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

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Money expert Clark Howard is a YouTube TV subscriber, but he and several members of Team Clark also have lots of experience streaming with Sling TV. After all, it was around before YouTube TV and other competitors like Hulu Live and AT&T TV Now.

In this article, we’ll compare the key features of Sling TV and YouTube TV to help you find the best streaming service for you…

Table of Contents:

Price

Sling TV and YouTube TV both increased prices in 2019, citing higher programming costs. However, Sling TV has always managed to keep its prices a bit lower than most of its competitors.

Sling TV has three bundles: Sling Orange, Sling Blue and Sling Orange & Blue — a combination of the first two.

As of July 2019, Sling Orange and Sling Blue cost $25 each, but Sling Orange & Blue is only $40. Sling has been running a lot of promotions over the past few months, including 40% off your first month of service.

Meanwhile, YouTube TV’s one and only plan is $49.99 per month, $10 more than Sling Orange & Blue’s regular price.

Sling TV and YouTube TV have free trial offers. Although these offers change periodically, you can usually count on at least five to seven days to test the services before you’re billed.

Just remember to cancel before the trial ends if it doesn’t work out.

Channels

Finding the best live TV streaming service for you will probably come down to the channel lineup. Sling Orange & Blue offers about 55 channels for $40/month, while YouTube TV’s plan has more than 70 channels for $50/month.

Sling TV encourages users to buy a digital antenna because it doesn’t have as many local stations as other services.

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If you want to cut the cord, I suggest that you make a list of the networks that are most important to you and search for them using the chart below to see which streaming TV service has all of your must-have channels.

Keep in mind that Sling TV also lets you customize your channel lineup with add-on packages, typically for $5 to $10 per month.

Channel lineups: Sling TV and YouTube TV

Sling TV “Orange + Blue” plan:
$40/month
YouTube TV:
$49.99/month
A&E
ABC
ACC Network (ACCN)
AMCAMC
Animal Planet
AXS TV
BBC AmericaBBC America
BBC World News
BET
Big Ten Network (BTN)
Bloomberg
BravoBravo
Cartoon NetworkCartoon Network
CBS
CBS Sports Network
Cheddar Business Cheddar Business
Cheddar NewsCheddar News
CNBC
CNBC World
CNNCNN
Comedy Central
CometComet
Cozi TV
CW
Discovery ChannelDiscovery Channel
Disney ChannelDisney Channel
Disney Junior
Disney XD
E!E!
EPIX Drive-In
ESPNESPN
ESPN2ESPN2
ESPN3
ESPNews
ESPNU
Food NetworkFood Network
FOX (select markets)FOX
Fox Business Network
Fox News Channel
Fox Sports 1 (FS1)Fox Sports 1 (FS1)
Fox Sports 2 (FS2)Fox Sports 2 (FS2)
FreeformFreeform
FXFX
FXM
FXXFXX
Fuse
Golf Channel
HGTVHGTV
History Channel
HLN
IFCIFC
Investigation Discovery (ID)Investigation Discovery (ID)
Lifetime
Local Now Local Now
MLB Network
MotorTrendMotorTrend
MSNBC
National GeographicNational Geographic
Nat Geo WildNat Geo Wild
NBA TV
NBC (select markets)NBC
NBCSNNBCSN
NewsyNewsy
NFL Network
Nick Jr.
Olympic Channel
OWN (Coming later 2019)
Oxygen
Paramount Network
Pop
SEC Network
Smithsonian Channel
Stadium
Start TV
Sundance TV
SYFYSYFY
Tastemade
TBSTBS
TCM (Turner Classic Movies)
Telemundo
Tennis Channel
TLCTLC
TNTTNT
Travel ChannelTravel Channel
truTVtruTV
Universal Kids
Universo
USAUSA
Viceland
WE tv

Cloud DVR 

Sling TV’s streaming bundles don’t include cloud DVR, but you can pay an extra $5 per month for 50 hours of storage.

On the other hand, YouTube TV’s cloud DVR is the best in the streaming industry. There are no storage limits, you can stream your library anywhere in the U.S., and you can record simultaneously and keep those recordings for up to nine months.

Supported Devices

Sling TV and YouTube TV both support a lot of devices that allow you to stream from your phone, computer and to a TV set.

If you have a smart TV, apps for these and other streaming TV providers may be installed. Otherwise, you’ll need a streaming media player like the affordable Roku Express to watch your favorite shows on the big screen.

Sling TV is compatible with Roku, Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV devices, among others.

If you’re leaning toward YouTube TV, you should know that support for Amazon Fire TV devices and smart TVs was finally added in late September 2019.

Multiple Streams 

YouTube TV can be used on up to three devices at the same time, which is great for families. But it’s more complicated with Sling TV.

If you subscribe to the Sling Orange & Blue plan, up to four simultaneous streams are allowed. However, you only get one stream for any channel in the Sling Orange service and three streams for channels on the Sling Blue service.

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So, you can’t watch ESPN and Disney Channel at the same time, since both are exclusive to the single-stream Orange plan.

If you’re switching from cable to streaming, it’s going to take some time to figure it out no matter which streaming provider you choose. The user experience is not the same, but the free trials give you time to adjust.

Sling TV and YouTube TV both have live TV guides that remind me of cable, but I would say YouTube TV’s is slightly better.

Team Clark has put together a couple of videos to give you an idea about how these streaming services work, but you should know that they’re always fine-tuning to make improvements to the user experience.

I think most people would be able to easily navigate either of these services within an hour or two of just trying them out.

Sling TV 

YouTube TV

Final Thought

If you’re still on the fence about whether to try Sling TV or YouTube TV, why not test them both? That’s what the free trials are for.

Personally, I’ve spent more time with Sling TV than YouTube TV because I’m all about saving money. If you don’t have a long list of must-have channels, you may be happy with one of Sling’s $25 plans.

On the other hand, YouTube TV feels like more of a replacement for the cable or satellite package many people are used to.

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Reviews from Clark.com readers are so helpful when choosing a streaming TV service. Please leave your experience in the comments section below and let us know your cord-cutting strategy!

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