YouTube TV vs. Sling TV vs. Hulu + Live TV: Which live streaming service is right for you?

Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV are video streaming services that provide subscribers with access to live channels and on-demand content. Hulu and YouTube TV are premium streaming services, while Sling TV offers a budget cord-cutting alternative. All three have content add-ons subscribers can purchase to extend their viewing options.

Hulu + Live TV is the most popular provider in the growing live video streaming market, with 3.2 million subscribers. It provides access to more than 70 live TV channels and a wide range of on-demand movies and shows. Sling TV isn’t far behind with 2.8 million subscribers. It offers 3 distinct packages that enable viewers to live stream up to 53 channels. YouTube TV currently has more than two million subscribers in the US and delivers a cable-like experience with around 80 live channels — the exact number varies by location. 

Plans and pricing for Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV

 

Hulu + Live TV Sling TV YouTube TV
Starting monthly price $54.99/mo. $30/mo. $49.99/mo.
Free trial length 7 days None 7 days
Number of channels 72 32 to 53 80
Original content  Yes No No
Live sports streaming  Yes Yes Yes
Streaming quality 4K Ultra HD HD 4K HDR

 

Comparing the Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV experience

Cord cutters can expect a varied user experience from each of these three services. Here’s how they stack up on account personalization.

Accounts

Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV both provide individual accounts for up to six users, each of which receives a personalized service that’s tailored to their preferences and interests. Sling TV offers one account per user and doesn’t enable users to create multiple profiles. 

Add-on features

Hulu + Live TV users can add channels such as Cinemax ($9.99/mo.), HBO ($14.99/mo.), Showtime ($10.99/mo.) or Starz ($8.99/mo.) to their package. The Entertainment ($7.99/mo.) and Espanol ($4.99/mo.) Add-ons are just a few of the other available choices. 

Sling TV subscribers can bolster their viewing options with several content add-ons, such as Showtime ($10/mo.) and Starz ($9/mo). Lifestyle Extra, Hollywood Extra, and News Extra all cost $5/mo. There’s also Sports Extra, which provides access to MLB Network and NHL Network. The package costs $10/mo. for Sling Blue subscribers and $15/mo. for those with Sling Orange & Blue. 

YouTube TV subscribers can also add additional content to the standard package with channels such as Showtime ($7/mo.) and Starz ($9/mo.) Sports fans have access to several sports-centered offerings, like FOX Soccer Plus ($15/mo.) and NBA League Pass ($40/mo.), and more. Other choices include Acorn ($6/mo.), AMC Premiere ($5/mo.), CuriosityStream ($3/mo.), and Sundance Now ($7/mo.)

Setting controls

All three streaming services let users manage content through settings controls. Hulu + Live TV users can create a Kids Profile, to limit viewing exclusively to shows in the service’s Kids Hub section. Sling TV provides parental control settings that enable users to lock specific content based on ratings and prevent in-app purchases like movie rentals or pay-per-view offerings. 

YouTube TV subscribers can create profiles that are restricted to specific types of programming, such as shows in the Kids Hub. They also have the ability to block content and restrict searches. All three also permit users to control closed captioning features, such as subtitle text color and size, background and window color, and opacity.

Device compatibility

Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV can be watched across devices that are compatible with the services’ apps. Here’s an overview of how to watch.

 

Streaming Player Hulu+ Live TV Sling TV YouTube TV
Roku X X X
Fire TV X X X
Apple TV X X X
Chromecast X X X
iOS X X X
Android Phones/Tablet X X X
Android TV X X X
Xbox One X X X
PlayStation 4 X

 

Features

YouTube TV has the best Cloud DVR storage option in the live streaming market, enabling users to store unlimited movies and TV shows for up to nine months. Hulu + Live TV subscribers can record up to 50 hours of content, which can be quadrupled to 200 hours for an extra $9.99/mo. with Enhanced Cloud DVR. They can also automatically record content by adding their favorite shows or sports teams to My Stuff

Sling TV offers 10 hours of Cloud DVR storage, which can be upgraded to 50 hours for an additional $5/mo. All three streaming services let users record multiple shows at the same time and fast-forward through stored content. Sling TV’s Blue & Orange package permits users to watch four streams simultaneously. Sling Orange only allows one simultaneous stream, and Sling Blue maxes out at three. 

YouTube TV provides three simultaneous streams, compared to the two available through Hulu + Live TV. However, Hulu subscribers can upgrade to unlimited home devices and 3 mobile streams with the Unlimited Screens Add-on for $9.99/mo.

Hulu + Live TV vs. Sling TV vs. YouTube TV channels

 

Hulu + Live TV Sling TV YouTube TV
A&E Yes Yes No
ABC Yes No Yes
ACC Network Yes Yes Yes
AMC No Yes Yes
American Heroes Channel Yes Yes No
Animal Planet Yes No Yes
AXS TV No Yes No
Baby TV No Yes No
BBC America No Yes Yes
BBC World News No Yes Yes
BeIN Sports No Yes No
BET No Yes No
Big Ten Network Yes No Yes
Blaze TV No Yes No
Bloomberg Television No Yes No
Boomerang Yes Yes No
Bravo Yes Yes Yes
Campus Insider No Yes No
Cartoon Network/Adult Swim Yes Yes Yes
CBS Yes No Yes
CBS Sports Net Yes No Yes
Cheddar Yes Yes Yes
Cheddar Big News Yes Yes Yes
Cinemax Yes Yes No
CMT No Yes No
CNBC Yes Yes Yes
CNBC World Yes No Yes
CNN Yes Yes Yes
CNN International Yes No No
Comedy Central No Yes No
Comet No Yes Yes
Cooking Channel No Yes No
Cowboy Channel No Yes No
Cozi TV No No Yes
CW Yes No Yes
Destination America Yes Yes No
Discovery Yes Yes Yes
Discovery Yes No No
Discovery Life Yes No No
Disney Channel Yes Yes Yes
Disney Junior Yes Yes Yes
Disney XD Yes Yes Yes
DIY Network No Yes No
Duck TV No Yes No
E! Yes Yes Yes
EPIX No Yes Yes
EPIX Drive-In No Yes Yes
EPIX Hits No Yes Yes
EPIX2 No Yes Yes
ESPN Yes Yes Yes
ESPN 2 Yes Yes Yes
ESPN Bases Loaded No Yes No
ESPN Deportes No Yes No
ESPN Goal Line No Yes No
ESPN News Yes Yes Yes
ESPN U Yes Yes Yes
Euronews No Yes No
Fla Ma No Yes No
Food Network Yes Yes Yes
FOX Yes Yes Yes
FOX Business Yes No Yes
FOX News Channel Yes No Yes
FOX Regional Sports Network Yes No Yes
France 24 No Yes No
Free Speech No Yes No
FreeForm Yes Yes Yes
FS1 Yes Yes Yes
FS2 Yes Yes Yes
Fuse No Yes No
Fusion No Yes No
FX Yes Yes Yes
FXM Yes No Yes
FXX Yes Yes Yes
FYI Yes Yes No
Galavision No Yes No
Golf Channel Yes Yes Yes
GSN No Yes No
Hallmark Drama & Movies No Yes No
HBO Yes No No
HDNet Movies No Yes No
HGTV Yes Yes Yes
History Yes Yes No
HLN Yes Yes Yes
IFC No Yes Yes
Investigation Discovery Yes Yes Yes
Lifetime Yes Yes No
Lifetime Movies Yes Yes No
Local Now No Yes Yes
Logo No Yes No
MLB Network No Yes Yes
Motortrend Yes Yes Yes
MSNBC Yes Yes Yes
MTV No Yes No
MTV 2 No Yes No
Nat Geo Yes Yes Yes
Nat Geo Wild Yes Yes Yes
NBA TV No Yes Yes
NBC Yes Yes Yes
NBC Sports Network Yes Yes Yes
NBC Sportsnet Yes Yes Yes
NDTV No Yes No
NESN No No Yes
News18 No Yes No
Newsmax No Yes No
Newsy No Yes Yes
NFL Network No Yes No
NHL Network No Yes No
Nick Jr. No Yes No
Nicktoons No Yes No
Olympic Channel Yes Yes Yes
Outdoor Channel No Yes No
Outside TV No Yes No
Oxygen Yes Yes Yes
Pac-12 No Yes No
Paramount No Yes No
Pop Yes No Yes
Revolt No Yes No
RFDTV No Yes No
Ride TV No Yes No
RT Network No Yes No
Science Channel Yes Yes No
SEC Network Yes Yes Yes
Showtime Yes Yes Yes
Smithsonian Yes No Yes
SNY Yes No Yes
Sportsman No Yes No
Sprout Yes No Yes
Start TV No No Yes
Stadium No Yes No
Sundance TV No Yes Yes
SyFy Yes Yes Yes
Tastemade No No Yes
TBS Yes Yes Yes
TeenNick No Yes No
Tennis Channel No No Yes
TLC Yes Yes Yes
TNT Yes Yes Yes
Travel Channel Yes Yes Yes
Tru TV Yes Yes Yes
Turner Classic Movies Yes Yes Yes
TV Land No Yes No
Unimas No Yes No
Universo No No Yes
UP Family No Yes No
USA Yes Yes Yes
VH1 No Yes No
Vibrant No Yes No
Viceland Yes Yes No
WE tv No Yes Yes
WeatherNation No Yes No
YES Yes Yes Yes

 

The final cut

The busy live streaming market offers plenty of opportunities for people to cut the cord on cable — and save money in the process. Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV all offer viable options with live channels and content add-ons that boost their viewing experiences.

Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV are premium streaming choices that offer a good range of live streaming channels, while Hulu also provides access to its huge library of on-demand content. Sling TV is more of a budget option — it’s available for less than half the monthly price of Hulu + Live TV or YouTube TV. It features fewer live channels, but, like the other two streaming competitors, it has a wide range of content add-ons.

Cable cord-cutters can test the Hulu + Live TV and YouTube TV services with seven-day free trials, while Sling TV offers new subscribers a $10 discount on the first month of service. 

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