Hulu vs. Sling TV: Which Streaming Service is Best?

Two of the biggest names in live television streaming go head to head!

Hulu with Live TV and Sling TV displayed side by side on laptops.

Pattanaphong Khuankaew / EyeEm / Getty 

When you cut the cord, and give up cable television, you don't have to give up live TV altogether. TV streaming services allow you to watch live TV on any compatible device, including your computer, phone, or smart TV. Then all you need is access to a high-speed internet connection.

The live TV streaming market is a crowded one, and finding the right service can be difficult. With that in mind, we've taken a look at two of the best options out there: Hulu with Live TV and Sling TV, to find out which one is best.

In the battle of Hulu vs. Sling, we compared pricing, channel availability, stream quality, and a whole bunch of other features so you can decide which is worth a monthly subscription fee.

What is Hulu with Live TV?

A screenshot from Hulu with Live TV

What We Like

  • You can watch on two devices by default, or pay for unlimited devices if you need it.

  • You get access to all of Hulu's on-demand content for no extra charge with limited commercials.

  • Includes Hulu original programming like Handmaid's Tale and Future Man.

  • Allows you to create six profiles for different family members, including child profiles.

  • Has deals with all of the major networks, including ABC and CBS.

What We Don't Like

  • Network coverage is good, but it isn't universal. Check to make sure they have the major networks where you live.

  • You can't fast-forward through DVR content by default. You have to pay for the upgraded cloud DVR to get that feature.

  • Missing some basic cable channels like AMC.

Hulu is an internet streaming service that's been around for a long time. Originally conceived as a joint venture between NBC and Fox to provide on-demand access to their TV shows, it quickly added ABC and content from many other sources.

Hulu with Live TV is just what it sounds like. It's a subscription service that includes everything you get from Hulu, but with live streaming television added on top.

The service is available through the main Hulu website, so you can use it to watch live television on your computer or laptop. It also has apps for all of the most popular mobile devices, streaming devices, and even some game consoles.

What is Sling TV?

A screenshot from SlingTV

What We Like

  • Very competitive pricing structure for their plans.

  • Good coverage for basic cable channels.

  • You can fast-forward through commercials in DVR content.

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn't have ABC or CBS.

  • Fox and NBC are only available in limited areas.

  • Limited to one or two simultaneous streams depending on your plan, with no option to increase that number.

  • No individual profiles, so everyone in your house uses the same profile.

Sling TV is a live television streaming service that was started by DISH Network. It's one of the original players in the live television streaming business. Despite being owned by DISH Network, it's an entirely separate service that's aimed at cord-cutters.

Some streaming services offer channel libraries that rival those of cable and satellite providers, but Sling TV went a different way. They offer a sparser lineup of some of the most popular channels, and they do it at a price point that's significantly lower than most of the competition.

Unlike Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV offers multiple subscription options. Sling Orange is a basic plan that includes a decent number of basic cable channels. Sling Blue adds additional basic cable channels and some network channels. Sling Orange & Blue combines the two.

Sling TV works like Hulu. You can watch live TV on your computer or laptop, or download an app for your phone, tablet, streaming device, or game console.

Hulu vs. Sling Feature Comparison

Hulu with Live TV and Sling TV both have positive and negative qualities. Even though they provide the same basic service, each one will naturally appeal to different people based on things like 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 70+ 30+ 45+

Hulu and Sling match up evenly in a lot of categories, like stream quality, device access limitations, and DVR time limits, so we didn't include them in our comparison. In terms of device availability, Sling TV is available for Android TV, while Hulu's Android TV app only provides on-demand content. Otherwise, device availability is the same between the two services.

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

The clear winner between Hulu vs. Sling TV, for most people, is Hulu. First, it provides access to more channels, including major networks in more geographic areas. Second, it has a wealth of fantastic original content that you can't watch anywhere else.

The catch is that Hulu's one-size-fits-all plan doesn't fit everyone. It's suitable for families because it offers two simultaneous streams by default. Plus, it allows you to upgrade to unlimited streams, so the kids won't ever have to argue about which show to watch.

Hulu's profile system also makes it an excellent choice for families. Instead of sharing one profile, up to six people in your household can set up preferences, watch lists, and restrictions. If you have young children, those features are especially important.

Sling TV's strengths position it for a different target audience. While it doesn't offer as many channels as Hulu does, its subscription fees are lower. If the channels you're looking for are available on Sling TV, you can save money every month by choosing this service over Hulu.