Sling TV vs. YouTube TV: Which should you buy?

Sling Tv Vs. Youtube Tv
Sling Tv Vs. Youtube Tv (Image credit: Keegan Prosser / Android Central)

Sling TV

Sling Tv Logo

Known as the original app-based cable replacement service, Sling TV lets subscribers stream live television and on-demand content over the internet. The service includes more than 50 live channels, which vary depending on which package you choose.

Sling TV

Original live-streamer

It's on the cheaper end
Subscription options
More varied add-ons
Limited channel selection
Restricted DVR storage
Add-on fees add up quick

YouTube TV

Youtube Tv Logo

YouTube TV offers live TV, on-demand video, and cloud-based DVR from more than 85 television networks, including the Big Four broadcast networks. You also have the option to add a variety of premium channels.

YouTube TV

The live competitor

Great overall channel lineup
Unlimited cloud DVR
Impressive lineup of sports channels
Steeper price
No offline viewing
Restrictions on select sports content

Both Sling TV and YouTube TV offer an impressive lineup of live channels, which span news, sports, entertainment, and more. Sling TV appears to have more variety when it comes to add-ons, but YouTube TV's unlimited DVR storage and larger basic channel package may give it the edge. So which service is better for you?

Sling TV vs. YouTube TV: Prices and features

If cost is a major concern for you, Sling TV is the more affordable option, no matter which channel package you choose. The Sling Orange plan costs $35 and features 32 live channels, including ESPN, CNN, BBC America, and AMC.

Sling Blue also costs $35 per month but includes 47 live channels, including BET, Bravo, and Cartoon Network. While the Blue doesn't necessarily include every Orange channel by default, it is a multi-stream service. You also have the option to subscribe to both the Orange and Blue packages for a joint fee of $50 per month.

In addition to its Orange and Blue plans, Sling TV offers the Sports Extra, which is available now for $11 per month to new customers with a subscription to either Sling Orange or Sling Blue. New customers who subscribe to both the Orange and Blue plans can add the Sports Extra for $15. Other Extras offered by Sling TV for an additional $6 per month are the Comedy Extra, Kids Extra, News Extra, Lifestyle Extra, Hollywood Extra, and Heartland Extra.

Customers who want access to all the content they can get their hands on can opt for The Total TV Deal, which costs $21 per month for subscribers of either the Orange or Blue plan. That bundle gives customers access to DVR Plus, as well as all seven Sling TV Extras. Sling TV also offers non-U.S. focused bundles, Sling International or Sling Latino, for $10 per month each.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Sling TV OrangeSling TV BlueSling TV Orange+BlueYouTube TV
HD streaming (select content)✔️✔️✔️✔️
4K streaming
Concurrent streams1343
Profile limit per account1116

In comparison, YouTube TV offers just one plan for $64.99 per month, including 85 broadcast and cable networks and unlimited Cloud DVR. YouTube TV also offers a variety of premium channel add-ons, which can be included in your monthly subscription for an added fee. Among the premium channels offered are EPIX for $6/month, IFC Films Unlimited for $6/month, AMC+ for $7/month, and HBO Max for $15/month.

YouTube TV subscribers who love sports can also choose the Sports Plus premium add-on, which costs an additional $10.99 per month. If you're more interested in pop culture, YouTube TV also offers the Entertainment Plus bundle for $29.99 a month, including HBO Max, Showtime, and STARZ, and saves you about $5.

Concerning streaming quality, a majority of the channels offered on Sling TV are available in HD. However, the service doesn't currently offer 4K streaming. Playback in HD is also unavailable for YouTube TV streaming on a web browser, except for Safari. The platform does offer some titles in high definition (HD) or 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) that can be viewed on devices with HD or 4K capabilities.

Sling TV vs. YouTube TV: Profiles and parental controls

It's worth noting Sling TV doesn't have the option to create separate profiles within the same account and only allows you to stream one channel on one device simultaneously under the Orange subscription. If you subscribe to the Blue plan, you can stream on three devices simultaneously, while the Orange + Blue joint plan allows you to stream on up to four devices simultaneously. Meanwhile, YouTube TV allows up to six accounts per household and three simultaneous streams on different devices.

Both services also offer the option to add parental controls, which will block certain content from younger viewers on the account. Once the parental controls have been set up, viewers will be asked to enter a passcode to select more mature content.

Sling TV vs. YouTube TV: Channels and content

As mentioned above, both Sling TV and YouTube TV offer a robust selection of live channels, spanning everything from sports and news to kid-friendly content and reality-based guilty pleasures.

Those interested in subscribing to Sling TV should consider that the channel selection on Sling Orange leans more toward sports and family-friendly content, including all things ESPN and Disney Channel favorites like Big City Greens and Raven's Home.

Meanwhile, Sling Blue skews more in the direction of news and entertainment. That means you'll find the best in reality television from E!, Bravo, and Food Network, among other channels. If you have people in your family that enjoy both the MLB and the Real Housewives franchise, you might want to consider subscribing to both channel packages.

Sling TV's sports lineup, Sling Orange, includes ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, TBS, and TNT. Meanwhile, Sling Blue adds the NFL Network. The Sling Sports Extra includes ESPNU, ESPNEWS, SEC network, NHL network, NBA TV, Outside TV, and soccer on beIN Sports if you want even more action.

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PlatformSling TVYouTube TV
AirTV Players✔️✔️
Android phones/tablets✔️✔️
Android TV✔️✔️
Google Nest✔️✔️
iOS & iPadOS✔️✔️
Apple TV✔️✔️
Fire tablets✔️✔️
FireTV devices✔️✔️
Xbox One✔️✔️
PlayStation 4✔️
Nintendo Switch✔️
Oculus Go✔️
TiVo Stream 4K✔️
Smart TVsSamsung Smart TVsLG TVPortal TVVizio SmartCast TVsRoku TVsSamsung (select models)LG TVHiSense TVs
Web BrowsersMicrosoft EdgeSafariWindows 10Google ChromeXfinity FlexRow 17 - Cell 2

You'll find a comparable lineup of live television on the 85 channels included as part of YouTube TV, including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, HGTV, TNT. However, YouTube TV's 17 Premium Channel add-ons will also ensure you don't miss the latest from the likes of HBO, STARZ, Showtime, Sundance Now, and We tv+.

Besides offering MLB.TV as an add-on for $25 per month, YouTube TV subscribers can opt to pay a one-time fee of $130 for the entire season. Other sports networks available as part of YouTube TV's standard channel package are The Big Ten Network, CBS Sports, NBC Sports, The Tennis Channel, the SEC Network, NESN, and the Olympic channel.

Sling TV vs. YouTube TV: Which service should you pick?

If money isn't a barrier, YouTube TV is probably the better option. With a more expansive channel collection even before add-ons, and the perk of could DVR, YouTube TV easily edges out Sling TV. Specifically, Sling TV only allows up to 50 hours of free DVR storage versus the unlimited cloud DVR included with YouTube TV. Sling TV does, however, offer the option to upgrade to 200 hours for $5/month.

While Sling TV's joint Orange and Blue channel package is comparable to YouTube TV's channel lineup and is cheaper, it still falls short of YouTube TV's sports coverage. YouTube TV also has more options for premium channel add-ons, where some of the best series airing right now live.

If that's the kind of media that keeps you entertained, and you're tired of dealing with cable companies, then you should sign up for YouTube TV right now.

Keegan Prosser

Keegan Prosser is a freelance contributor based in the PNW. When she's not writing about her favorite streaming apps and devices for Android Central, she's listening to a true-crime podcast, creating the perfect playlist for her next road trip, and trying to figure out which fitness tracker she should try next. You can follow her on Twitter @keeganprosser.