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 DirecTV 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…
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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.
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.
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:|
|ABC (select markets)||ABC|
|ACC Network (ACCN)|
|BBC America||BBC America|
|BBC World News|
|Big Ten Network (BTN)|
|Cartoon Network||Cartoon Network|
|CBS Sports Network|
|Cheddar Business||Cheddar Business|
|Cheddar News||Cheddar News|
|Discovery Channel||Discovery Channel|
|Disney Channel||Disney Channel|
|Food Network||Food 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)|
|Investigation Discovery (ID)||Investigation Discovery (ID)|
|Local Now||Local Now|
|National Geographic||National Geographic|
|Nat Geo Wild||Nat Geo Wild|
|NBC (select markets)||NBC|
|OWN (Coming later 2019)|
|TCM (Turner Classic Movies)|
|Travel Channel||Travel Channel|
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.
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 is coming later in 2019. That’s according to an update we received from Google in July 2019.
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.
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.
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.
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!