Hulu With Live TV vs. Sling TV

A head-to-head comparison of two popular live TV streaming services

Some streaming services allow you to watch live TV on any compatible device, be it a computer, phone, or television. All you need is a high-speed internet connection. Two popular services that offer both live TV and streaming channels are Hulu with Live TV and Sling TV. Here we compare pricing, channel availability, streaming quality, and other features to help you decide which is worth your money.

Hulu vs Sling
 Lifewire 

Overall Findings

Hulu with Live TV
  • $55/month: Live and On-Demand TV from 60+ channels, plus access to all Hulu content for no extra charge.

  • Includes major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS NBC, Fox). Doesn't include PBS.

  • Hulu library is ad-supported. Upgrade for Hulu with no ads.

  • 50 hours of cloud DVR storage with base subscription. Extra $9.99 per month for 200 hours of cloud DVR storage.

  • Watch simultaneously on two devices and create up to six profiles to personalize your libraries and recommendations.

Sling TV
  • $25/month: Live and On-Demand TV from 30 to 45 channels, depending on Blue or Orange subscription.

  • $40/month: Full 50+ channel library.

  • FOX and NBC available only in select markets. Doesn't include ABC, CBS, or PBS.

  • More customizable channel packages.

  • 50 hours of cloud DVR service for $5/month.

  • Doesn't include streaming channels like Hulu or Netflix as part of the subscription.

Even though they provide the same basic service, Hulu with Live TV and Sling TV will appeal to different people based on channel availability, price, and other features.

Here's a quick look at some of the most important features of Hulu with Live TV and Sling TV:

  Hulu With Live TV SlingTV Orange Sling TV Blue
Major network TV availability Most markets No Limited markets (NBC and Fox only)
Simultaneous streams 2 1 2
Pay for extra streams? Yes No No
DVR Yes Add-on Add-on
DVR add-skipping Add-on Yes Yes
User profiles 6 1 1
Number of channels 60+ 30+ 45+

Hulu and Sling match up evenly in terms of streaming quality. In terms of availability, Sling TV is available for Android TV; the Hulu Android TV app only provides on-demand content.

Hulu with Live TV Pros and Cons

Advantages
  • Includes Hulu streaming service as well as live television.

  • Large TV library: More than 60 channels, including broadcast networks.

Disadvantages
  • Ad-supported unless you upgrade.

  • One size fits all: Cannot build out a custom channel or content library.

Hulu with Live TV includes both the Hulu streaming service and live streaming television. It's a subscription service that includes everything you get from Hulu, with live streaming television added on top. Subscribers get access to live content from more than 60 channels, including the major broadcast networks (except PBS).

The Hulu package that comes included is ad-supported, meaning you'll watch commercials when streaming content from the Hulu library. However, you can upgrade for Hulu with no ads.

Hulu with Live TV is available through the main Hulu website, so you can use it to watch live television on your computer or mobile device. It also has apps for most mobile devices, set-top boxes, streaming sticks, and video game consoles.

Sling TV Pros and Cons

Advantages
  • Very affordable.

  • Channel packages can be customized.

  • Different subscriptions and service tiers to suit entertainment diet.

Disadvantages
  • Relatively sparse channel lineup.

  • No broadcast network support.

  • Not much sports content apart from ESPN and league-specific channels.

Sling TV has a sparse channel lineup but comes at a lower cost than competing services. Unlike Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV offers multiple subscription options, including add-ons for specific channels. For example, you can select the $25/month Blue package, which includes USA, TNT, AMC, and the NFL Network, and get a $5/month Kids Extra that includes Nick Jr., Nicktoons, and Disney Junior. Or you can select Sling Orange + Blue and get all 50+ channels Sling has to offer.

Sling TV works more or less like Hulu. You can watch live TV on your computer or laptop, or download an app that you use to watch content on your phone, tablet, streaming device, or video game console.

Should You Subscribe to Hulu with Live TV or Sling TV?

Between the two, Hulu casts a wider net. A subscription includes a larger channel library, all the major broadcast networks (except PBS), and a basic Hulu subscription. But it costs almost twice as much as Sling TV.

Sling TV is cheaper and allows for tighter customization of both channels and add-ons like cloud DVR storage and add-skipping. However, the channel library is smaller and does not include major broadcast networks. (NBC and Fox are only available in select markets). If you want to watch one or two specific channels, and those channels are included with Sling, then get Sling TV.

Hulu's one-size-fits-all plan is suitable for families because it offers two simultaneous streams by default. It also allows you to upgrade to unlimited streams, so kids won't argue about which show to watch; they can watch on separate devices.

Hulu's profile system also makes it a good choice for families. Instead of sharing one profile, up to six people in your household can set up preferences, watch lists, and age restrictions.