YouTube TV vs. Sling TV: Which Streaming Service Is Better?

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If you’re considering cutting the cord in 2022, you may be wondering about the merits of YouTube TV and Sling TV as cable alternatives.

Each is considered to be one of the top live TV streaming services on the market, but they take very different approaches to pricing their channel packages.

YouTube TV has one pricing tier for its base package, which is more robust than what Sling TV offers. But Sling counters with a much lower monthly bill and three different base package options.

In this article, I’ll compare the key features of these two streaming TV services to help you decide which is better suited for your household.


Table of Contents:


Quick Facts: YouTube TV vs. Sling TV

In this article, I’ll look at key factors including price, channel selection, supported devices and availability of concurrent streams and cloud DVR to help you make a choice between these two live TV streaming services.


Price

The first major difference you’ll notice between Sling and YouTube TV is the monthly pricing models.

YouTube TV can be as much as $30 per month more expensive than Sling, and that’s without any add-ons!

Of course, as we dive a little deeper into these services, you may find that you get your money’s worth with YouTube TV.

The contrast in costs between the two has not always been so stark. For perspective on how quickly this happened: YouTube TV cost just $35 per month when it launched in 2017, which was much closer to Sling TV’s $30 asking price at that time.

You can cancel either service at any time without penalty. And there are no junk fees like you’ve probably found with your cable company, though some customers may be subject to local sales tax for these services.

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YouTube TV and Sling TV both offer add-on packages and premium channels for additional monthly fees. I’ll talk a little more about those later in the article.

If saving the most money possible is your goal with cutting the cord, you may find that Sling TV is the most sensible solution in this debate. Instead of comparing it to YouTube TV, budget-conscious consumers may want to consider some of the other live TV streaming services on the market. Philo is just $25 per month, and Frndly TV keeps things super cheap with plans starting at just $7 per month.

Trying to settle this debate on price alone is going to point you in Sling’s direction, but it’s a little more complicated than that if you have specific channels you like to watch. You’re going to have to dig a little deeper into the services each provides to see which will give your household the best bang for the buck.


Channel Lineup: YouTube TV vs. Sling TV

One of the more stressful parts of cutting the cord from your cable company is making sure that you’ll still be able to get most of the content you want with a live TV streaming service.

That usually starts with a list of “can’t miss” channels for each person.

The good news is that both YouTube TV and Sling TV offer a wide variety of some of the best “cable” channels out there. The confusing part is that Sling may require that you sign up for a specific color-coded package or add-on to get a channel that comes standard with YouTube TV’s base channel lineup.

While signing up for YouTube TV means you’re getting the same base package as everyone else, signing up for Sling involves making some choices. You’ll pick between Sling Orange, Sling Blue and Sling Orange + Blue. And from there, there are additional add-on options.

Local channels may be an issue for some Sling TV customers. While YouTube TV offers access to ABC, NBC, CBS and/or FOX in most areas of the country, you’ll find that Sling TV likely falls short in offering all your local affiliate stations.

When looking at the channel menu below, you may notice that only NBC and FOX affiliates are offered with the Blue and Orange + Blue packages. That means you’re completely out of luck if you want to watch your local ABC and CBS channels with Sling.

You’ll want to check your ZIP code on each of their websites to get exact answers on which local channels and regional sports networks each offers you.

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Below is a comparison of the YouTube TV and Sling TV channel packages. If you want to compare those channel lineups to other streaming TV services, see our side-by-side chart or use our live TV streaming channel tool.

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Channel Add-On Packages and Premium Subscriptions

If you’re looking for more from these two services, you may find what you need on their list of add-on packages or premium subscription services that are, of course, available for an additional cost.

Like the base packages, this process is a bit more straight forward with YouTube TV than Sling TV.

YouTube TV offers a sports add-on package for $10.99 that includes NFL RedZone.

YouTube TV also recently launched a Spanish Plan, which is a standalone subscription for $35 per month that features more than two dozen channels.

Sling TV, on the other hand, has a very large menu of add-on options that range from $6 to $11 per month and are divvied up for either Sling Orange or Sling Blue customers. (Sling Orange + Blue customers should have access to purchase from both add-on menus.)

Streamers who want the maximum amount of channels from Sling may want to consider the Total TV Deal, which gives customers access to all add-on packages associated with their base package plus a DVR storage upgrade for an additional $21 per month.

Sling Orange Add-On Packages

Sling Blue Add-On Packages


Cloud DVR: YouTube TV vs. Sling TV

Next to pricing and channel selection, cloud DVR functionality is probably next on the list of importance for streamers.

Recording what you want and watching it when you want to is a huge benefit.

This is one of those areas in which YouTube TV shines in the way that you’d expect given its premium base monthly price.

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YouTube TV has been one of the best streaming services in the Cloud DVR category for quite some time thanks to its free unlimited storage.

Sling, on the other hand, offers only 50 hours of cloud DVR storage with each of its plans. If you pay for the DVR Plus upgrade, you can get 200 hours of cloud DVR storage for an additional $5 per month.

Unfortunately, there is no option for Sling TV customers to upgrade to unlimited DVR at this time.


Supported Devices for TV

If you’re new to the cord-cutting game, you may be wondering how you’ll be able to survive without your trusty cable box. Truth be told, getting rid of those monthly fees for each TV that you want to connect with the cable company is where both services can really save you some cash.

Instead of paying the cable company for a box, you’ll have to provide your own means to connect these live streaming TV services to your television.

On some smart TVs, that’s as simple as downloading the YouTube TV or Sling TV app to your television.

If your television doesn’t support that method, you’ll need to purchase a streaming device to plug into one of your television’s HDMI ports. These devices can be purchased for a modest one-time investment and will support streaming from multiple apps for years to come.

Both YouTube TV and Sling TV are compatible with most of the major streaming devices on the market.

YouTube TV Supported Devices

YouTube TV’s list of supported devices for TV includes:

  • Apple TV (4th generation) and Apple TV 4K
  • Amazon Fire TV products
  • Chromecast with Google TV devices
  • Android TV (Note: TVs running a mobile version of Android may not be supported)
  • Vizio SmartCast TVs
  • Samsung & LG smart TVs (2016 models and newer)
  • HiSense TVs
  • Xbox: Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One X, Xbox One S, and Xbox One
  • PS5 and PS4
  • TiVo Stream 4K
  • Roku

Sling TV Supported Devices

Here’s a list of compatible devices according to Sling TV’s website:

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  • AirTV
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast with Google TV
  • Facebook Portal
  • LG TV
  • Roku devices
  • Samsung Smart TV
  • TiVo Stream 4K
  • Xbox One and Xbox Series X
  • VIZIO SmartCast Smart TVs

Multiple Streams

If you’re looking for simultaneous streams for multiple TVs or smart devices, which of these streaming services is the best option depends upon which Sling package you choose.

YouTube TV has a standard policy of three concurrent streams per account, but Sling varies from one to four. If you’re looking at Sling Orange as an option for your house, make a special note that it allows for just one stream at a time. That could be an issue if there are multiple TVs in the house.

YouTube TV also allows for six user profiles per account, which makes customizing favorites, organizing DVR libraries and setting parental controls for each user in the household a bit easier.


Pros and Cons: YouTube TV vs. Sling TV

Now that I’ve walked you through all the specifics of each of these services on the key issues that may affect you as a cord cutter, let’s summarize what we like and dislike about them.

YouTube TV live streaming service
ProsCons
Great overall channel lineup filled with sports and newsMonthly price is now at $65 after being as low as $35
Unlimited cloud DVR storage includedMany regional sports networks are unavailable
Up to 6 user accounts and 3 simultaneous streams

Sling Streaming Service Review
Pros Cons
Pricing is significantly cheaper than top competitorsOnly partial access to local channels
Compatible with all major streaming devicesConfusing channel packages
Frequent promotional deals with free streaming devicesNeed add-on packages for channels that are in basic packages of other services

Bottom Line: Which is Better?

Both of these streaming services have what it takes to be a cable TV alternative. Deciding which is best for your household likely depends on weighing your desire for a low price versus top-notch functionality.

At $35 per month for one of the base packages, Sling TV has a fairly significant price advantage over YouTube TV in 2022.

But with an expanded channel menu on its base service and unlimited cloud DVR functionality, many customers may consider YouTube TV worth the extra monthly cost.

In terms of pure functionality, I give the advantage to YouTube TV. In terms of a price that will save you the most from your cable bill, I give the clear advantage to Sling TV.

Is YouTube TV better than Sling TV? Share your opinion in our Clark.com Community!


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