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Many people now prefer streaming live TV from services like Sling TV and YouTube TV instead of traditional cable. Comparing these two services can help you decide which one is best for you. Sling TV is known for its lower prices and personalized channel packages, while YouTube TV offers a wide range of channels and an easy-to-use DVR. When choosing between these services, consider your budget, the channels you want, and the features that are important to you.

Comparing Two Great Streaming Options

Sling TV and YouTube TV are popular choices when cutting the cord from traditional cable TV. Both offer great live television experiences, but there are important differences to consider. Here’s a breakdown to help you decide which streaming platform is the better fit for your needs.


YouTube TV has a strong edge here. It boasts over 100 channels in its basic package. This includes a comprehensive mix of news, sports, entertainment, and more.

Sling TV takes a different approach with smaller, more focused base packages:

  • Sling Orange: 30+ channels, great for sports and family-friendly content.
  • Sling Blue: 40+ channels, leans more towards news and entertainment.
  • Sling Orange + Blue: Combines both packages for a more extensive lineup.


Sling TV is the more affordable choice. Its base packages start at a lower monthly price point compared to YouTube TV’s single-tier subscription.

However, Sling TV’s add-on packages can significantly increase the price if you want a channel selection closer to what YouTube TV offers.

User Interface

Both platforms have user-friendly interfaces. Ultimately, this comes down to personal preference. YouTube TV’s interface may feel more familiar if you frequently use other Google products. Sling TV has a unique grid-style guide that some users find easier to navigate.

Cloud DVR

YouTube TV stands out with unlimited cloud DVR storage. This lets you record as much as you want without worrying about space limitations.

Sling TV has a standard 50 hours of storage, but you can upgrade for an additional fee.

Device Compatibility

Both Sling TV and YouTube TV are compatible with a wide range of devices, including streaming devices, smart TVs, mobile devices, and gaming consoles.

Key Differences

FeatureSling TVYouTube TV
ChannelsSmaller base packages, extensive add-onsLarger base package (100+ channels)
CostMore affordable base pricesHigher single-package price
Cloud DVR50 hours standard, upgradeable for a feeUnlimited
User InterfaceGrid-style guideMay feel familiar for Google product users

Key Takeaways

  • Both Sling TV and YouTube TV provide alternatives to traditional cable with distinct features.
  • Sling TV offers customizability and lower costs, while YouTube TV boasts a vast channel selection and unlimited DVR.
  • Channel selection, user experience, and cost are critical considerations in choosing between the two services.

Comparative Analysis of Service Offerings

When choosing between two popular live TV streaming services, potential subscribers should consider channel selection and the streaming quality across different devices.

Channel Lineup and Diversity

YouTube TV presents an expansive list of over 100 channels, featuring a blend of sports, news, entertainment, and kid-friendly options. It includes local channels in most areas, which can be pivotal for those interested in regional news and events. Conversely, Sling TV provides two core packages, Sling Orange and Sling Blue, each offering 30 to 40 distinct channels. While Sling Orange is more focused on family and sports channels, Sling Blue offers a variety of news and entertainment channels. It’s worth noting that the availability of local channels on Sling TV may be limited compared to YouTube TV.

  • Local Channels: YouTube TV often includes; Sling may require an additional antenna.
  • Sports Channels: Available on both; Sling Orange emphasized.
  • Entertainment and News: Found in both services; Sling Blue has different options.
  • Children’s Content: Provided by both; varies in channel selection.

Streaming Quality and Device Compatibility

Both YouTube TV and Sling TV support a variety of streaming devices, such as Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Smart TVs, as well as Android and Google TV platforms. YouTube TV subscribers have the added benefit of opting for 4K Plus, an add-on feature that allows 4K streaming where available. This is especially appealing for viewers with compatible 4K TVs who prioritize higher video quality. Sling TV, while not offering 4K streaming, maintains steady performance across supported devices and offers free or discounted antennas for local channels.

  • YouTube TV: Offers 4K streaming with the 4K Plus add-on.
  • Sling TV: Does not stream in 4K but provides reliable quality on supported devices.
  • Device Support: Both are compatible with popular devices including Apple TV, Roku, and various smart TVs.

Cost and Value Proposition

Choosing between Sling TV and YouTube TV depends on your budget and what you value in a streaming service.

Base Plan Pricing and Add-ons

Sling TV offers two core packages: Sling Orange and Sling Blue, each starting at $40. There’s also the combined Sling Orange + Blue plan, priced higher but offering a broader range of channels. Add-ons cater to specific interests like sports, with the Sports Extra package, or lifestyle channels with the Lifestyle Extra. Sling also caters to Spanish-speaking viewers with a tailored Spanish plan.

YouTube TV has a more straightforward approach with a single base plan. At around $65 per month, it includes a comprehensive channel lineup. Though it’s a single-tier service, YouTube TV provides various premium channel add-ons for an extra cost.

ServiceBase Plan CostNotable Add-onsCombined Plan Option
Sling TV$40Sports Extra, Lifestyle Extra, Spanish PlanSling Orange + Blue
YouTube TV$65Premium channels add-onsNot applicable

DVR Capabilities and Extra Features

Sling TV offers a DVR service, but it’s limited. Users start with 50 hours of storage or they can upgrade to a 200-hour DVR for an additional cost. YouTube TV excels in this area with an unlimited cloud DVR, where recordings are stored for up to nine months.

Streaming Plans and Subscriber Flexibility

Sling TV shines when it comes to flexibility. The budget-conscious consumer can pick a base plan and tailor it with additional packs. For sports fans, the Sports Extra is a popular choice, while those into documentaries or kids’ shows can find relevant add-ons.

YouTube TV is less complex. It offers a comprehensive plan that might be attractive for users seeking simplicity. Sports coverage is extensive with YouTube TV, including channels like ESPN, FOX Sports, and the network’s own sports channels. While it’s pricier upfront, it may offer better value for those who want a broad selection without customizing packages.

Frequently Asked Questions

This section helps you understand the differences and features of Sling TV and YouTube TV.

What are the channel differences between Sling TV and YouTube TV?

Sling TV provides a variety of channels through its two core packages, Blue and Orange. Blue focuses more on news and entertainment, while Orange caters to sports and family content. In contrast, YouTube TV includes a broader range of channels, offering local networks and a wide selection of entertainment, sports, and news channels.

How do the sports coverage options compare on Sling TV and YouTube TV?

For sports fans, YouTube TV covers a wide range of sports channels including major networks like ESPN, CBS Sports, and Fox Sports. Sling TV also offers sports channels, but the availability depends on the package selected.

What are the respective costs of Sling TV and YouTube TV subscriptions?

The cost of Sling TV starts at a lower price point for its basic packages compared to YouTube TV’s single plan. Sling TV’s tiered subscriptions allow users to select a more budget-friendly option, whereas YouTube TV offers a comprehensive package at a higher fee.

How does the streaming quality of Sling TV contrast with YouTube TV?

Both services offer high-definition streaming. YouTube TV has been consistently praised for its reliable streaming quality, while Sling TV’s quality can sometimes vary depending on the device and network conditions.

Are there any significant limitations to using Sling TV for streaming content?

Sling TV limits the number of simultaneous streams on its different packages, which could be a limitation for larger households. Additionally, the channel selection and local channel availability can vary significantly based on the chosen package and user location.

What common criticisms does YouTube TV face from its users?

One of the main criticisms that YouTube TV faces is its higher price compared to competitors like Sling TV. Users have also expressed concerns about occasional service interruptions and the interface, which some find less intuitive than other services.

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