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Sling TV DVR: Recording Cost, Upgrades & Limits Explained

Sling TV does offer cloud DVR for free, but an upgrade might be required for some subscribers.

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Sling TV provides subscribers with 10 hours of cloud DVR for free. Similar to other live TV streaming services, this is a cloud based-DVR where recordings are stored in the cloud and not locally on a device. While this means consumers won’t have to worry about recordings taking up physical space, Sling TV still imposes virtual limits on recordings. The number of hours is only one of the cloud DVR factors new and existing Sling TV subscribers should be aware of.

While Sling TV does come with a free cloud DVR, it is limited compared to other live TV streaming services. Sling’s “Cloud DVR Free” recording option provides ten hours to all subscribers. In addition to Cloud DVR Free, Sling also offers a “Cloud DVR Plus” option for those that need additional recording space. However, the upgrade costs an additional fee each month and is still limited compared to other services.

Cloud DVR Free

Sling TV’s Cloud DVR Free includes ten hours of recording space. As a result, subscribers using the free DVR are going to be severely limited in how many movies and shows they can record. Due to this, the Cloud DVR Free feature requires an additional degree of management by the user, if they want to maintain any control over which recordings remain available.

For those that simply leave the management to Sling TV, then the oldest recordings will be automatically deleted when the capacity is reached and space is needed for additional recordings. For those that rely on the free version, there is no way to protect recordings, other than manually deleting movies and show episodes to make space for scheduled recordings.

Sling delete recordings
Sling DVR requires additional management

While Cloud DVR Free does come with limitations, one of them is not fast-forwarding. In other words, Sling TV’s free DVR does allow subscribers to skip through commercials.

Cloud DVR Plus

Cloud DVR Plus is Sling’s solution for those in need of more recording space. This Sling TV add-on costs an additional $5 per month and increases the DVR limit to 50 hours. There is no option to further upgrade beyond Cloud DVR Plus, making 50 hours the absolute maximum any Sling TV subscriber can currently get.

Additional recording space is not the only Cloud DVR Plus benefit as the upgrade also allows subscribers better management over recordings. For example, besides the lesser need to free up space for upcoming recordings, Cloud DVR Plus also comes with a “Protect” option.

Essentially, subscribers can select the “Protect” option on any recording to guarantee it won’t be deleted. In cases where the storage capacity is reached and Sling TV’s auto-delete feature is freeing up space, it will skip these protected recordings. When protected, recordings remain available for as long as the subscriber wants.

How Cloud DVR Free and Plus compare:

Cloud DVR FreeCloud DVR Plus
Free$5 per month
10 hours50 hours
No protectionProtect recordings

Additional DVR limitations

Besides the greater number of recording hours and the option to protect movies and shows from auto-deletion, the Cloud DVR Free and Plus options are relatively the same. This is not only in terms of features, such as skipping the ads, but also in terms of limitations.

For example, whether using Cloud DVR Free or Plus, there are some Sling TV channels that can’t be recorded.

Cloud DVR is not available on the following channels:

  • ACC Network Extra
  • ESPN3
  • Local Now
  • SEC Network+

Adding Cloud DVR Plus

Upgrading from Cloud DVR Free to Cloud DVR Plus is pretty easy to do either through the Sling TV website or one of the service’s many platform apps.

Upgrading to Cloud DVR Plus via website:

  1. Visit Sling TV website
  2. Sign in if needed
  3. Click/tap on the Settings icon
  4. Select “Manage Account” under “Account”
  5. Click/tap on “Change subscription”
  6. Tap the expand (down arrow) beside “Sling Blue Extras” or “Sling Orange Extras”
  7. Locate “Cloud DVR Plus” in the expanded list
  8. Click/tap the “+Add” button
  9. Scroll to the bottom of the page
  10. Click/tap “Review”
  11. Click/Tap “Submit Order” to confirm changes

Not all Sling TV apps offer the option to make account changes, so the option to do so (and the exact navigation instructions) may vary, depending on the device and platform. However, on most devices the option will be visible in the settings section.

Sling recording app upgrade
The upgrade is typically under DVR

Upgrading to Cloud DVR Plus via app:

  1. Open Sling TV app
  2. Tap on Settings icon
  3. Navigate to the “DVR” tab
  4. Under “Cloud DVR” tap “Upgrade”
  5. Tap “+Add”
  6. Confirm changes

Regardless of whether upgrading via the web browser or a Sling TV app, once Cloud DVR Plus has been added, it will take immediate effect, increasing the recording limit from 10 to 50 hours.

Downgrading from Cloud DVR Plus to the free version works in much the same way. However, subscribers should be aware that downgrading will result in Sling TV automatically deleting recordings to make sure the space is under the 10 hours included with the free version. This includes deleting viewed recordings first, followed by unwatched recordings based on their age.

The one exception to the auto-deletion is any recordings that were previously marked as protected. If the number of protected recordings exceed the 10-hour Cloud DVR Free limit, then Sling TV will be unable to record any new movies or shows. That is until the user manually deletes enough protected recordings to free up enough space for scheduled recordings.

Sling TV scheduled recordings
Sling TV scheduled recordings

Sling TV cloud DVR summary

Sling TV offers all subscribers 10 hours of free cloud DVR. Those in need of additional recording space can upgrade through the Cloud DVR Plus add-on. At $5 per month, Cloud DVR Plus increases the limit to 50 hours and also adds the option to protect recording from being automatically deleted to make room for new recordings.

Besides Cloud DVR Plus, there are no additional upgrade options available, making 50 recording hours the absolute maximum limit currently available to Sling TV subscribers.

Read more: How to Cancel Sling TV or Temporarily Pause a Subscription

John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Clarity to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingclarity.com or on Twitter

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