Hulu and Sling TV offer appealing options to people cutting the cable TV cord, as they both provide on-demand and live TV services, but there are notable differences between the two services. However, both also enable subscribers to add additional content through third-party add-ons, which include extra entertainment, foreign language programming, news and sports.
Hulu + Live TV vs. Sling TV Compared
|Hulu + Live TV||Sling Blue||Sling Orange||Sling Blue + Orange|
|On-demand library size||2,553 movies and TV shows||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Number of channels||72||30+||40+||50+|
|Cloud DVR storage||50 hours||10 hours||10 hours||10 hours|
|Video quality||60fps HD||720p HD||720p HD||720p HD|
|Free trial length||7 days||7 days||7 days||7 days|
Hulu and Sling TV both provide several plans. The most competitively priced option available is Hulu on-demand, which offers a library of more than 2,000 movies and TV shows for $5.99/mo. However, this content is supported by commercials, which can be removed by upgrading to the ad-free service for $11.99/mo. Hulu + Live TV costs $54.99/mo. and there’s an ad-free version for $60.99/mo. Both include access to the on-demand content library.
Sling TV’s Blue and Orange packages both cost $30/mo. Sling TV Blue & Orange is $45/mo. All of these packages come with a $10 discount in the first month of any subscription.
Both Hulu and Sling TV also offer content add-ons. Hulu subscribers can add Cinemax for $9.99/mo., HBO for $14.99/mo., SHOWTIME for $10.99/mo. and Starz for $8.99/mo.
Sling TV’s additional channels include SHOWTIME for $10/mo. and Starz for $9/mo. It also has bundles like Comedy, Kids, Lifestyle and News Extra for $5/mo. each and Sports Extra for $10/mo.
Hulu + Live TV provides access to 72 channels. Sling TV Blue gives subscribers a choice of 46 channels, and Sling TV Orange contains 32. Sling Blue & Orange delivers a total of 53.
Hulu + Live TV’s channel lineup offers a good choice of news networks, including ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX and MSNBC. It also has a good range of lifestyle and entertainment channels like A&E, Animal Planet, FX, History Channel, Smithsonian Channel and Viceland.
Film lovers have limited options on Hulu + Live TV, but its channel list does include Turner Classic Movies. However, there’s a good choice of kids TV through Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD and Universal Kids.
Hulu + Live TV subscribers also get a good choice of live sports channels. This includes national networks CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN News, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2 and NBC Sports Network. Other sports channels available are Bases Loaded, ESPN Goal Line, Golf Channel, Big Ten Network, ESPN College Extra and SEC Network.
In addition to these live channels, subscribers also get access to Hulu’s on-demand content library. The best viewing includes all of the James Bond movie franchise except the four starring Daniel Craig. Other movies on the service feature some of Hollywood’s top actors, such as Denzel Washington in American Gangster, Dolph Lundgren, Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone in Creed II and Tom Cruise continuing as superspy Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible – Fallout.
Hulu’s on-demand library has plenty of top-quality TV shows. This includes original programming like The Handmaid’s Tale, small-town comedy Letterkenny, George Clooney in Catch 22 and The Looming Tower, which stars Jeff Daniels and Martin Skarsgaard as FBI and CIA agents in the build-up to 9/11.
It’s also home to leading comedies such as Arrested Development, which stars Jason Bateman and Michael Cena, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Parks and Recreation with Amy Poehler and Chris Pratt.
Sling TV’s three packages provide subscribers with a solid range of live TV. This includes several basic news stations, with Blue and Orange both carrying BBC America, Cheddar News and CNN. The Blue package also offers FOX, MSNCB and NBC in certain markets. It also has a good range of lifestyle and entertainment options. Blue and Orange both carry A&E, Food Network, History Channel, Investigation Discovery and Travel Channel.
Movie options on Sling TV are limited to EPIX Drive-In, while Paramount Network is available through the Blue plan. It also has children’s content with Nick Junior on the Blue plan, Disney Channel on Orange and Cartoon Network carried in all packages.
Sports fans are well served with Sling TV. All subscribers can watch ESPN, ESPN 2 and ESPN 3, while the Blue plan includes FOX Sports 1, NBC Sports Network and NFL Network.
Hulu + Live TV is compatible with most mobile and streaming devices. This includes Android and Apple phones and tablets. The service has apps for streaming devices like Amazon Fire Stick, Fire TV, Google Chromecast and Roku. It’s also accessible through Android TV and Apple TV and smart TVs from LG and Samsung. Subscribers can also watch through Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. It’s also available through Mac and Windows web browsers.
Sling TV subscribers can watch on any device that’s compatible with its apps and web players. The service is available on Android and Apple phones and tablets. It’s also compatible with streaming devices like Amazon Fire Stick, Fire TV, Google Chromecast, Oculus, Portal from Facebook and Roku. Sling TV also has apps for Android TV and Apple TV, as well as LG and Samsung smart TVs. The service can be accessed on Xbox One but not from Nintendo or PlayStation devices. Subscribers can also watch using Mac and Windows web browsers.
Hulu + Live TV enables viewers to stream content in up to 60fps high-definition (HD) video quality. Its live TV channels and on-demand library are also available in 720p, 1080p, 4K Ultra HD. The quality automatically adjusts based on the viewer’s available bandwidth and varies based on the content being watched and the device being used.
Sling TV comes in at the lower end of the HD spectrum, with its streaming quality limited to 720p.
Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV enable users to add additional channels like SHOWTIME and STARZ to their subscription. Hulu users can also add HBO.
Sling TV provides a wide range of additional content, including kids, lifestyle and news channels. Additional movie channels can be added through Hollywood Extra, which offers channels like Reelz, Sundance TV and Turner Classic Movies.
The Sports Extra add-on provides Blue plan subscribers with access to FOX Sports 2, Red Zone from NFL Network and Golf Channel. Orange includes NBA TV, Tennis Channel and several college football networks. All Sling TV viewers can add beIN Sports, MLB Network and NHL Network.
Hulu + Live TV enables subscribers to record up to 50 hours of content, which they can increase to 200 hours for an extra $9.99/mo. with Enhanced Cloud DVR. The service also allows automatic recording of viewers’ favorite shows or sports teams by adding them to the My Stuff section. Sling TV’s basic packages come with 10 hours of Cloud DVR storage, which can be boosted to 50 hours for an additional $5/mo.
Hulu + Live TV allows up to two people to watch the service at the same time. This can be upgraded to unlimited home devices and three mobile streams by purchasing the Unlimited Screens add-on for $9.99/mo. Sling TV Orange subscribers can only watch from one stream per account. However, the Blue package provides two, and the Blue & Orange plan provides four simultaneous streams.
Both Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV provide closed captioning and enable users to personalize subtitle text color and size and the color and opacity of the player’s background and window.
Hulu + Live TV users can impose restrictions on the content available by creating a Kids Profile, which ensures only shows in the Kids Hub section can be watched. Sling TV enables users to block access to specific content based on rating and prevent the purchase of in-app rentals or pay-per-view offerings.
Should I Cut the Cable TV Cord With Hulu + Live TV Or Sling TV?
Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV both offer solid options for cutting the cable TV cord. Hulu + Live TV is a more expensive option but does give subscribers access Hulu’s on-demand content library in addition to its 72 live channels. Sling TV provides three different options to subscribers based on their viewing preferences. It offers fewer live channels but is a more cost-effective service. However, Sling TV users that want more content have a wide range of add-ons to choose from.
Hulu + Live TV offers a seven-day free trial, and the on-demand Hulu service allows users to try it out for one month. Sling TV typically offers a seven-day free trial for in-app sign-ups, or $10 off all packages in the first month of any subscription on the website. With plenty of offers, it never hurts to try out both (or multiple) services for the best fit. Always check the provider sites for current deals.
Current as of June 2020*
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