X

Hulu + Live TV vs. Sling TV

Compare two of the most popular live TV streaming services.
by Lara Vukelich — 
hulu-live-tv-vs-sling-tv.jpg

Simpson33 / iStock / via Getty Images

Hulu + Live TV vs. Sling TV Highlights

If you want live programming and Hulu original content, an ad-free option, and dozens of channels: Hulu + Live TV If you want lots of sports programming, a lower-than-average monthly fee, and a basketball bundle: Sling TV
Hulu has dozens of original shows and movies Two unique channel lineup options (Sling Orange and Sling Blue)
Large channel lineup Up to 50 channels available by combining plans
50 recording hours included Free Google Chromecast streaming device when you pre-pay for one month of service

When it comes to Hulu + Live TV vs. Sling TV, the right choice for your household depends largely on your budget and how often you'll use the service. The Hulu + Live TV option is often preferred by people who want to marry live TV network programming with Hulu's original content, including Only Murders in the Building, The Handmaid's Tale, How I Met Your Father, Palm Springs, The Great, and much more.

Meanwhile, Sling TV is ideal for users who don't need as many channels and want to cut costs along with cutting the cord. Neither service requires a long-term contract, so you can try one and cancel it after a few months if it isn't the best fit.

Compare Hulu + Live TV vs. Sling TV plans

Hulu + Live TV vs. Sling TV Comparison


Hulu + Live TVSling TV
Starting monthly price $70$35
Free trial length NoneThree days
Number of channels 85+ (may vary based on your region)Up to 50 (depends on your Sling TV plan)
Number of simultaneous streams TwoUp to three
Cloud DVR storage 50 hours50 hours
Offline viewing Yes (for on-demand content)No
Ad-free option Yes (for on-demand content)No

Which streaming service is right for you?

The right streamer for you depends on a few specific variables. You might notice that a streamer your friend loves wouldn't satiate your entertainment bug. However, Hulu + Live TV is best for users who want both original on-demand content, as well as their favorite local and cable networks. Sling TV Orange and Blue plans are better for price-conscious subscribers who are focused on sports and news.

Let's dive into the user experience for each streamer, how to personalize your experience, the extras available, and possible disadvantages.

User experience

Hulu + Live TV

If you already have Hulu, you can easily upgrade to Hulu + Live TV and use the same account. The Hulu apps on your phone, tablet, and other devices will also work with Hulu + Live TV. Hulu supported devices include: 

  • Android tablets and phones

  • Android TV/Google TV

  • Apple TV

  • Chromecast

  • Echo Show

  • Fire tablets and TV

  • iPhones and iPads

  • Roku

  • PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5

  • Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S

  • Samsung, Sony, LG, Vizio, TCL, Hisense, and other smart TVs 

The Hulu + Live TV app is easy to use. You can toggle quickly between live viewing and your on-demand catalog. Plus, the guide looks like what you're used to if you've ever used traditional cable. If you log into one device and watch part of a program, it will remember where you left off later -- even if you log in using a different Hulu compatible device.  

Sling TV

Sling TV can also be viewed from many different devices while downloading the Sling TV app to any device is free. Compatible devices include:

  • Apple TV

  • iPhones and iPads

  • Roku

  • Fire TV

  • Chromecast

  • AirTV Player

  • Android TV/Google TV

  • Android phones and tablets

  • TiVo Stream

  • Portal by Facebook

  • Oculus Go and Oculus Quest headsets

  • Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S

  • Samsung, Sony, LG, Vizio, TCL, Hisense, and other smart TVs

  • Xfinity devices

Sling TV offers local channels free when you have an HD antenna, which is sold separately. However, you can get a free HD antenna when you pre-pay for two months of service.

Personalization

Hulu + Live TV

Hulu + Live TV allows users to have up to six unique profiles on the same account. This allows you to personalize your on-demand content experience in a few ways. First, each profile will remember what the user has been watching. If you pause a show halfway through, you can pick back up the next time you log in. 

Another user on a separate profile can be watching the same series at a different pace without causing any confusion. Profiles also allow you to get more personalized recommendations. Hulu will start to learn what you like and suggest TV series and movies based on your taste. 

Hulu + Live TV also allows users to create a PIN for profiles to keep users out. This may act as parental control on kids' accounts when you want to limit screen time. You can turn the "Kids" switch to the "on" position when creating a profile to bar access to mature content. 

Sling TV

Unfortunately, Sling TV does not allow user profiles. Everyone in your household will need to operate under the same profile. There are a few ways to personalize your experience, however. 

The "My Channels" feature allows you fast access to the channels you watch most. Go to the "My Channels" ribbon and click "Edit." From there you can search for and add a channel. You can also personalize your channel lineup quite a bit by adding bundles for more entertainment, live sports, and news. 

Extras and add-ons

Hulu + Live TV

  • You can add premium channels like HBO Max, Showtime, and Starz to your channel lineup for an additional fee. HBO Max costs $15/mo., while Showtime goes for $11/mo. and Starz is just $9/mo. This is a great addition for anyone who likes access to a lot of movies and TV shows. 

  • For just $10/mo., you can access the Hulu live sports add-on. This extra gives you live and on-demand content from NFL RedZone, TVG, TVG 2, MAVTV, Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, and more.

  • Enhanced Cloud DVR. Some households will run through 50 hours of DVR space pretty quickly. However, you can upgrade to 200 hours of DVR space for an extra $10/mo. 

Sling TV

  • For $5/mo., you can upgrade from 50 hours of DVR space to 200 hours with the DVR Plus add-on. This feature is great for households with multiple watchers. 

  • Sling TV also offers a Sports Extra add-on for more sports content for $11/mo. This add-on gives you access to 10 additional sports channels, including NBA TV, ESPNU, MLB Network, ESPN News, and more.

  • For $21/mo., Sling TV will give you all of the extras, including added DVR space. If you were to buy each extra separately, it would cost $45 -- so this is a pretty good savings. 

Disadvantages

Hulu + Live TV

Hulu + Live TV offers a ton of great content, but for the price, it may not represent huge savings over traditional cable. You don't have the option to cut channels that you don't want if you want to save some money. In addition, there are no premium channels included in the base package. You have to pay more.

Sling TV

Sling TV doesn't offer any original programming. And to maximize the channels on your plan, you need to pay for both the Sling Orange and Sling Blue plans, which increases the monthly cost from $35/mo. to $50/mo. 

Our final take

Hulu + Live TV is best for people who are looking to get more value for the amount of content they can stream thanks to the Disney Bundle. This is a major bonus for sports lovers and families with kids. However, Sling TV is ideal for users concerned about price who just need the basics. 

Overall, if you're a TV lover who likes access to on-demand original content, live TV, sports, and more, Hulu + Live TV is your best option.