Sling TV vs Amazon Instant Video

Last Updated:
Disclosure: Your support helps keep our site running! We earn referral fees for some of the products & services we recommend. Learn more

sling_tv vs amazon_instant_video

The Choice often Comes Down to if you Prefer to Pay for Channels or Shows

For Cord Cutter, the holy grail of television is being able to pick and choose what channels you get every month. In early 2015, cord cutters got their wish with Sling TV, an online streaming service that offered a base channel  subscription with a whole host of add-on packages for $5.

At first, Sling TV was the only kid on the block offering ala carte style television to the masses seeking a better cable TV alternative. But now Amazon’s streaming service, Amazon Instant Video, has come out with their own set of cord cutting add-ons; which begs the question of which one is better?

Today we’ll find out as we take a look at what both services have to offer. Let’s get started!

Sling TV

Let’s start with the original add-on service, Sling TV. Sling TV has three base packages that you can choose from: the orange package for $25 a month (includes channels like AMC, HGTV, and ESPN without cable), the blue package for $25 a month (FS1, FOX, and others), or a combined package for $40 (free trial).

As far as the add-ons go, what’s available to you is dependent on the package you choose. For example, when you add the Sports Add-on under the Orange package you get access to ESPNNews but with the Blue package you get the Golf Channel. This is a bit of a simplification, but you get the point.

Now each add-on, with a few exceptions, will cost $5 each. The ones that will cost a little more are the premium cable channels; i.e. HBO, Starz, and Cinemax. HBO will cost $15, Starz is $9, and Cinemax will cost $10.

It’s important to note that since Sling TV aims to be a cable TV alternative, so you won’t find sprawling large add-ons packages; each one is meant as a supplement to your chosen television package. So if you’re looking for a lot of channels for a little amount of money, you might be a little disappointed.

Sling TV DVR

Finally, Sling has released its long awaited Sling TV Cloud DVR on Fire TV. In a few months we expect the DVR functionality to be available across the board.
Everything is on-demand with Amazon Prime, so this is a non-topic.

Amazon Instant Video

Amazon Instant Video has a completely different model. Amazon Instant isn’t meant so much as a cable TV alternative as much as just another incentive to subscribe to Amazon Prime; which is $99 for a year. With that subscription; you get free 2-day shipping, downloadable e-books, millions of streamble songs, and more.

The add-ons offered by Amazon are radically different. Each one is tailored to a specific interest and are less based on specific channels. For example, there’s the Christian-oriented Dove Channel, the horror focused Monsters and Nightmares, and the boxing based RingTV.

Since these add-ons focus less on specific channels, the Amazon add-ons can be measure by how many shows each one has to offer. For example, the Comedy Central Stand-Up Plus add-on has 77 shows and movies while the Acorn TV add-on features 319 shows and movies.

Like Sling TV, you can add premium movies channels to your subscription; like Showtime and Starz. Sadly, no HBO though.

Whats also worth mentioning is that Amazon has started to produce their own Amazon original content. So again, if you are more interested in certain shows, Amazon continues to offer a great option.

Amazon vs Sling TV – Which one is better?

amazon-sling-tvAs far as the question of which service is better, in terms of add-on, it’s tough to say. What matters most is what kind of television viewing experience you’re looking for. If you like live-tv and want something closer to a cable TV alternative, Sling TV might be what you’re looking for (Sling TV now offers a DVR).

But if you’re more worried about specific shows than channels, and don’t mind paying for a year up front, Amazon Instant is where you want to go (not to mention the free 2-day shipping!). In the end, it’s not about who is better; because both are pretty amazing.

Pick which service you like the most and you cannot go wrong.

Which service do you like more? Amazon Instant or Sling TV? Let us know in the comments below or sound off on social media!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.