credentials. Enter your account email and password, then select Sign In.
After signing in successfully, you will have full access to stream all your Sling TV live channels and on-demand programming directly within the Kodi interface! Just browse to the channel or program and select Play.
If you encountered any hiccups while installing or using the Sling TV addon, here are some troubleshooting tips:
Addon fails to install – This is often due to unstable internet connection, using an outdated Kodi version or addon dependency issues. Try restarting Kodi and reinstalling. Make sure you‘re on Kodi 19 or later.
Can‘t sign in to Sling – Double check your Sling TV credentials. Also try reauthorizing the addon by going to the Sling website and signing out, then back in.
Black screen when playing channels – The addon may be having issues retrieving streams. Force close Kodi and clear cache from Settings > Addons > Manage Dependencies.
Buffering issues – Low internet bandwidth can disrupt streams. Try wired ethernet connection or adjust Kodi buffering settings. A good VPN can also boost speeds.
For any other problems, these general Kodi troubleshooting steps should help resolve addon issues. And as always, feel free to ask for help in the comments!
Enhance Streaming with a VPN
When using Kodi for streaming, I always recommend running it behind a VPN for better privacy and security. A VPN encrypts all traffic from your device so your internet provider can‘t see what you‘re accessing.
ISPs have been known to throttle Kodi streaming speeds. But a good VPN like Surfshark or NordVPN can bypass this thanks to their fast servers and unlimited bandwidth.
A VPN also hides your IP address which keeps your streaming activities anonymous. Kodi repositories often use insecure HTTP connections that could expose your IP if accessed without a VPN.
I personally use Surfshark since it offers great speeds for just $2.30/month and allows unlimited devices. This means I can install it on all my Kodi boxes and mobile devices. Their 30 day money back guarantee is perfect for trying it out risk-free.
So if you don‘t have one already, a quality VPN service is highly recommended for your privacy and security when using Kodi.
Get More from Your Media Center with the Best Kodi Addons
Now that you have live TV streaming capability through the Sling TV addon, let‘s look at some other must-have video addons to install:
- The Crew – Excellent for movies, TV shows and sports replays.
- YouTube – Official addon for YouTube videos. Great for music too!
- PlutoTV – 100+ free live TV channels across news, sports, movies and more.
- PBS Kids – Educational children‘s programming from the PBS network.
- Tubi – Massive on-demand library of free movies and shows.
There are also some great Kodi addons for live sports, PPV events and international content across various languages.
By mixing and matching your favorite video addons along with Sling TV, you can build the perfect cord-cutting media setup customized just for you! Everything will be easily accessible from Kodi‘s intuitive interface.
Compare Streaming Devices to Find the Best Kodi Box
Kodi is available on a wide range of devices but some work better than others for streaming large volumes of live and on-demand video content.
When choosing hardware for your home theater Kodi setup, opt for more powerful chipsets, higher RAM and Android based operating systems for maximum compatibility. Stay wired over Ethernet whenever possible.
Here is how the most popular streaming platforms for Kodi compare:
|Amazon Firestick||FireOS (Android)||Quad-core 1.7GHz||1GB||8GB||Best-selling and user friendly. Add-on availability restricted compared to pure Android.|
|NVIDIA Shield||Android TV||Quad-core 1.9GHz||3GB||16GB+||Most powerful. Great for high bitrate 4K and Atmos. Expensive.|
|Xiaomi Mi Box||Android TV||Quad-core 2.0GHz||2GB||8GB||Affordable Android TV option. Somewhat underpowered so can stutter with high bitrate files.|
|Raspberry Pi||Linux||1.5GHz ARM Quad/Dual-core||1-4GB||MicroSD card||Cheapest DIY option. Requires tinkering to get best performance.|
I currently use an NVIDIA Shield Pro 2019 model as my primary media player with Kodi 18.9 installed along with the Sling TV and other addons mentioned above. It handles everything I throw at it flawlessly!
The Shield‘s beefy hardware delivers a very smooth Kodi experience. It automatically adjusts video quality based on your connection speed and even upscales 1080p to 4K. If you want the very best, it‘s the box to get.
Well that wraps up this guide on integrating live TV into Kodi with the Sling TV addon. Now you can slash your cable bill while enjoying all your favorite programming from a simple unified interface. No more flipping between apps!
Let me know if you have any other questions about running Kodi. I‘m happy to help fellow cord cutters find the best streaming solutions. Feel free to drop a comment below!