As the price of cable continues to go up, more people are deciding to cut the cord altogether. If you’ve cut the cord on cable, but you don’t want to miss out on your favorite live TV shows, you’re in the right place.
Canceling cable saves you a lot of money, but can make it difficult to watch live TV, especially sports, news, and local coverage. That’s where internet TV services like Sling TV and Hulu + Live TV come in.
In this article, we’ll take a look at Sling TV and Hulu + Live TV – two of the most popular internet TV services, and discuss the basics about each one, as well as the major differences between each service.
An Overview Of Sling TV & Hulu + Live TV
Because these channels are delivered over the internet, and do not require costly cable setup, most internet TV services are quite inexpensive, compared to a cable subscription. In addition, these TV bundles do not require any kind of long-term contract, and they don’t have any cancellation fees.
Typically, these internet TV services cost just a fraction of what cable costs. You can get Sling TV for $35/month, and Hulu + Live TV for $69.99/month, for example.
Let’s discuss the basics of both Sling TV and Hulu + Live TV, before we dig into the differences between these services.
Sling TV is the oldest internet TV skinny bundle service. It was launched in 2015, when cord-cutting was beginning to catch on. It boasts a high number of subscribers and an inexpensive base subscription, but can be somewhat confusing.
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1 simultaneous stream.
Limited time offer$35.00/ month
Fox, NBC, CNN, MSNBC
New subscriber special
3 simultaneous streams
|Sling Orange + Blue|
Limited time offer
New subscriber special
4* simultaneous streams
As you can see, Sling TV is quite inexpensive. You can choose between both the $35/month Orange bundle, or the $35/month Blue package. You can combine both packages for $50/month.
The best feature of Sling TV is its low cost. With Sling Orange, for example, you can get 30+ channels, including ESPN, BBC America, TNT, CNN, and a number of other popular networks, for $35. Sling Blue offers 40+ channels, including Fox Sports and local channels in some areas, for the same price.
In addition, you can easily customize your Sling TV package with a number of different add-ons. If you love comedy, you can add more comedy channels with the “Comedy Extra” package for just $6/month, and if you’re a sports fan, you can get nearly a dozen extra sports channels with the “Sports Extra” package: a $11/month add-on if you have Sling Orange or Sling Blue, or $15/month if you have Sling Blue + Orange.
Sling TV does have a few downsides. First, there are some channels that are exclusive to Sling Orange or Sling Blue. You can’t get ESPN at all with Sling Blue, for example.
It can also be somewhat confusing to understand what channels you get when customizing your subscription, because the extra channels vary based on your subscription package. For example, subscribing to the “Comedy Extra” package with Sling Orange will give you a different set of channels than if you subscribe with Sling Blue.
You also can only stream Sling Orange channels on 1 device at a time. Sling Blue channels can be streamed on 3 devices, however, and you get 4 simultaneous streams if you get the Sling Orange + Blue package.
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Hulu + Live TV launched in late 2017, and has become very popular with cord-cutters who are looking for an all-in-one VOD and live TV streaming service.
|Hulu + Live TV|
No Hassle TV
2 simultaneous streams
Disney+ and ESPN+ Included
Hulu With Live TV comes with only a single package of cable channels. You can get access to over 75 channels, depending on your geographic location and which local network TV providers are partnered with Hulu.
Hulu + Live TV has a number of great features. First and foremost, the lineup of cable and network channels offered is incredible for the price. You get news coverage from channels like CNN and MSNBC, sports from ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3, as well as Fox Sports and NBCSN, and entertainment channels like FX, TNT, and TBS. The only major cable channel missing is AMC.
You also get a free DVR with Hulu + Live TV, offering you 50 hours of storage. You can stream on up to 2 devices at once, by default.
One of the best features is that every Hulu With Live TV subscription comes with a free Hulu subscription, which is a $6.99/month value. You get complete access to all of Hulu’s VOD archives, including original shows like The Handmaid’s Tale.
Hulu + Live TV is a bit expensive, compared to Sling Blue and Sling Orange. Paying $69.99/month may be steep if you only need a few cable channels.
In addition, only being able to stream on 2 devices at once can cause some problems if you’re sharing your account. With Sling Orange + Blue, you can stream on 4 devices (1 device for Orange channels, 3 devices for Blue channels).
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Fact 1: Sling TV is a Better Bargain Choice
If saving money is your primary goal when searching for an internet TV service, Sling TV is a better choice.
For example, if you are a cord-cutter who wants to watch sports, you could subscribe to Sling TV Orange + the Sports Extra package. This would get you ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNews, NBA TV, beIN Sports, and more, for just $46/month, which covers most of your sports needs.
If you only watch TV on a few channels, Sling TV offers a better monthly price point than Hulu + Live TV.
Fact 2: Both Hulu and Sling TV Offer The Same In Terms Of DVR
One of the biggest downsides of Sling TV was always its very limited DVR. However, as of this year, any Sling TV package you choose comes with 50 hours of DVR storage, putting it on par with Hulu + Live TV if the basic DVR option suits you.
You can also upgrade your DVR with both, if you want. For an added cost, you can expand your storage to 200 hours, which should be plenty for any cord-cutter. This added cost comes up to $9.99/month for Hulu + Live TV, and $5/month for Sling TV, making Sling TV the more affordable option.
If you need a lot of DVR space and you’re choosing between Hulu With Live TV and Sling TV, Sling TV will be a better option for you.
Fact 3: Hulu + Live TV Offers Several Upgrade Packages
Hulu + Live TV lets you upgrade your subscription in two major ways.
First, if you need to get more DVR space, you can upgrade with an “Enhanced DVR” package, which costs $9.99/month. This bumps your storage limit up to 200 hours, which should be more than enough even for the largest families.
You can also upgrade the number of devices on which you can stream simultaneously. By default, you can only stream on 2 devices at once – which is worse than Sling Blue.
But if you pay $9.99/month for the “Unlimited Screens” package, you can stream on unlimited devices on your home network, and on up to 3 devices outside of your home network.
You can combine these two upgrades for $14.99/month, which is a pretty significant cost savings. If you are sharing your subscription between multiple people, upgrading your subscription may be worth it.
Fact 4: Both Sling TV And Hulu + Live TV Can Be Used To Log Into Cable Websites
Sling TV and Hulu + Live TV both allow you to use your login credentials to access streaming content on websites and apps such as ESPN. You can see Sling TV’s supported website and apps here, and Hulu + Live TV’s supported websites and apps here.
Fact 5: Hulu + Live TV Gives You More Channels For Your Money
It may seem that combining Sling Blue + Orange will give you the most channels. But this is actually not the case.
There is quite a bit of channel “overlap” between Sling Blue and Orange. For example, both the Sling Orange and Blue packages include HGTV, Comedy Central, and CNN. You’ll only get about 53 total channels with Sling Orange + Blue. You can, however, add more channels with “Extra” Sling bundles, but that comes at an additional fee.
If you want the most channels for your money, Hulu + Live TV is definitely the way to go, as you’ll get 75+ channels.
Fact 6: Hulu + Live TV Has More On-Demand Content Than Sling TV
Hulu + Live TV, on the other hand, includes a Hulu subscription. That means that you can have full access to all Hulu streaming content, including recently-aired episodes of network shows, as well as original content like The Handmaid’s Tale.
Fact 7: Device Support Is Nearly Identical Between Hulu And Sling TV
- Amazon Fire TV
- Apple TV
- Web browsers
- Android & iOS
- Samsung Smart TVs
- Xbox One
One of the only differences is that Hulu offers Xbox 360 support, and Sling TV can be viewed on select LG Smart TVs. Otherwise, streaming device compatibility between these two services is almost identical.
Fact 8: Hulu + Live TV Has Fewer Customization Options
Sling TV is much more customizable than Hulu + Live TV, with a large number of “Extra” packages that offer international channels, sports, lifestyle channels and more. There are an enormous number of extra channels to choose from.
In contrast, Hulu + Live TV only allows you to pick from a number of premium networks like HBO and Showtime, and the “Entertainment” add-on, which costs $7.99 per month and includes:
- American Heroes Channel
- BET Her
- CNBC World
- Cooking Channel
- Crime + Investigation
- Destination America
- Discovery Family
- Discovery Life
- Magnolia Network
- Military History Channel
- MTV Classic
- Nick Toons
- Teen Nick
You can also subscribe to the “Español” add-on, which will give you a few Spanish-language channels like Discovery Familia and ESPN Deportes. However, that’s about it. You’ll get more customization options with Sling, overall.
Fact 9: Both Services Offer A Free Trial
You can try both Sling TV and Hulu + Live TV with a free 3-day trial and free 7-day trial respectively, and see which one you prefer. Click here to try Sling TV for free, or click here to give Hulu + Live TV a shot.
Remember that, if you’re not ready to commit to either service, you can cancel your subscription before your week-long trial has ended. As long as you do this, you won’t have to pay a dime.
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Sling TV Vs. Hulu + Live TV: Which Is Better?
Are you on a budget?
If you can’t spare $69.99/month for Hulu + Live TV, Sling Blue or Sling Orange is a great choice. You don’t get nearly as many features or channels as you do with Hulu, but for the price, you do get some great live TV coverage.
However, if you do have a bit more money to spend, Hulu + Live TV is certainly worth $69.99/month – especially when compared to the $100/month cost of a traditional cable bill.
Do you need a large DVR, or to watch on multiple screens?
If you need a DVR with more than 50 hours of space, you’re going to have to pay $9.99 extra with Hulu + Live TV. That brings the monthly cost to $79.99/month – and you won’t be able to watch on more than 2 screens unless you upgrade with the “Unlimited Screens” add-on, which is another $9.99/month.
If you have a large family, or plan on sharing your account with quite a few members of your household, Sling TV may be a better choice for you.
Do you watch a lot of different channels?
If you need a big selection of channels, Hulu + Live TV is a better choice than Sling Blue + Orange. You get more channels for your money, as well as a free DVR and a free subscription to the Hulu VOD streaming service.
Do you need to watch international channels and programming?
If you are interested in foreign-language programming in languages like French, Spanish, and Portuguese, Sling TV is a better choice for you. You can get quite a bit of international programming with the “Espanol” and “International” Sling TV add-ons.
Do you want to watch on-demand video?
If you want to watch on-demand video, Hulu + Live TV is a much better option for you. Sling TV has a good amount of on-demand programs, but still falls very short of the massive Hulu streaming library.