Over-the-top streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have changed how we watch TV. But what about consumers looking to cut the cord on cable but who still want access to popular live TV channels? Services like Sterling TV offer a way to stream live TV over the internet at a fraction of the cost of cable.
In this comprehensive review, we‘ll explore everything Sterling TV has to offer including features, channel lineup, pricing, legality, and more. Whether you‘re considering switching to IPTV for live streaming or just curious about how these services work, read on for an in-depth look at what you need to know.
What is Sterling TV?
Sterling TV is an IPTV or internet protocol television service that offers live TV channels streamed directly over the internet.
With IPTV, live cable channels are delivered via online video streams rather than through traditional cable, satellite, or antenna feeds. This allows subscribers to access a cable-like TV experience completely through internet streaming.
According to ResearchAndMarkets.com, the global IPTV market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 10% from 2020 to 2027 as consumers continue cutting the cord on cable. Sterling TV aims to capitalize on this fast-growing trend.
Unlike major live TV streaming services like YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV that provide licensed streaming, Sterling TV is not an authorized live TV provider. This raises questions around the legality of the service which we will address in-depth later in this review.
So how exactly does Sterling TV work and what do they offer subscribers? Let‘s take a look!
Sterling TV Features and Channel Lineup
Sterling TV provides over 1,000 live TV channels spanning a variety of popular categories including entertainment, news, sports, movies, kids, lifestyle and more.
The service markets itself as a cheaper alternative to expensive cable TV packages while still providing many of the same popular channels cable offers.
But beyond just providing live TV streams, here are some of the key features and benefits offered by Sterling TV:
Huge Channel Lineup
With over 1,000 channels, Sterling TV offers one of the largest channel lineups among IPTV providers. While cable TV can easily run over $100/month, Sterling provides streaming access to many of those same channels for much cheaper.
This includes major cable channels like:
- Entertainment: A&E, AMC, BET, Comedy Central, Discovery, Disney, E!, Bravo, MTV, VH1, TLC
- News: CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, BBC World News
- Sports: ESPN, NFL Network, MLB Network, NBA TV
- Kids: Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network
- Movies: AMC, IFC, TCM, Sundance, FXM
While local broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox are not included, you still get most major cable channels that account for majority of non-local TV viewing.
Sterling TV allows for either 1 or 4 simultaneous connections depending on your package. This enables viewing on multiple devices at the same time throughout your home.
In comparison, some competing IPTV services only allow a single connection which significantly limits streaming.
Sterling offers Cloud DVR capabilities allowing you to record live TV to watch later. While storage limits are capped depending on your package, this is a helpful feature not common among cheaper IPTV options.
In addition to live channels, Sterling provides a library of movies and TV shows available on-demand. While not as robust as standalone services like Netflix or Hulu, it‘s a nice supplementary source of content.
Big PPV events like boxing matches, MMA fights, and WWE wrestling are available for purchase within the service. These events typically cost $60 or more on cable.
Sterling TV can be used in conjunction with a VPN to mask your streaming activity and location. There are no IP restrictions built into the service.
Now let‘s take a deeper look at Sterling TV‘s channel and pricing options.
Sterling TV Packages & Pricing
Sterling TV offers a range of packages based on number of connections, subscription length, and extras.
1 Connection Plans
- $79.99 quarterly
- $139.99 annually
This basic package includes 1 simultaneous stream and the complete channel lineup. Great for individuals or couples looking to replace their cable TV plan.
4 Connections Plans
- $129.99 quarterly
- $249.99 annually
By upgrading to 4 connections, you can stream Sterling TV on up to 4 devices concurrently throughout your home. Multiple streams are key for families and households.
- Adult channels – $10/month
- Premium sports packages – $10-15/month
- Cloud DVR Plus – $5/month for 200 hours
Adult content and sports packages like NFL Sunday Ticket require additional monthly fees to unlock.
For Cloud DVR, the base plans include 50 hours (1 connection) or 100 hours (4 connections) of storage. You can upgrade to 200 hours for an extra $5/month.
Compared to popular live TV streaming services like YouTube TV ($64.99/month) and Hulu Live TV ($69.99/month), Sterling TV offers significant savings especially for families looking to ditch cable.
Next, let‘s explore Sterling TV‘s live channel lineup to see how it stacks up to traditional cable packages.
Sterling TV Channel Lineup & Categories
Across entertainment, news, sports, movies, kids, and more, Sterling TV provides extensive channel options in line with full cable packages.
- Animal Planet
- BBC America
- Comedy Central
- Discovery Channel
- Disney Channel
- Food Network
- Hallmark Channel
- History Channel
- Investigation Discovery
- Travel Channel
You get pretty much every major entertainment and lifestyle channel on basic cable. Great for casual viewing and channel surfing.
- BBC World News
- Bloomberg TV
- Cheddar News
- Fox News
A solid selection of US and international news networks to stay informed.
- beIN Sports
- Big Ten Network
- CBS Sports Network
- MLB Network
- NBA TV
- NFL Network
- NHL Network
- NBC Golf
- Olympic Channel
- PAC-12 Network
- SEC Network
- Tennis Channel
Availability of niche sports networks like NFL RedZone, NBA League Pass, and MLB Extra Innings will vary based on package. But you get the major national sports channels.
- Cartoon Network
- Discovery Kids
- Disney Channel
- Disney Junior
- Disney XD
Options for young children through teens. Most popular kids‘ channels available.
- FX Movies
- Sundance TV
A decent selection of movie channels to catch films. Lacks premiums like HBO and Showtime.
- Africa Channel
- Al Jazeera
- ART Arabic
- ART Cima
- Channel One Russia
- DW Arabic
- MBC Drama
- Melody Classic
- NTV America
- Rai Italia
- SET Asia
- TV Asia
- TV Globo
- Zee TV
Dozens of foreign language channels spanning Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Great for expatriates and language learners.
The exact channel lineup will vary slightly based on package. But overall Sterling TV offers broad coverage across all the major TV categories, giving you a very cable-like experience.
While streaming unauthorized live TV does carry risks (which we‘ll cover next), the range of content is a big draw for many consumers.
Is Sterling TV Legal & Safe to Use?
Whenever evaluating live TV streaming services, an important question arises – is accessing this content legal?
Since Sterling TV is not an officially licensed live TV provider, there is ambiguity around the legality of the streams. Without deals in place, networks like ESPN, HGTV, and Animal Planet could potentially accuse Sterling TV of piracy.
Reviews cannot definitively determine whether Sterling TV holds the broadcasting rights for this content. It‘s a complex legal grey area. But illicit streaming carries risks that consumers need to be aware of, including:
Unauthorized live TV services are prone to sudden channel blackouts if networks allege copyright infringement and force streams offline. Users could lose access to channels without notice.
Letters From ISPs
Internet service providers can send copyright infringement warnings if they detect users streaming illegal content through services like Sterling TV. Repeated notices could lead to service termination.
In rare cases, consumers streaming illegal content have faced civil lawsuits from television networks totaling thousands in damages.
Downloading apps outside official stores raises the potential for malware. Users should be vigilant with security practices.
Unauthorized apps pose privacy risks as personal information could be logged and sold. A VPN for Firestick or Android TV is recommended.
While certainly not all users experience legal issues, the risks are real when using unlicensed live TV providers. Tread carefully.
How Does Sterling TV Compare to Other IPTV Services?
Sterling TV competes against dozens of live TV apps in a crowded IPTV market. How does it stack up versus other popular services?
Vs. Falcon IPTV
Falcon TV provides around 600 channels compared to Sterling‘s 1,000+. But Falcon includes more regional sports networks. Both offer Cloud DVR and multiple connections. Overall, Sterling TV has the content edge.
Vs. Players Klub IPTV
Players Klub has a much smaller channel lineup (~350) lacking many major cable networks. But they include premiums like HBO and Showtime that Sterling TV omits. Sterling TV‘s larger channel selection is preferable for most.
Vs. Beast TV
Beast TV roughly matches Sterling TV‘s huge channel count and connection allowances. However, Beast has faced more legal pressure and shutdowns. Sterling appears more reliable currently.
Vs. Rocket Streams
Rocket Streams has a slightly lower starting price but fewer channels (~800) and features. Sterling TV has the superior content and apps.
In terms of channel variety, features like multi-connections and Cloud DVR, overall stability and value, Sterling TV stands out as a top option in the crowded IPTV market as of this writing. But legality remains an open question.
Final Thoughts on Sterling TV
- Robust channel lineup comparable to cable
- Competitive pricing that undercuts traditional TV
- Helpful features like Cloud DVR and multi-streams
- Access to live pay-per-view events
- Legal concerns around unauthorized live TV streaming
- No guarantee of channel availability or longevity
- Lacks premium channels like HBO and Showtime
- Requires sideloading apps onto devices
The Bottom Line…
Sterling TV offers an enticing cable-like experience with tremendous channel variety at a fraction of the cost of traditional pay TV. But without licensing deals in place, the legality of these streams remains questionable. Savvy cord cutters must weigh risks and personal streaming ethics. Tread carefully.
For consumers seeking a legal and more peace-of-mind live TV option, alternatives like Sling TV, FuboTV, YouTube TV and Hulu Live are available that offer many popular channels through official licensed live streaming. While pricier than unsigned IPTV, authorized services bring far fewer legal concerns and headaches.
In closing, I hope this detailed breakdown provides helpful perspective on what Sterling TV provides, where they excel, and the potential pitfalls around unauthorized live TV streaming. Stay informed and happy viewing!