Sling vs Hulu Live: How Do They Compare?

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Sling vs Hulu Live
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Sling TV (owned by parent company DISH Network) has a new competitor - Hulu Live TV.

You likely already know and love Hulu for its extensive on-demand video library, and now cord cutters can watch live TV on it as well.

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Which streaming TV service gives you the better bang for your buck? What channels will you get with Sling vs Hulu Live TV?

Keep reading - because in the following guide we'll answer those questions and more!

Sling vs Hulu Live TV: Key Considerations

There are a few things to keep in mind in order to make the best choice for your viewing habits and budget:

  1. Price: Compare not only the actual cost, but also what you get for the price of each service. Budget accordingly if you plan to subscribe to multiple TV packages.
  2. Content: Are you a lifestyle TV junkie or are sports your main viewing interest? Streaming TV channel bundles vary widely.
  3. Extras: Premium channels and specialty packs like sports or comedy can typically be added onto your streaming service at an extra cost.
  4. Compatible devices: Most live TV streaming apps work on Roku, Chromecast, mobile apps, and web browsers. Some work on extras like gaming consoles. Make sure you can get your content on your screen on choice.

Don't forget to use your free Hulu trial and free Sling trial before you subscribe! Both free trials are seven days long.

Sling vs Hulu Live TV Channel Packages

Both of these live TV streaming providers offer a few different options, with Sling being the more complex of the two.

  • Sling channels are divided up among two main options - Sling Orange (30+ channels) and Sling Blue (45+). Some channels are the same between the two plans and some are different. You can also combine the two Sling plans into Sling Orange + Sling Blue (50+).
  • The Hulu Live TV plan has 50+ channels and comes with regular Hulu or without, and with or without ads in the on-demand content. You cannot remove commercials from the live Hulu TV channels.

Local Channels

Local broadcast stations mean access to local news coverage and regional sports.

  • Hulu local channels are available from over 600 affiliates nationwide, spanning ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC.
  • Sling local channels consist of Fox and NBC and are only available with Sling Blue, in select markets (enter your zip code in the Sling website to see if live locals are available to you).

You can always use an HD antenna to pick up local channels as well.

Entertainment Essentials

Both of these internet TV providers give you a decent range of popular channels:

  • Both Hulu Live TV channels and Sling channels include favorites like A&E, Bravo, Food Network, FX, FXX, HGTV, TBS, and TNT.
  • Hulu's channel list is lacking Viacom networks provided by Sling, including Animal Planet, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon.

Kids

  • Hulu covers the little ones with Boomerang, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Disney Jr., Disney XD, and Universal Kids.
  • Both Sling Orange and Blue are light on kids' channels, with Cartoon Network, Disney, and Nick Jr. in the lineups, however they offer plenty of children's programming in their extras (we'll get to those in a minute!).

It's worth noting that Sling does not carry Fox News while Hulu TV does.

And yes, both TV streaming providers have plenty to offer sports fans as well - keep reading for information on Hulu Live TV vs Sling sports channels!

Sling vs Hulu Live TV Prices

If you opt for just one of the Sling plans - Orange or Blue - you'll come out ahead compared to Hulu Live TV. The combo pack - Sling Orange + Blue - comes out even with Hulu with Live TV pricing.

One thing to bear in mind - Sling offers many more extras and premiums than Hulu does. So if you opt for a bunch of add-ons your cost will go up.

Sling vs Hulu Live TV Premium Channels & Extras

There's no comparison when it comes to Sling vs Hulu Live TV extra packages. Sling gives you a dizzying array of specialized programming choices compared to just a few from Hulu.

Hulu Extras

These options are available from Hulu Live TV for an added monthly fee:

  • HBO
  • Cinemax
  • Showtime
  • Starz
  • Entertainment add-on (American Heroes Channel, Cooking Channel, DIY, and more)
  • Español add-on

Sling Extras

Premium channels* include:

  • EPIX
  • Showtime
  • Starz

Some of the add-on packs give you different channels depending on whether you have Orange or Blue. Options include:

  • Comedy
  • Kids
  • International
  • Heartland
  • Sports
  • Español
  • Hollywood

*HBO is not available through Sling at the time of this writing due to a contract dispute with AT&T.

DVR

Both services provide cloud DVR service:

  • Hulu gives you 50 hours of DVR storage at no extra charge, or you can upgrade to 200 hours for an additional fee.
  • Sling DVR is optional and costs a modest monthly charge. You get 50 hours of recording, plus you can protect programs from auto-delete if you want to keep them longer.

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Sling vs Hulu Live TV Sports

If your live TV viewing is focused mostly on sports, Sling is your best bet.

Hulu Live TV Sports

Hulu TV live sports coverage is moderate, with basic sports channels including:

  • Big Ten Network
  • ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNews
  • Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2
  • NBC Sports Network

Plus a few extras like Olympic Channel and Golf Channel. There are no extra sports packs available.

Sling Sports

Between the regular Sling packages and the extra sports pack, the TV streaming service gives you a generous suite of sports options.

Sling Orange sports channels:

  • ACC Network Extra
  • ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3

Sling Blue sports channels:

  • Fox and NBC regional sports in select markets
  • Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2
  • NBC Sports Network
  • NFL Network

The downside is that you can see how Sling has separated the ESPN networks from the rest of the sports channels. This way if you want the complete sports package you'll have to get both Orange and Blue.

Sling sports add-on:

  • The extra sports pack with Orange nets you 12 extra channels, including NBA TV and NHL Network.
  • Sports extra with Blue is a little pricier but gets you NFL RedZone and 8 other sports stations.

Sling vs Hulu with Live TV User Experience

How does Sling compare to Hulu Live TV for user-friendliness?

User Interface

  • Hulu Live TV suffers similar issues as its on-demand service, with a cluttered interface and awkward path to your next episode.
  • Sling has a Netflix-esque interface with a bit of a learning curve. It's decently functional and user friendly once you get used to it.

Number of Streams

  • Hulu Live TV gives you two simultaneous streams with the option to pay extra for unlimited screens.
  • With Sling Orange you get one stream, Sling Blue gives you three, and Sling Orange + Blue gives you four altogether.

Compatible Devices

  • Both of these streaming TV apps are compatible with Roku, Chromecast, Mac and PC, Android and Apple devices, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Xbox ONE, and a range of smart TVs.
  • In addition, Hulu Live TV is compatible with Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, Wii, and Wii U.
  • Sling compatible streaming devices include AirTV and Xiaomi.

Recap

The bottom line:

  • Sling and Hulu Live TV offer similar pricing.
  • Sling has the edge in extras, but Hulu Live TV excels in local stations and DVR space.

Need more help deciding? Hear from real people in our Sling customer reviews and Hulu Live TV customer reviews!

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