In this post, 2 major live TV streaming services go head to head on the basis of channel availability, pricing, stream quality, among other features.
When you decide to ditch cable television, thanks to TV streaming services. You can still continue enjoying your favourite TV shows and movies.
TV streaming services, which are Internet-based enable you to watch live television on any compatible device, such as your PC, smartphone, smart TV, etc.
Obviously, you need access to a high-speed internet connection.
Hulu vs Sling TV
Hulu and Sling TV are 2 of the biggest names in this space. Apart from its on-demand platform, the latter company also offers a Live TV streaming service.
While these 2 services allow you to watch sports, news, movies, and other live TV, there are some differences in the way they operate.
One of these is pricing: Hulu Plus Live TV is costlier at the basic level but provides you with more programming upfront.
Sling TV, on the other hand, is ideal users on a budget but is slightly trickier as regards determining what it does (and does not) offer.
Looking at this factor — service cost — and others listed above,
let’s see which one is best for you.
Hulu with Live TV
Hulu is a US-based internet streaming service which was established in 2007. It was originally designed as a joint venture among NBC Universal and News Corporation, Providence Equity Partners, and later Walt Disney, to offer on-demand access to their television shows. It quickly included ABC to its list of partners.
As you can guess from its name, Hulu with Live TV is a subscription service, which features everything you get from Hulu, in addition, to live TV streaming.
This service is offered via the main Hulu site, enabling you to watch live TV on your PC. Additionally, it has mobile apps for all the most popularly used smartphones, streaming devices as well as some game consoles.
Also called Sling Television. This is an American live TV streaming service. It was started and owned by DISH Network.
It is among the original players in the live TV streaming arena. And in spite of the fact it is owned by DISH Network, Sling TV is an entirely separate service, specifically targeted at cord-cutters.
A number of streaming services feature channel libraries, which compete with those of cable & satellite providers. Sling TV, however, adopted a different approach.
They provide viewers with a smaller lineup of some of the most popular channels, and these are offered at a price point, which is significantly lower than the majority of their rivals.
Sling TV — unlike Hulu with Live TV — gives you multiple subscription options.
One of these is Sling Orange. A basic plan including a decent number of basic channels on cable television.
Another plan is Sling Blue. This includes additional basic cable channels as well as some network channels. Sling Orange & Blue combines both options.
Both Sling TV and Hulu work similarly. They enable you to watch live television on the computer/laptop or download an app for your mobile phone, tab, game console, or streaming device.
Hulu vs Sling TV Content
Both Hulu Plus Live TV and Sling TV allows you to view many of your favorite channels. However, the 2 services work a bit differently.
Hulu+ Live TV
Hulu Plus Live TV has only a primary subscription option, featuring virtually everything in its catalog.
That is a lot. The majority of customers can expect to get the 4 main networks. Which are ABC, Fox, NBC, and CBS, represented with their local affiliates (this varies by region, though)
One can also get some primary cable channels, such as USA, FX, and TNT, 24-hour news networks like Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC, in addition to sports channels like Fox Sports 1 and ESPN.
The actual channel lineup is not the same in every location. So if you find that there is one channel, you will have to take like that.
You can check Hulu’s listings for the region you are resident in before you sign up.
Hulu+ Live TV Add-ons
But Hulu does not offer everything. You will not see a lot of Viacom-owned channels, such as MTV and Comedy Central, or even AMC Networks.
For an additional fee, you can sign for premium networks, including HBO and Showtime via Hulu. This subscription will also include add-on packages like the Entertainment add-on.
Here you can get Destination America as well as the Cooking Channel, while the Español add-on will give you access to some Spanish-language channels.
Also, as a bonus, you will be offered access to the standard Hulu service with the subscription. This allows you to enjoy watching several excellent movies & TV programs.
As for Sling TV. It gives you the freedom to choose which channels you get.
Mainly, you will only be required to pay for programs that you actually watch. This is a great concept. But there is a downside: It makes subscribing for Sling TV more complicated, forcing you to do a bit of math when calculating costs.
There is some overlap between Orange and Blue packages as both offer you TNT, Cartoon Network, and CNN, for instance.
Orange equally has Disney-owned properties, meaning the channel is more sports-focused due to the 3 ESPN networks.
Blue, by contrast, comes with more entertainment options, such as AMC, FX, and Comedy Central.
As of now, Blue package is also the only place in which you can get NBC and Fox (if they are available in your area). You can as well as sign up for Orange & Blue together at a discount.
The rest of the channels on Sling Television are part of optional add-ons, running from $5 to $15. These channels tend to be grouped based on themes, including Kids, Comedy, News, etc.
Selecting Sling Television add-ons
Selecting which add-on package to opt for can depend on the type of base subscription you’ve.
For instance, if you sign up for Sling Orange. The Sports Extra pack features ESPNews, ESPN Goal Line as well as ESPN Bases Loaded.
If you go for Sling Blue, Sports Extra will not include any of those but will feature the RedZone, NBC Golf, NFL Network, along with the Olympic Channel.
For a few extra bucks, you may as well include some individual channels, such as the wellness-oriented Grokker, in addition to premium channels, such as Showtime and Cinemax.
As a result of a feud between Dish Network (Sling TV’s parent company) and AT&T, Sling TV does not support HBO subscriptions as of now and does not let you watch ABC or CBS as well.
Hulu vs Sling TV Devices
Both Hulu+ Live TV and Sling TV work on all the standard streaming devices. Thus, with a Roku, Amazon Fire TV or Fire tab, Chromecast stick, Apple TV, or home PC, you are good to go. But if your hardware’s old, your device may not be supported; hence, it is better to check both Hulu‘s and Sling’s device compatibility lists before you sign up for either of the 2.
If you prefer to make use of a smart TV to stream media, Sling Television is slightly better. While the standard Hulu mobile app works nearly everywhere, the Live TV feature is exclusively available on select Samsung TVs. Comparatively, Sling supports both Samsung & LG sets.
Concerning gaming consoles, the 2 services run smoothly on the Xbox One, but Hulu+ Live TV equally works on your Nintendo Switch.
You will find that regular Hulu will play on your Sony devices, while neither Hulu+ Live TV nor Sling Television is available on Sony TVs, PlayStation consoles, or Blu-ray players, which could be an attempt to force customers to sign up for Sony’s PlayStation Vue service.
There are loads of streaming options available on the market; to make your choice, try to check the compatibility lists online before paying for any service.
Hulu vs Sling TV Prices
Hulu+ Live TV goes for $45 per month for around 60 channels, in addition to everything offered on your regular Hulu.
(If you want to include commercial-free viewing for Hulu’s on-demand platform, the price increases to $51.) Though it is pricey, you will get loads of entertainment. As for Sling’s basic packages, the Orange and Blue options cost $25 per month apiece, or $40 when combined. If you want additional Sling channels, you will have to pay an amount lying in the region, $5–$15 each, based on your specific add-on package.
For some months now, Sling TV has been offering customers the 1st 3 months of Sling Orange and Blue for $15 each, or $25 combined. The company often has promotions for new subscribers, such as a free Roku Express with 2 months paid upfront, or a bundle with an AirTV for a 3-month duration.
Additional features such as Sling’s cloud-based DVR or Hulu’s Unlimited Screens add-on will equally make your subscription price higher, just like premium channels, including Starz, Showtime, and HBO (for Hulu) will.
Subscriptions to those channels normally come with the same cost as we have it everywhere else unless there is a limited offer; for this reason, you can expect to pay $9 for Cinemax and Showtime, $15 for HBO, and so on. Both Hulu and Sling TV offers a free trial for seven days.
Owing to the fact that the live TV streaming market is crowded, you might find it a bit of a chore to get the right service.
If you want a service that’ll give you all you can get, Hulu+ Live TV could be your best bet.
Hulu’s one-and-done subscription plan is easier to understand and also gives you a higher number of channels, which include all 4 popular broadcast networks, upfront.
You will equally have access to Hulu’s regular on-demand service that’s essential for the majority of cord-cutters.
On the other part of the divide, if you are on a budget and only watch a few channels, with Sling, you will be able to avoid making some expenses.
You can pair your Sling Television with an HDTV antenna (to enable you to gain access to those missing broadcast networks) and Netflix that you would probably sign up for anyway. And you will end up enjoying a solid (and not-so-costly) entertainment collection.
Having said that, both Hulu+ Live TV and Sling are amazing live TV services, so if you want to cut the cord for good, you won’t have any regret choosing between the 2 options.