All Sling TV subscribers get access to a DVR allowing them to record movies, shows, and live sports. Using Sling TV’s DVR is fairly straightforward but there are a few points to be aware of. In particular, Sling TV’s DVR is not unlimited, which does mean that understanding how it works and how to manage the storage space is all the more important.
In the past, having access to a DVR was more of a premium feature than a necessity. This was particularly the case with Sling TV as subscribers had to pay an additional monthly fee for the ability to record. Those days have gone, however, and all subscribers now have access to their own recording space.
While the recording experience has improved, it is still not without its issues and limitations, and the storage level is currently the main one to be aware of. All Sling TV subscribers have access to 50 hours of recording space for free. For those that want more space, the DVR Plus add-on costs an additional $5 per month and increases the recording storage limit from 50 to 200 hours.
At present, there is no option to upgrade a subscription to unlock more than 200 hours of recording space. Therefore, managing the DVR is the next best way to maximize the experience.
How to record an episode, movie or sports event
There are multiple ways to record a movie, episode or sports event, but one of the easiest is heading to the Guide section of the app and finding the listing for the show or movie that you want to record.
Instead of clicking the listing to begin watching, simply long-press the enter (select) key on the remote. This will then open a quick-access DVR menu with the option to record.
Another way is to search for the show, movie, or sports event by navigating to the search section, typing in the name, and then clicking on the correct result.
Once on the page, the user will be able to click on the Record button if it is a movie or one-time event to set the recording, or click on the Scheduled tab to select one of the future episodes or events to record.
Recording a series or sports team
An additional DVR benefit is the ability to record all episodes from a show or all events from a sports league. For example, Sling will offer three recording options when attempting to set up a recording for an upcoming game or match:
- New Events/Episodes
- New Events/Episodes & Reruns
- This Event/Episode Only
If you want to record every game from that league or every episode of a show, then hitting either New Events or New Events & Reruns will automatically set that up.
Obviously, if only looking to record the one episode or event then This Event Only is the right option to go with.
Unlike some other live TV services, Sling TV’s series recording options are a little more limited and especially when it comes to live sports. For example, services like fuboTV and YouTube TV also let subscribers auto-record all games for a specific team. In Sling TV’s case, sports are mostly limited to just the league or sport.
Manage recordings and the DVR library
Sling TV only offers a limited DVR, and with a maximum 200 hours of recording space, things can get messy quickly. If sticking with the standard 50 hours then staying on top of recordings and the DVR library is going to be all the more important, and especially if sharing an account with others.
One of the good things about Sling’s DVR interface is that it does show how much space a profile is taking up versus how much space the other profiles are consuming. This information can be seen via a storage bar at the top of the DVR section on select devices.
This storage bar is a good way to quickly identify if one person is using up too much space. Due to the way the DVR works, however, it is not possible to manage recordings from another profile without first switching to the profile. As mentioned, this feature is also not currently available on all devices.
For example, if accessing the Sling TV website through a browser, the user will only see details, including how much DVR storage has been used, for the account as a whole and not individual profiles.
Another Sling TV DVR management point to be aware of is that videos are automatically deleted as and when the storage level reaches capacity. While there is an option to lock individual recordings to ensure they don’t get deleted, Sling TV automatically deletes the oldest (watched) and unlocked recordings to make space when needed.
For those that would like to rewatch certain shows, movies or events that they’ve recorded, they will want to make sure they either lock those recordings or ensure there is always enough free space by manually deleting unwanted recordings.
Deleting recordings and making space
Deleting recordings and freeing up space is largely the same as creating recordings in the first place. So much so that whichever way someone sets up recording, it is highly likely they can use that same method to delete that recording.
Using a recurring show as an example, heading to the Guide section, finding the next episode that’s due to be recorded, clicking on the listing, and then on Record Options unlocks the option to Cancel Recordings.
The easiest way to delete recordings in general is through the DVR section of the app.
Once on the Recordings tab, users can click on an individual recording to open up its page and then select the Delete/Delete All option.
Alternatively, they can long-press the enter (select) button on the remote (while still in the Recordings tab) and then confirm the deletion.
Important note: if using the long-press method on a show or sports event, this will automatically delete all recorded episodes for that show (or events if it is sports-related).
If the recording has yet to take place, the same steps can also be used to cancel a future recording. For example, accessing the Scheduled section of the DVR and then selecting Record Options next to the video to be deleted. Alternatively, clicking on the listing and then on the Delete/Delete All option at the top of the page.
Sling TV DVR summary
Sling TV’s DVR experience isn’t perfect, but it is a lot better than it used to be. Subscribers get access to 50 hours of recording space for free and can upgrade to 200 hours at an additional $5 per month. Thanks to the addition of profile support in 2023, subscribers can also easily separate recordings by user.
However, with Sling TV’s DVR being limited, subscribers will need to be more mindful when it comes to DVR management. On some devices, it is possible to see which profiles are consuming too much space and manually delete recordings when needed. In cases where recordings aren’t manually deleted, and the DVR limit is reached, Sling TV will automatically delete recordings to make room for newer ones, starting with the oldest, watched videos.