5 Ways to Upgrade Sling TV and Still Pay Less Than YouTube TV

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TV displaying Sling TV logo in front of a channel guide offering options to upgrade Sling TV and still pay less than YouTube TV
Image Credit: Dreamstime

After YouTube TV raised its monthly price by $15, many cord-cutters may be giving Sling TV a second look.

YouTube TV provides a better channel lineup and cloud DVR compared to Sling TV, but there are several ways to improve the Sling TV experience and still save money.

In this article, I’ll share five tips to make Sling TV work for you. Let’s get started!

1. Get a Digital Antenna

If you want local stations, Sling TV offers only FOX and NBC — and only in select cities. That means your best bet is to invest in a digital antenna for a lifetime of free over-the-air TV.

For those who live not far from broadcast towers, an indoor HDTV antenna will do. They cost less than $40.

If you live in a rural area, you may need to purchase an attic or roof antenna to pick up your local ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and PBS stations. Go to AntennaWeb.org to find the best solution.

2. Sign Up for CBS All Access 

Not interested in purchasing an antenna? There’s another option to pick up CBS programming — CBS All Access.

This is a standalone streaming service that combines CBS live TV and on-demand programming, including local news in many cities. It costs $5.99 per month after a 7-day free trial.

3. Subscribe to Hulu On-Demand 

Now that CBS is covered, you may want to add Hulu’s on-demand service to watch past and present shows from ABC, NBC and FOX.

Browse Hulu’s streaming library to see if current season episodes of your favorite shows are included. These programs are typically available the day after they air.

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Hulu’s ad-supported plan starts at $5.99 per month. You can bundle it with Disney+ and ESPN+ for $12.99.

TIP: For a free selection of select network programming, download the individual apps for ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and PBS. Learn more in our guide to watching local channels without cable.

4. Consider Sling Extras 

Sling TV’s base plans (Sling Orange and Sling Blue) start at $30 a month each, but you can combine them and pay $45 a month. Still, you won’t get nearly as many channels as YouTube TV offers.

However, Sling Extras may be a solution. These are add-on channel bundles, sorted by category, that start at $5 per month.

For example, the Lifestyle Extra add-on provides access to more than 10 channels including VH1, BET and Hallmark Channel. It’s just $5 per month.

Other Extra add-ons include sports, comedy and kids networks. Prices vary.

As of this writing, Sling TV offered four Extra packages (kids, news, lifestyle and comedy) for a discounted price of only $12 per month.

Premium Extras are also available and provide access to networks like Showtime and Starz.

5. Upgrade the Cloud DVR

If you’re used to YouTube TV’s unlimited cloud DVR, Sling TV’s offering may be disappointing. Its base plans include just 10 hours of cloud DVR, but you can upgrade to 50 hours for $5 per month.

With Cloud DVR Plus, subscribers can protect their recordings from being automatically deleted when storage is full.

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Another option takes me back to a previous tip. If you have access to Hulu’s on-demand library of 80,000+ TV shows and movies, you may find yourself using Sling TV’s DVR less frequently.

Final Thought 

Starting at $30 per month, Sling TV is a far better deal compared to YouTube TV’s new $65 monthly price. However, some adjustments may be required to make Sling TV work for you.

Look at it this way: You can sign up for Sling TV and the services below, and it’s still cheaper than YouTube TV!

Service Price 
Sling TV Orange or Blue $30/month
CBS All Access (Ad-supported) $5.99/month
Hulu On-Demand (Ad-supported) $5.99/month
Sling Extra $5/month
Cloud DVR Plus $5/month
Total  $51.98/month 

For many, YouTube TV’s expanded channel lineup and unlimited cloud DVR will be worth the new price. It provides a great cable-like experience from a single app.

But if you’re willing to make a few compromises, Sling TV is arguably the best value in streaming right now.

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