Looking at the vast amount of options there are in the streaming space, it’s safe to say that this cable alternative isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Whether you’re looking for one channel or one hundred, it seems likely that there is a service out there for you. While this is great to hear, if you’re not sure what you want it can also feel pretty daunting. With that in mind, let’s do a little comparison shopping. Today we’re going to do a Sling TV vs Hulu Live comparison.
The following sections should help you to compare things like price, channel lineup, available features, and overall value. With this information you should be able to get a better idea of what both services have to offer, and which would be right for you as a result!
Sling TV and Hulu Live Similarities
Streaming services usually offer a fair amount of differences, but they also have things they share in common. So, before we dive too deep into what makes Sling TV and Hulu Live different, let’s check out some of their similarities. Both Sling TV and Hulu Live are:
- Contract-free services, allowing you the choice to cancel on your terms
- Solid choices if you’re looking for a cable alternative
- Cheaper than average cable packages
- Filled with some of the most popular TV channels
- Available through Internet streaming, not cable
- Compatible with most streaming devices including computers, mobile devices, Roku, Apple TV, and more
Whether you’re looking for a way to watch sports online or you just miss being able to flip channels, both Sling TV and Hulu Live provide a mix of sports, general entertainment, news, and even movies. Both of these services start you off with a free trial, won’t make you sign a contract, and offer a package comparable to cable for a lot less money.
The next part of this Sling TV vs Hulu Live comparison will give you a deeper look at what both services have to offer.
Sling TV vs Hulu Live: At a Glance
Here you’ll find a breakdown of some of the factors that will make or break your decision to choose Sling TV or Hulu Live. You’ll get a quick look at important issues like price, channel availability, special features, and other important factors.
Price/Value – Sling TV starts you off with a cheaper plan, which starts at $30 a month. In comparison, Hulu Live is $55 per month. Sling TV offers more options for customization where your channel lineup is concerned, but Hulu Live starts you off with more channels, requiring less need for customization.
Channel Selection – Sling TV offers 30 to 40 channels to start, but when you factor in add-on packages over 100 channel options could end up in your final package. Hulu Live starts you with over 60 channels and gets closer to 75+ with upgrade additions. Sling TV offers more options to customize your package, but Hulu Live starts you off with a larger package, with less needs for upgrading.
Features – Sling TV and Hulu Live share many similar features. Both services allow you to use TV Everywhere apps with your streaming service login. You can stream on multiple devices at the same time, though Hulu Live allows you to upgrade to unlimited simultaneous streaming and Sling TV puts a cap on how many devices you can use at once. An on-demand library also comes with both services. However, Hulu’s library is the Hulu on-demand service, which includes an endless amount of on-demand TV, movies, and Hulu Originals.
Some differences come in the fact that Hulu Live allows for user profiles while Sling TV does not. Hulu Live also offers a DVR with 50-hours of space that you can upgrade. Sling TV now includes DVR also. So, feature-wise, the main difference is that Hulu Live offers user profiles and a cloud-DVR. Sling TV currently has no user profile option and the cloud-DVR will cost you more.
Device Compatibility – When it comes to device compatibility, both Sling TV and Hulu Live will work on Apple TV, iPhone and Android phones and tablets, Fire TV devices, Roku, Chromecast, computers, and some smart TVs. Hulu Live also works on the Nintendo Switch and Xbox 360/Xbox One consoles. Meanwhile, only Sling TV is compatible with AirTV and Nvidia Shield.
Deals & Free Trial – Sling and Hulu Live each offer a free weeklong trial. Sling TV also usually has some kind of member special available when you pre-pay for a certain amount of time. Hulu Live doesn’t usually have member specials beyond the free trial.
Sling TV is going to give you the best option in terms of budget. They also allow you a better chance to customize your package. On the other hand, Hulu Live offers things like user profiles, more movie channel add-ons, and a free DVR. Both services have plenty to offer. It likely will all come down to how much you want to spend and what you’re looking for in your package.
Now, let’s look more at the Sling TV vs Hulu Live channel lineup.
Sling TV vs Hulu Live Channels
A side-by-side comparison of Sling TV vs Hulu Live, in terms of channel lineup, is a bit difficult, because Sling TV allows you to choose between three package options and Hulu Live only has one. That said, the following will give you a rundown of options for both services.
Sling TV offers three base packages:
Sling Orange + Blue: This combines the two packages above, giving you all shared and specific channels from both packages for a total of 50+ channels for $45 a month. This means you’ll have channels like ESPN that are exclusive to Sling Orange and channels like Discovery and FOX Sports Network, which come with Sling Blue all in one package.
Add on Packages: If you want additional channels, there are multiple add-on packages available that let you access dozens of other channels, including premium networks like Showtime and Starz, tons of sports channels, and more. Each package offers anywhere from around 5 to 10 channels, on average for between $5 and $10 per month. There is no limit to the number of add-ons you can add to your Sling TV package. You can also cancel them at any time.
Hulu Live has one package:
Hulu Live starts you off with over 60 channels that include local channels, news, sports, and plenty of general entertainment channels. Some add-on options are also available, though not as many as you’ll find in Sling TV. Package options include:
Hulu Live: Over 60 channels are included for $55 per month. Popular channels include the possibility of all four local channels, A&E, Animal Planet, Boomerang, Big Ten Network, FX, Syfy, CW, Freeform, HLN, Lifetime, and many others.
Add-on Packages: Hulu Live offers fewer options for add-ons, but they do offer the chance to add HBO, Cinemax, Starz, and Showtime for an additional fee. You can also add the Spanish-language package or the Entertainment Add-on, which gives you access to a variety of channels including Cooking Channel, Destination America, FYI, and more. Like with Sling TV, any of these add-ons can be cancelled at any time.
Now that we know some of the basics, let’s look a little deeper to see how Sling Orange + Blue and Hulu Live stacks up in a variety of genres.
Sling TV: ESPN, ESPN 2 &3, ESPNU, FOX Sports and NBC regional Sports Networks (in select markets), FS1 & FS2, NFL Network, NFL RedZone, college sports networks (SEC Network, Pac 12 Network, etc.), and more.
Hulu Live: ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, regional networks from FOX Sports and NBC Sports, Big Ten Network, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPNU, Golf, SEC Network, Telemundo, and more.
News & Locals
Sling TV Local Channels and News: FOX and NBC (in extremely limited areas), CNN, Cheddar News, Newsy, Viceland, and more
Hulu Live Local Channels and News: ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX (in most areas), CNN, CNN International, FOX News, MSNBC, Viceland, and more
Sling TV: AMC, Bravo, truTV, Comedy Central, FX, Disney, Food Network, Lifetime, IFC, HGTV, TNT, USA, and more
Hulu Live: A&E, FX, Syfy, History, Oxygen, TLC, Turner Classic Movies, USA, TBS, Food Network, Disney XD, CW, Bravo, and more
Notable Channels Missing
Sling TV: ABC & CBS, CW, FOX News, Animal Planet, OWN, Nickelodeon
Hulu Live: AMC, Hallmark, TV Land, OWN, Paramount Network, MTV, Comedy Central
Sling TV vs Hulu Live: Which Should You Use?
Now that you know more about each service, it’s time to decide which one best fits your needs. Here’s how this Sling TV vs Hulu Live comparison looks.
Local Channels = Hulu Live wins this one hands down. You have the possibility to receive all four standard local channels with Hulu Live. In fact, Hulu Live currently offers more local coverage to more homes across the country. Sling TV provides access to NBC and FOX, but the coverage areas are very limited.
Sports Channels = This could easily be considered a tie, unless you’re looking for local and regional coverage, in which case Hulu Live would be the winner. Both services offer ESPN, FSN, FS1, and many other popular sports channels. Hulu Live offers Big Ten and SEC Network, which are not included in any Sling TV packages at this time. Overall, both services offer some good sports coverage, it will just depend on what you’re looking for.
News Channels = Hulu Live beats Sling on this one as they offer local coverage and all three of the major cable news networks. In comparison, Sling’s local coverage is limited, and the only major cable news network offered is CNN.
Entertainment Channels = Sling TV might be the winner here thanks to the addition of channels like AMC and Comedy Central, which Hulu Live doesn’t offer. Of course, with Hulu Live you’ll get some channels not included with Sling TV. You’ll also get the Hulu on-demand service, which includes Hulu Originals at no added cost.
Both services come with their own set of pros and cons, so this is just an overview of what you can expect. If you want to know more, you should consider taking a look at Sling TV and Hulu Live for yourself!
Sling TV vs Hulu Live: Final Thoughts
If price is your number one concern, Sling TV may be the service for you. Hulu Live gives you a more complete channel lineup including local channels, but Sling TV gives you a chance to craft your package, which could mean paying less and getting more of the channels you want. You can check out our Sling TV review to learn more.
Customization is amazing, but if you want something that looks and feels a bit more like cable. Hulu Live might be what you want. The addition of local channels to more areas than any other streaming service will be a popular option for some. They also include the Hulu on-demand service, which can lower your cost if you already subscribe to Hulu and want to add Live TV to your streaming plan. They also include user profiles and a cloud-DVR which is not included in any Sling TV plan. You can visit our Hulu Live review to learn more.
No matter which choice you’re considering, both services allow you a comfortable and inexpensive path to replacing cable. Services are contract-free, so you’ll never be tied down and they offer free trials, so if you find one of them isn’t right for you, you can cancel before you get stuck paying for something you don’t like.
Are you ready to try one or both of these services?
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