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Last updated on Feb 17, 2020

Hulu vs. Sling TV

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Suzanna Colberg

By Suzanna Colberg Contributing Writer

Suzanna Colberg specializes in print articles and web content. Her stories have been published in Massage Magazine, Grand Rapids Magazine, AAA Magazine, and SwitchedOn Leadership magazine. As a senior copywriter and content strategist in Chicago, Suzanna has worked with clients that run the gamut from healthcare to agriculture to hearing aids, human resources software, finance and more.

Hulu Live TV vs. Sling TV

These days, many people are opting to ditch cable for streaming services that offer tons of features and flexibility. For cord-cutters who still want to watch their favorite cable TV and network shows, Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV are great alternatives.

Both of these services provide access to live TV programs, including sports, news, regional programming, and more. But there are a few key differences.

For starters, Hulu + Live TV will cost more upfront, but it offers an extensive library of channels, plus an entire library of on-demand content. On the flip side, Sling TV is great for budget-conscious viewers who want access to their favorite cable channels. However, shoppers will have to invest more time and effort to figure out which channels and networks the platform does and does not offer, and which package provides the channels they want.

Hulu Live TV vs. Sling TV Overview

When it comes to deciding which live TV streaming service to choose, there are a few key differences between Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV. While Hulu + Live TV delivers more DVR space and simultaneous streaming flexibility, Sling TV has discounts that Hulu + Live TV does not, and an overall lower price tag.

Hulu + Live TV
Sling TV
Starting monthly price
$54.99/mo.
$25/mo.
Number of channels
60+
30+
Free trial length
7 days
7 days
Number of simultaneous streams
2
1-4
DVR storage
50 hours
50 hours
Max number of account profiles
6
1

Channel selection

For users who want access to major networks, Hulu + Live TV’s lineup includes ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC represented via their local affiliates. Plus, users can watch major cable channels like FX, TNT, and USA, as well as news and sports channels CNN, ESPN, Fox News, Fox Sports 1, and MSNBC. Hulu also has several premium add-ons, including Cinemax, HBO, SHOWTIME, and STARZ.

Sling TV bundles specific channels in two different plans: the Orange package and Blue package, which can be combined. Users must purchase the Orange + Blue plan to score all of Sling’s channels. However, Sling TV’s package structure and channel options are more scattered than Hulu + Live TV’s, so it will take some mathematics to determine which plan to select. Sling TV carries limited local channels—a choice that reduces the service’s overall cost. It doesn’t offer ABC or CBS, and Fox and NBC are not available in every area.

Additionally, the channels at Sling TV appear to be strategically arranged to make subscribers purchase the combination package for $40 per month. Sling TV’s add-ons cost almost just as much as Hulu + Live TV’s plan. However, users interested in just one of Sling’s bundles will have room to add several premium channel packs, including HBO, SHOWTIME, and Starz, and still come out ahead price-wise.

DVR storage

Both Sling TV and Hulu + Live TV’s entry-level packages include 50 hours of DVR storage. However, there are key differences between each service’s out-of-the-gate DVR capabilities. For instance, Sling TV doesn’t users to record Disney-owned channels — Hulu + Live TV, on the other hand, does.

Viewers can fast-forward through commercials with Sling TV’s DVR capabilities. Hulu + Live TV requires users to pay for the upgraded Cloud DVR feature to access fast-forward.

Number of screens and profiles

Hulu + Live TV’s standard plan allows two simultaneous streams. This is a great option for multi-person households.

Sling Orange only allows one device to stream at a time, which can be a hassle, especially for households with multiple sports-lovers, since this is the package that includes ESPN. Sling Blue, on the other hand, allows three devices to stream at once.

The Orange and Blue combination package permits streaming on four devices simultaneously. But even with the upgraded plan, users are still limited to one streamer on Orange channels and three simultaneous streamers on Blue ones. Unlike Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV does not offer the option to increase the number of plan screens or simultaneous streams.

Another key difference is the individual profiles feature. Hulu + Live TV allows up to six individual profiles per plan. This is a nice feature for households with multiple watchers, as it allows users to create profiles tailored to their tastes and preferences.

Sling TV, however, does not offer individualized profiles, which means everyone on any given plan will have to use the same profile. So while Sling TV does offer personalized recommendations based on past viewing choices, the feature becomes less useful when multiple viewers use the same platform.

The Bottom Line

For users primarily interested in saving money on TV, Sling is well worth checking out. With more flexible out-of-the-gate DVR features than Hulu + Live TV — and the same amount of DVR storage — Sling TV is perfect for budget-conscious cord-cutters.

Hulu + Live TV is the ideal choice for viewers looking for the best bells, whistles, and add-ons. While the entry-level package price is significantly higher than Sling TV, the service provides a fantastic channel selection and a massive library of on-demand content, including award-winning original shows like “The Handmaid’s Tale.”