Hulu Vs Sling TV: Which Live TV Streaming Service Is Better For Cord Cutters
Live TV streaming services can have wildly different channel offering, features, and prices. We compare two of our top tested options, Editors Choice Hulu and Sling TV, to help you determine which service is worth your money.
|The Bottom Line|
Hulu is a dependable option for streaming new and classic shows as well as live TV on nearly every platform. It’s a top choice among video streaming services.
|$6.99 per month $64.99 per month||$35 per month $50 per month|
|Concurrent Streams||2 or Unlimited and 3||1 , 3|
|On-Demand Movies and TV Shows|
|Offline Downloads on Mobile|
Cord cutters looking to watch live TV need to navigate a complicated landscape of video streaming services, all of which have different channel lineups, capabilities, and monthly prices. This head-to-head matchup between Hulu and Sling TV explores the variations between those services across several categories.
Recap: Is Sling TV Worth It
If you’re looking to cut the cable cord, Sling TV is a great live streaming option. First of all, Sling gives you three cheap plans to choose from to fit your TV-watching needs.
Do you have kids? Get Sling Orange. Want more news and lifestyle channels? Get Sling Blue. Need more sports? Get Sling Orange + Blue.
You’ll get 50 hours of DVR storage space and you can enjoy on-demand content and live channels on the go.
This streaming service is perfect if you fit in one of these categories and if youre also looking to save a buck. Sling is not for you if you’d like lots of channels or need more than 200 hours of DVR storage space.
Hulu Vs Sling TV Plans
The subscription plan is the first thing when we compare Hulu and Sling TV streaming services. Most of the time, the plan alonewithout any further details about the providerwill either attract or repel you. This is to say that the features, the number, and nature of channels available are essential factors when you choose a TV streaming service. And what do you get?
A Hulu +Live TV subscription brings you a well over 65 live TV channels combined with the Hulu streaming library at the cost of $54.99/monththis is lower than the monthly subscription of YouTube TV. Although not famous, Hulu has another subscription plan: Live TV-only package selling for $ 53.99 a month.
On the other end, Sling TV is much cheaper with Sling Blue selling at $30 and Sling an orange plan for $30 a month. However, the two plans have fewer channels when compared to Hulu TV. With all things considered, Philo TV package is cheaper than both Sling TV and Hulu with the basic subscription going for $20 a month.
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Alternatives To Sling TV
While Sling offers an affordable streaming alternative, its limitations and inability to customize your experience may leave you searching for alternative platforms that offer broader choices. Whether you are searching for movie channels, livestream events, direct access to your favorite TV shows, past seasons, or a customizable viewing experience, these alternative options will help you meet your goals.
A Closer Look At Roku
Roku is another digital media player that allows the user to stream content. Some of the various services include app access, live-streaming, and access to more than half a million movies and TV episodes.
Unlike Sling, Roku doesnt have a monthly subscription plan. Instead, youd need to make a one time purchase of the device. After this, you can access everything available on Roku free of charge.
However, there are multiple tiers of streaming devices you can purchase
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Fact : Sling TV Has A Stronger Selection Of Apps
Both services cover all the most popular devices among cord-cutters, but Sling TV has more apps overall compare to Philo.
This is perhaps no surprise, given that Sling has been around and developing apps for more than seven years, while Philo has been out a little over four years.
One nice thing about internet TV is that none of the internet TV providers lock you in with contracts. If youre waiting for a Philo app to come out, you can just subscribe to Sling TV or some other internet TV service and then switch over when Philo rolls out whatever app you need.
What You Get With Sling TV
Sling TV offers multiple tier packages that provide you digital media content. However, they can be confusing at times because their tiers cost the same price. Youll be paying the same amount, just for different channels.
For starters, Sling Orange is their standard tier and is priced at $30 a month. With this package, youll gain access to 32 live channels such as SNN, Disney Channel, Lifetime, etc.
Although the plan does have one major limitation, using Sling Orange, youll only be able to stream one channel at a time.
At $30 a month, you can also use Sling Blue. Sling Blue features more than 50 channels but doesnt include the same media as Sling Orange. Some major channels that arent included are Disney or ESPN.
However, the main benefit of Sling Blue is that youre able to multi-stream. Youll be able to stream on up to three devices at once. Streaming on multiple devices is beneficial for families or people with roommates.
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Do Sling And Philo Have Free Trials
All of the streaming services Ive tried have offered free trials, typically for a week.
Previously, Philo offered a 2-day trial with only a phone number required. However, this has been discontinued.
The 2 Main Packages Sling Orange And Sling Blue Offer 30+ Channels For $35 A Month Or $50 Combined
Sling’s two main offerings are Sling Orange and Sling Blue. Each plan is available to stream for $35 a month. You can also combine the two packages for $50 a month, giving you access to all 50+ channels Sling offers. For a limited time, new customers can get their first month of the Orange or Blue plan for $25 off. For the combined package, new customers receive $30 off their first month.
Channels largely overlap between Blue and Orange, but there are a few differences that might push you to choose one over the other. The channels that overlap include standouts like Food Network, Lifetime, AMC, CNN, and more. Meanwhile, Disney and ESPN are only included with Sling Orange. In their place, Sling Blue offers networks like the Discovery Channel and a slate of Fox-owned and NBC-owned channels.
Blue also comes with local NBC and Fox networks, but only in select markets. Sling Orange doesn’t offer any local channels, so if you’re hoping to catch your local nightly news, Sling Blue is the way to go.
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How We Test Cable TV Alternatives
To determine the best streaming services, we evaluate them by using the services across a wide range of devices, from streaming boxes and smart TVs to mobile apps. This is a great way to see which services stream smoothly and which should be ignored.
As we use these streaming services, we also rate what their interfaces look like. The best streaming services offer clean menus and make it easy to discover new things to watch. Next, we compare the channel lineups, which can vary widely as you go from one service to the other. Some streaming services also offer multiple packages, so we take that into account before arriving at our rating.
Last but not least, we consider price and value. The best streaming services can either augment cable or help you cut the cord completely. So we weigh the features that youre getting for the money versus the competition.
- : All about the free streaming service
- How to cut the cord and be free of cable
Sling TV Channels: The Sling Orange And Sling Blue Plans
Here’s the gist of Sling TV: there are two main tracks. Yes, you can call them plans, but it’s almost easier to think of them as the two main trunks of a rather large tree. They split off at first but also intermingle a bit.
Those two Sling TV plans tracks, whatever are Sling Orange and Sling Blue. You’ll mostly find different channels in each, though there are a handful of common channels. You’ll want to look through each plan to see if one has more channels that you want than the other.
For instance: If all you care about is ESPN and ESPN2, you can get those in the Sling Orange plan and not have to pay for anything else.
- Customers can pick either Sling Orange or Sling Blue each costs $10 a month the first month, and $35 a month after that.
- Or, you can choose to get both the Sling Orange + Blue bundle which costs $20 for the first month and then $50 a month after that.
- From there, each track has seven additional “Extras” that add additional channels at various pricing points.
There’s where the faux a la carte feeling comes in. You’re not locking yourself in to packages as big as AT& T TV Now, but you’re also not merely paying for the channels you know you want to watch. There will be some channels that you don’t in the plan that you don’t need.
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Our Final Take: Is Sling Orange Or Sling Blue Worth It
Sling Orange and Sling Blue are both decent live TV streaming packages for the money, but we prefer Blue for its larger channel selection and three simultaneous streams.
Then again, if youre a single streamer who just wants their ESPN and Disney, Orange is the obvious pick.
We really like them together: In CableTV.coms Best Live TV Streaming Services rundown, Sling Orange + Blue is one of our top picks. With it, you get a wider choice of channels, and its sports add-on package gives you access to all of the athletic action you can get through streaming.
If you can spring for the extra $15, we definitely recommend Sling Orange + Blue. Otherwise, Sling Blue is a worthwhile budget choice.
Which Channels Does Sling TV Have
We recommend Sling Orange if you want a package with kids and lifestyle channels, and you’ll want Sling Blue if you want more news and sports channels.
Sling Orange + Blue gives you fewer than 10 more channels than Sling Blue does on its own, but you’ll get four EPIX channels and a few more sports channels.
Well make it simple with a nice list of some of the channels in each plan, or check out the full channel lineup. And if you want to find the best section of all, scroll down to see the sports channels each plan offers.
Sling Orange includes the following channels:
- A& E
Sling Blue includes the following channels:
- BBC America
Sling Orange + Blue includes the following channels:
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Which Streaming Service Is Right For You
Hulu + Live TV is best for a combination of on-demand shows, movies, documentaries, Hulu originals and live TV, and Sling TV is best for streamers on a budget. Deciding on Sling vs. Hulu Live might be easier if you consider user experience, extras, and more. Read on for a breakdown of some of the benefits and potential disadvantages of Hulu Live TV and Sling.
Sling Orange Vs Sling Blue
Dont fret too much if you cant decide between the two. In our opinion, Sling Orange is suitable for individuals using the service with one device. However, Sling Blue is better for multiple people using fewer channels.
But, you dont have to be limited to just one plan. If you like what both packages have to offer, then you can get Sling Orange + Blue. The monthly plan costs $45 but gives you all the benefits of both packages.
In our opinion, the combined option is a steal. If you were to get both plans individually, then youd be paying $60. Of course, both plans have overlap in the channels offered. Thats why Sling Orange + Blue is discounted.
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Sling TV Alternatives Are Coming
A few months ago Hulu announced that they will be rolling out a new live TV service to compete directly with Sling TV. The basic plan will cost only $35.99, the midrange plan $49.99 and a top level $60 plan. You can also add on video services such as HBO.
Directly following Hulus announcement word spread that YouTube is also planning to launch an alternative to Sling TV. It is expected that YouTubes live TV streaming service will launch later this year.
DirecTV have long been known for offering Pay TV subscriptions however now they plan to enter the world of streaming. They have announced that they will be offering 3 different live TV streaming plans.
Very little is known about VIDGO however they have recently announced their entry into the live TV streaming marketing with the following
SFN TV NOW
The final Sling TV alternative comes from SFN TV NOW. Their service is currently available and starts at only $5. They offer a large range of sports channels as well as non-sports channels for those that dont like sports. You can check it out over at the SFN TV NOW website.
Other Options To Consider
Sling TV is an intriguing option if youre using an antenna to get local channels, because it doesnt include much local coverage on its own. As such, its starting price of $35 per month is a lot lower than other bundles, and you can add channel packs that otherwise might be cost-prohibitive. On the downside, integrating local over-the-air channels with the Sling app requires extra hardware. Also, some channelssuch as regional Fox Sports networksarent available with Sling TV at all.
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Cable Alternatives Are Live TV Without The Headache
Tired of being tethered to your cable box, paying equipment rental fees or being stuck in a long-term contract? When you cut the cord and watch TV online with Sling, all of that goes away. Sign up for as low as $35/month and add or drop Extras whenever you want to keep your lineup fresh. You can change or cancel your subscription at any time, and never have to worry about being hit with hidden fees or additional service charges.
Did you know that by 2020 local channels like CBS, ABC and FOX could cost you over $300/year? But unlike the other guys, Sling doesnt charge you for local channels. We hook you up with an over-the-air antenna instead so you can watch your locals for free.
Who Offers More Channel Add
Hulu + Live TV offers HBO Max, Cinemax, Showtime, and Starz premium channel add-ons, along with two package add-ons: Entertainment and Español. The Entertainment package is an extra $7.99 per month and includes American Heroes Channel, CNBC World, Cooking Channel, Destination America, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, DIY Network, FYI, LMN, and Science. The $4.99-per-month Español package features CNN en Español, Discovery en Español, Discovery Familia, ESPN Deportes, History Channel en Español, and Universo.
Sling TV offers an extensive number of add-ons. The add-ons you get in each available package depends on whether you subscribe to Sling Orange, Sling Blue, or both. You can choose between Sports Extra, Comedy Extra, Kids Extra, News Extra, Lifestyle Extra, Hollywood Extra, and Heartland Extra packages. Every package except for the Sports Plus add-on costs an additional $5 per month. That said, you can bundle the Kids Extra, News Extra, Lifestyle Extra, and Comedy Extra for $12 per month. Additionally, you can add every available Extra to your subscription, along with the Cloud DVR add-on , for an extra $20 per month.
While Hulu + Live TVs offerings are likely to meet the needs of most subscribers, the sheer number of choices that Sling TV offers makes it the more flexible option by far. Many of the Sling TVs add-ons simply arent available on other live TV streaming services.
Winner: Sling TV
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Number Of Screen Comparison
TV streaming becomes enjoyable when different members of the family can watch different programs at the same time. Hulu +Live TV subscription allows you to stream your favorite shows and live TV on two separate screens at the same time.
Besides the two screens available with the basic plan, Hulu has an add-on to which you can subscribe at $15 a month and enjoy unlimited screenplay on various devices at the same time. Even though the screen addition add-on may seem expensive, we think it is worth it given that there is no limit on the maximum number of screens.
The case of the number of simultaneous screens is somewhat different for the Sling TV packages with the Blue plan allowing at most three screens streaming at the same time while the Orange plan allows a single screen.
We could not find a screen addition add-on for either of the Sling plans, and this is a big letdown to Sling customers.