These two cable TV alternatives have several major differences — and price is only the beginning.
Hulu Live vs. Sling TV: Everything You Need to Know
Over the past few years, I’ve tested all of the major live TV streaming services and have used Hulu Live and Sling the most. This article will compare the key features of the services.
Table of Contents:
Sling TV is cheaper and provides more flexible streaming plans than Hulu + Live TV.
Sling has three main bundles: Sling Orange, Sling Blue and Sling Orange + Blue. The first two are $30 each, but you can combine them and pay just $45 per month.
Meanwhile, Hulu + Live TV’s single streaming bundle is $54.99 per month and includes Hulu’s on-demand content. It goes up to $64.99 per month in December 2020.
|Hulu + Live TV||Sling TV|
The figures mentioned above are only starting prices. Both services offer premium channels and additional features that could potentially drive up your monthly costs.
The most important factor when choosing a live TV streaming service is likely the channel lineup. If you only care about a handful of channels or so, one of Sling TV’s $30 plans could be the cheapest option.
However, the $45 Sling Orange + Blue plan is more well-rounded and easier to compare to Hulu + Live TV.
Hulu + Live TV vs. Sling TV Channel Lineups
Hulu with Live TV: $54.99/month
$64.99/month as of December 2020
Sling TV “Orange + Blue” plan: $45/month
ABC ABC News Live ACC Network (ACCN) AMC
Animal Planet AXS TV
Big Ten Network (BTN) Bloomberg Bloomberg
Boomerang Bravo Bravo
Cartoon Network Cartoon Network
CBS CBSN CBS Sports Network Cheddar Cheddar
CNBC CNN CNN
CNN International Comedy Central
Cozi TV CW Discovery Channel Discovery Channel
Disney Channel Disney Channel
Disney Junior Disney XD E! E!
ESPN College Extra ESPNews ESPNU Food Network Food Network
FOX FOX (select markets)
Fox Business Network Fox News Channel Fox News Channel
Fox Sports 1 (FS1) Fox Sports 1 (FS1)
Fox Sports 2 (FS2) Freeform Freeform
FXM FXX Fuse
Golf Channel HGTV HGTV
History Channel History Channel
Investigation Discovery (ID) Investigation Discovery (ID)
National Geographic National Geographic
Nat Geo Wild NBC NBC (select markets)
Olympic Channel Oxygen Pop QVC SEC Network Smithsonian Channel Stadium
TCM (Turner Classic Movies) Telemundo TLC TLC
Travel Channel Travel Channel
Universal Kids USA USA
One important note: Sling TV offers fewer local stations that its competitors, including Hulu Live. You may need a digital antenna to pick up networks like ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC.
Hulu Live and Sling TV both offer free cloud DVR with limitations. You must upgrade to fast forward through commercials with Hulu Live, while Sling only gives you 10 hours of storage at no additional charge.
- Hulu + Live TV: 50 hours of cloud DVR included; $9.99 per month for 200 hours and the ability to fast forward through commercials
- Sling TV: 10 hours of cloud DVR included; $5 per month for 50 hours
Whether you choose Hulu Live or Sling TV, chances are your existing streaming media player will be compatible. The two services support Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and more.
For first-time streamers, Team Clark recommends the $30 Roku Express. You can use that with either service!
Hulu Live subscribers can watch on two screens at the same time or pay $9.99 per month for unlimited screens.
With Sling TV, it’s a little more complicated. Sling Orange is a single-stream plan, while Sling Blue allows for you to view up to three screens simultaneously.
If you purchase the Sling Orange + Blue plan, that gets you up to four devices at the same time.
Both Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV have made improvements to the user experience since they first launched, specifically to the cable-like grid guides.
Hulu Live now has a two-week grid guide, while Sling TV lets you see what’s coming up a week in advance.
In addition to the grid guides, the services have multiple ways to help you find something to watch by searching specific channels, genres and even on-demand content.
Give yourself 10 minutes with either service and I think you’ll be able to figure out the navigation.
For cord-cutters on a budget, Sling TV is a great place to start. But if you’re willing to pay a higher monthly price, Hulu + Live TV has a lot to offer — including unlimited access to Hulu’s on-demand library.
Still torn? Go back to the channel lineups and see which service has more of your must-have networks.
If you’re leaning toward one service over the other, start by signing up for a free trial of either Hulu Live or Sling TV. You can always cancel before the trial period expires to avoid being charged.
That’s the great thing about streaming services. The free trials let you test them out until you find a favorite.
And Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV aren’t your only options. I’ve put together a list of the pros and cons of the best major live TV streaming services here.
Do you prefer Hulu Live or Sling? Leave your review in the comments below!