Sling TV vs YouTube TV: The Ultimate 2024 Guide

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Written by

Jason Lin
Jason Lin

Published on

All ArticlesReview, Sling, YouTube TV
Sling Tv Vs Youtube Tv

Wondering whether to choose Sling TV or YouTube TV? This comprehensive comparison examines pricing, channels, DVR, streaming quality and more to help you decide.

As a decade-long cord cutting advocate who has subscribed to numerous streaming platforms, I evaluate Sling TV and YouTube TV in-depth based on hands-on testing and research.

Key Factors to Compare Sling TV and YouTube TV

When deciding between Sling TV vs YouTube TV, these are the most important factors for most consumers:

  • Pricing and subscription plans
  • Number and variety of channels
  • Cloud DVR storage and features
  • Streaming quality and device support
  • Overall user experience and customization

I compare all of these in detail across sections to help determine which service may be better for your needs.

Sling TV Overview

Sling Tv
  • Launched in 2015
  • Owned by Dish Network
  • Starts at $40 per month
  • Sling Orange and Sling Blue packages plus combined option
  • 30-47 channels depending on plan
  • 50 hour DVR included, upgradable
  • Strong focus on keeping prices low
  • Can stream ESPN and MLB content

YouTube TV Overview

Youtube Tv Logo
  • Launched in 2017
  • Owned by Google
  • Single $65 per month package
  • Over 85+ channels
  • Unlimited cloud DVR storage
  • More cable-TV like experience
  • Change location to access different regional programming

As a long-time YouTube TV subscriber currently testing Sling, I evaluate the services based on real-world use across multiple devices.

Sling TV vs YouTube TV: Price and Plans Compared

Pricing often drives which live TV streaming choice consumers pick. Here’s how Sling TV and YouTube TV pricing and plans stack up:

ServiceStarting PricePremium Add-OnsSimultaneous Streams
Sling Orange$40 per month$5-$15 per add-on1
Sling Blue$45 per month$5-$15 per add-on3
Sling Orange + Blue$60 per month$5-$15 per add-on4
YouTube TV$72.99 per month ($62.99/mo for your first 3 months)$7-$15 per add-on3

Sling TV structures pricing and packages to appeal to budget-focused cord cutters. Choose Sling Orange or Sling Blue for $40 monthly. Combine them in Orange + Blue for $60 per month.

Sling Tv Packages

Add-ons like Sports Extra and Comedy Extra let you customize your channel lineup from just $5 more per month. But you only get 50 hours of DVR storage unless paying another $5 per month. Simultaneous stream allowances also vary by plan.

YouTube TV sticks with simplicity in one $72.99 per month package. It’s more expensive but you get over 100+ popular channels included along with unlimited DVR storage. Add-ons like HBO Max and Showtime range from $7 to $15 monthly.

For cost-conscious streamers, Sling TV delivers better overall value. But YouTube TV removes hassles of customizing add-ons if you want the fullest cable replacement.

Detailed Channel Comparison: Sling TV vs YouTube TV

Live TV streaming services compete fiercely for channel count and content variety. Here’s how Sling TV and YouTube TV channel offerings stack up:

ServiceTop ChannelsSportsNewsEntertainmentLifestyle
Sling Orange32✔️✔️✔️
Sling Blue42✔️✔️✔️
Sling Orange + Blue46✔️✔️✔️✔️
YouTube TV100+✔️✔️✔️✔️

Sling TV divides content across Orange and Blue packages while YouTube TV offers a wide array all in one package.

For sports, YouTube TV provides ESPN, regional sports networks and league networks like NFL Network. Sling mixes sports across plans but can add more like NFL RedZone via Sports Extra.

Sling Tv Sports Content
Sling TV

However, Sling struggles streaming on some platforms like Fire TV Sticks and smart TVs from LG or Samsung.

Entertainment channels like AMC, HGTV and TNT are found on both. YouTube TV carries more top names natively while Sling spreads them across Orange and Blue.

For news and lifestyle genres, channel availability varies greatly by which Sling package you choose. YouTube TV includes all the major news and lifestyle networks.

Local channel availability favors YouTube TV in most areas but Sling also has select local offerings based on geography.

Bottom line — YouTube TV delivers major national cable channels across entertainment genres out of the box. Sling TV requires picking add-ons to build a fuller content suite.

Cloud DVR Storage: Sling TV vs YouTube TV

I watch a ton of content using cloud DVR capabilities to record when I can’t stream live. Here is how Sling TV and YouTube TV DVR offerings compare:

ServiceStorageKeep RecordingsCost
Sling TV10 hoursForeverFree
Sling TV (Upgraded)200 hoursForever$5 per month
YouTube TVUnlimited9 monthsFree

Sling TV disappoints on cloud DVR inclusion versus competitors. Just 10 hours comes standard with nearly all recordings deleted after a month. Paying another $5 per month expands space to 200 hours.

Sling Tv Cloud Dvr

YouTube TV stands out with unlimited DVR storage at no extra cost. Recordings are kept for 9 months before removal so no need to rush through binges.

For power TV watchers wanting extensive recording capacity, YouTube TV is the undisputed industry leader today.

Streaming Quality and Device Support

I stream Sling TV and YouTube TV across Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, mobile phones and web to compare video quality and device compatibility.

Both offer up to 1080p streaming quality depending on the channel and device used. Sports and news channels tended to peak at 720p resolution in my testing while recorded or on demand programming streamed higher. Video quality proved similar for each platform.

However, some users have reported YouTube TV buffering on Fire TV Sticks and compatibility issues with Samsung smart TVs. Using one of the best YouTube TV remotes can improve navigation.

Device support is robust on both services:

Sling Tv Device Compatibility

Limitations rest mainly with niche products. Sling TV does maintain broader smart TV app support today including platforms like Portal TV.

But YouTube TV counters with unique features like crowdsourced stats on Android phones and integration with Google Nest Hubs.

As long as you stream using a mainstream device like Roku or Apple TV, capability proved equivalent testing Sling TV and YouTube TV.

User Experience and Customization

Ease of navigating the interface and personalizing the streaming experience carries importance as well comparing Sling TV versus YouTube TV.

Interface

Sling TV’s interface mimics traditional cable TV guides. Flip through familiar channel listings and see what’s airing live or recordings available. Navigation sticks to convention – easy to use but not inspired.

Sling Tv Home

YouTube TV modernizes around personalized content recommendations and integrating complementary YouTube videos. Menu layout takes cues from the industry-leading YouTube app for a cleaner and more contemporary feel.

Youtube Tv Home

Content menus are image-rich with graphics and video previews on YouTube TV. Sling TV relies more on text-based menus.

Profiles & Accounts

YouTube TV allows up to 6 user profiles tied to a single account. Personalized DVR libraries, watch history and recommendations cater to each family member. Kids can even get their own profile tailored just for them.

Youtube Tv Profiles & Accounts

One annoyance is having to constantly select “Yes, I’m still watching” when streaming long sessions. However, you can easily delete recordings to save cloud storage space.

Sling TV lacks any user accounts or multiple profiles currently. Customization is limited as a result for households sharing one subscription.

Add-Ons

Sling TV offers the most add-on options ranging from channel packs to premium subscriptions:

  • Sports Extra ($11 per month)
  • Comedy Extra ($6 per month)
  • Lifestyle Extra ($6 per month)
  • STARZ ($9 per month)
  • Showtime ($10 per month)

Add-ons make it easy to get niche content areas missing from base packages.

YouTube TV takes a simpler approach with fewer extras but they cover the most popular networks:

  • Sports Plus ($11 per month)
  • HBO Max ($15 per month)
  • Showtime ($11 per month)
  • Starz ($9 per month)

Sling TV has greater add-on flexibility while YouTube TV focuses only on heavy-hitter options.

Key Takeaways Comparing Sling TV vs YouTube TV

  • Price – Sling TV starts cheaper at $40 per month but offers less channels, storage and streams. YouTube TV costs more at $72.99 monthly but includes far more content.
  • Channels – YouTube TV carries over 100 major cable channels across genres out of the box. Sling TV requires customizing add-ons to build comparable breadth.
  • DVR – YouTube TV provisions unlimited DVR storage included free. Sling TV only supplies 50 hours without paying more.
  • Quality & Devices – Streaming quality and device support polls evenly between the two platforms. Both enable 1080p video on popular hardware.
  • Experience – YouTube TV offers superior personalization via user profiles and a more modern interface. But Sling TV recreates a classic cable guide experience.

Determining a winner depends on your priorities. Cost-focused streamers who watch occasionally may prefer Sling TV. Power users wanting cable-like breadth favor YouTube TV.

I suggest taking advantage of free trials offered by both Sling TV and YouTube TV to experience the services firsthand.