Sling Orange vs Sling Blue: How Do They Compare?

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Sling Orange vs Sling Blue
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Sling, DISH Network's entry into the live streaming TV sector, was unveiled in 2015.

It has since grown to earn the title of largest streaming TV service available (by subscriber number).

Sling is unique among streaming services in that it doesn't exactly offer traditionally tiered packages. Rather, you choose from two different options - Sling Orange or Sling Blue - or a combination of the two, Sling Orange + Sling Blue.

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If you're trying to figure out the difference between Sling Orange and Sling Blue, we've got you covered in the following guide.

We'll look at channel selection, features, price and more for both options, so keep reading!

Sling Orange vs Sling Blue: Key Considerations

There are a few things to keep in mind as you shop for a streaming service:

  1. Price: Make sure you take into account any other subscription services you have. They can add up quickly.
  2. Content: The packages offer some of the same channels but there are some crucial differences as well. Consider the channel selection carefully before choosing to make sure you get your favorite shows.
  3. Features: Do you have multiple users in your household? Do you require DVR? There are plenty of factors to consider.

Sling Orange vs Sling Blue Channel Packages

The two Sling plans are similar in some ways and not so much in others.

Local Channels

  • Sling Orange is devoid of any local channels.
  • In the Blue plan, Sling local channels consist of Fox and NBC where available. You can see what's available in your area when you enter your zip code on the Sling support page.

Sling Orange

The Sling Orange package a decent selection of popular channels like A&E, Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, Disney Channel, Food Network, HGTV, TNT and a couple dozen others - 30 altogether.

There are six channels exclusive to Sling Orange:

  • ACC Network Extra
  • Disney Channel
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • ESPN3
  • Freeform

Sling Blue

There are about 16 Sling Blue channels that don't come with Orange. On the flip side, it's missing those six listed above.

The exclusive Blue channels include:

  • The two local channels mentioned above - Fox and NBC
  • Bravo
  • Fox and NBC regional sports networks
  • CSN (Comcast SportsNet)
  • NFL Network
  • FX
  • USA
  • Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2
  • NBC Sports Network
  • FXX
  • SyFy
  • Nick Jr.
  • National Geographic
  • Nat Geo Wild

Sports

You've no doubt caught the idea from the channel lists above that Sling has shrewdly separated the ESPN stations from the rest of the sports channels. This means in order to get the complete suite of sports coverage offered by the streaming provider sports fans are sort of forced to subscribe to Sling Orange + Sling Blue.

To make matters more complex, each of the two Sling packages has a different eligible set of sports add-ons you can buy for an additional monthly fee. We'll get into those in just a minute in the Extras section.

See the entire Sling Orange and Blue channel lists for more details.

Sling Orange vs Sling Blue Prices

One thing that Sling has simplified as their plans have gotten more confounding is the pricing. Sling Orange and Sling Blue cost the same. If you want both you'll get a discount by subscribing to the combo package.

Sling Orange vs Sling Blue Extras

Sling TV offers a hefty add-on menu. There is something for everyone among the premium channels and extra packages, each of which will cost a little extra per month of course.

  • Cloud DVR - 50 hours of recording time, store your recordings for as long as you're a customer
  • Kids - Orange and Blue have their own set of add-on kids' channels like the Nickelodeon family of channels, Disney XD, and Boomerang
  • Comedy Extra - some channels are the same (MTV, Game Show Network, TV Land) with a couple differences
  • International
  • Heartland
  • Hollywood Extra (classics and indie films)
  • Lifestyle Extra - DIY, Hallmark Channel, and VH-1 come with both Orange and Blue, plus two or three extra channels exclusive to each pack
  • News Extra - a variety of news channels for each plan
  • Sports Extra - with Sling Orange you'll get NBA TV, NHL Network, SEC Network, plus a few more. The Sling Blue version comes with NFL RedZone, NHL Network, NBA TV, Stadium, etc.
  • Premiums - a la carte options include EPIX, Showtime, and Starz

*At the time of this writing HBO is dark on Sling due to a contract dispute with AT&T.

DVR

Like most of the best TV providers, Sling offers cloud DVR functionality.

  • Sling DVR comes with 50 hours of recording time.
  • When your space is used up the oldest recording will be deleted (you can choose to protect specific recordings from automatic deletion).
  • There is an extra monthly charge for DVR.

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Sling Orange vs Sling Blue User Experience

Obviously the viewing experience when streaming Sling is the same between the two plans, except for the channels you'll see displayed.

User Interface

  • The interface is a bit awkward.
  • The search function could use some love.
  • There is a three-day replay feature - meaning you can catch a show you missed up to three days ago.

Number of Streams

The biggest difference between Sling Orange and Sling Blue in terms of user experience is the simultaneous streams. You get a single stream with Orange, three streams with Blue, and four if you opt for Sling Orange + Sling Blue.

Compatible Devices

Whether you have Orange or Blue, watching live TV shows is simple on these streaming devices:

  • Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Fire tablets
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • Apple and Android mobile devices
  • A variety of smart TVs
  • Roku
  • Windows 10
  • Xbox ONE
  • ChannelMaster DVR+
  • Xfinity X1 DVR

Recap

Bottom line:

  • Sling Orange is good for basic entertainment, with a couple of good kids' channels offered.
  • Sling Blue offers a much wider variety of sports coverage, but if you want ESPN channels you'll need Orange as well.

Read what people have to say about this live TV streaming service in our Sling customer reviews.

Want all your channels in one plan? Check out other options for cord cutters to stream TV, like DIRECTV Now or YouTube TV and find the right service for you!

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