A live TV streaming platform is your gateway to cable channels, news, sports, and movies. So, you need to pick a service that has the best channel lineups, a good number of screens, DVR space, and popular shows on-demand.
It’s difficult to have these features on a single platform. So, we’re glad that you’ve considered YouTube TV and Sling! They happen to be two live TV streaming services that are in the right ballpark.
Find out which one’s better from our YouTube TV vs. Sling TV review! YouTube TV is more expensive, but it has 85+ trending channels and unlimited DVR. The Sling TV option comes with affordable upgrades and a decent lineup. But is it enough to beat YouTube TV? Keep reading to know more.
Table of Contents
- Sling vs. YouTube TV: Which Live TV Streaming Service Is Better?
- What We Like about YouTube TV (Pros)
- What We Like about Sling TV (Pros)
- Bottom Line
Sling vs. YouTube TV: Which Live TV Streaming Service Is Better?
In our opinion, YouTube TV is a better live streaming service compared to Sling. That doesn’t mean Sling is bad, or you should cancel your Sling TV subscription.
Sling compares decently to YouTube TV, and because it comes at a reasonable price, users are more likely to work out their subscription bundles and watch exciting new content on their Smart TVs.
However, if you want to commit to a live TV streaming service for a long time, it’s worth comparing their features so that you don’t have regrets later on. Here’s what we think about YouTube TV vs. Sling TV from first-hand experience.
Entertainment, News and Sports Channels
YouTube TV never disappoints when it comes to sports. To begin with, you get Fox Sports channels, CBS Sports Network, NFL RedZone, FOX Soccer Plus, watch the games live, or set them up for download.
It’s easy to keep up with sports on YouTube TV. You get match schedules on the Live Tab and save them to your DVR. So, late-night matches are pretty hard to miss!
Now, if you’re a sports fan, you can get the Sling Sports Extra Package. Sling has a good range of ESPN networks, but fewer simultaneous streams often create a problem when everyone wants to watch a different show.
Compared to Sling TV, YouTube TV has more Entertainment and News channels. If you feel like watching a particular show, you can buy/rent it from YouTube TV’s library or elsewhere. This feature is not available on Sling or Apple TV, making YouTube TV the ultimate destination for movie fans.
Customization and Upgrades
Here, on Sling you have fewer channels on your live TV package. But with the exclusive discounts, which are only available to Sling TV subscribers, you can pull more Premium shows and channels anytime!
As a new user, you can feel tempted to try a new channel. If it’s an exclusive channel, you need to pay an additional $6 (or more), and there’s a chance you might not like the content in the first place.
YouTube TV lets its users watch most of the local and trending channels. You’ll be pleasantly satisfied with its channel lineup now that all the Disney, National Geographic, ESPN, ABC, and FX channels are back on YouTube TV.
Most Smart TVs are compatible with YouTube’s channel guide, making it easier to keep track of your showtimes and history.
A Lot of Devices Support YouTube TV
To watch Sling TV, you need to download the Sling TV app and stream it to your television via Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV Stick, or Roku. You can also install the Sling app to the device you want to use (smart TV, Roku etc).
YouTube TV has the same installation process, but it can take the video quality up a notch.
For a small fee of $20/month, YouTube TV offers 4k resolution on many of its live streams and playbacks.
You can watch YouTube TV directly from the web. It’s available on iPhones and iPads with iOS 12 or later. Supported devices also include Apple TV, Apple TV 4K, Amazon Fire TV, Vizio SmartCast TVs., Samsung, LG smart TVs., Hisense TVs., Xbox One, Google Smart Displays, and Android TV.
You Can Enjoy 4k Shows on YouTube TV
The standard resolution for both YouTube TV and Sling TV is 720p. Although YouTube TV offers Ultra High Definition, you can’t make it to even 1080p on Sling. 720p is all you get on Sling Orange and Blue channels.
In any case, live video resolution can drop further if you have a poor internet connection. It can also happen when many devices are streaming simultaneously.
YouTube TV’s features are a lot more reliable and exciting. You get to watch 4k shows for an extra 20 bucks. There’s ABC, CBS, Fox, Nickelodeon, FS1, Comedy Central, NBC, and many more!
Streaming live TV in 4k is a remarkable experience. Since major networks such Fox, CBS, ABC, and NBC are yet to transmit in 4K, you can upgrade your 4k viewing experience by renting movies on YouTube.
Sling TV Is More Affordable
Sling TV will never let you down when the price is a concern. Its basic plans are priced at only $35.
You can stream about 45 TV channels and get 50 hours’ worth of Cloud DVR. YouTube TV’s subscription fee is higher than most streaming services. And that is before you add the updates and extras.
One upside to Sling TV’s plans is that you can customize your channels. But the Live TV channels are $6-$11 each.
It can get confusing pretty fast, and even if you want to pay for a particular channel, you can miss out if it’s a part of an alternative (Orange/Blue).
What We Like about YouTube TV (Pros)
Touted as the best Live TV streaming service by CNet, YouTube TV has an abundance of channels. We like many things about YouTube TV, but its channel lineup takes the cake.
It puts forward all the league channels, including NBA, NFL, and an MLB network. Plus, it’s so easy to get started with YouTube TV. All you need is a device, internet, and your YouTube TV subscription!
The Largest Number of Popular Channels
YouTube TV is one of the two streaming services that offer local PBS channels as well as on-demand movies.
On the basic plan of YouTube TV, you can enjoy 85+ top entertainment, sports, lifestyle, cooking shows, and news.
As far as entertainment is concerned, YouTube TV makes sure that you never get bored! It has a superior channel lineup, and its sports coverage is hard to beat.
On supported devices, YouTube TV channels can be viewed in 4K. So, while YouTube TV and Sling have excellent features, YouTube TV is on another level.
A Huge Regional, College, and Pro Sports Lineup
YouTube TV includes MLB Network, the Big Ten Network, NBA TV, ESPN, and CBS Sports.
That should cover your Pro sports channels. With their latest addition of regional sports, you can watch NBC Sports on live TV for the first time.
YouTube TV offers plenty of sports channels on its basic subscription, but you can add the following networks for only $10.99 a month.
- FOX Soccer Plus
- NFL RedZone
- beIN SPORTS / beIN SPORTS XTRA
- GOL TV
- MAVTV Motorsports Network
- Outside TV+
- Stadium College Sports
- Billiard TV
- TVG / TVG2
That’s not all there is to YouTube TV Sports Plus. Your selected matches and NBA League Pass games will appear automatically in your Live tab one hour before they start.
From there, you can see the schedule, record your favorite matches and catch up on what you’ve missed.
Three Simultaneous Streams
It’s possible to stream TV on multiple devices. As for YouTube TV, three users can stream different content with the same account. However, the ability to buy or rent movies rests with the owner.
Other users can’t check what you’ve been watching on TV Land or access the shows you’ve rented.
Cool, right? The unlimited cloud storage is kept separate from your friends and family. Apart from the streaming time, you can customize the entire YouTube TV interface to your liking.
Unlimited Cloud DVR
Not only does YouTube TV have more channels than any other service, but it also offers unlimited DVR storage for its basic users.
On other platforms, unlimited storage usually comes with a price, so do many channels that come for free on YouTube.
Sling Blue subscribers have a better channel selection, but they still can’t hold a candle to YouTube’s lineup.
Between Sling TV and YouTube TV, the latter has unlimited storage for downloads and nine months of free viewing. It’s also one of the reasons why YouTube TV is so expensive.
Nevertheless, ads will come up in the recorded shows. You may be able to fast-forward a few of them, but to have a truly commercial-free YouTube TV experience; you will need YouTube Premium.
Personalized Channel Guide
It’s worth mentioning that the device compatibility with YouTube TV and Sling is similar, with a few exceptions. But Google TV users can enjoy exclusive benefits on their YouTube TV subscription.
First, you can have personal recommendations directly from YouTube TV and browse its channels on a dedicated, user-friendly Live Tab. The remote has a programmable layout exclusively for YouTube TV.
What We Like about Sling TV (Pros)
At $35/month, it was difficult to expect great things from a Sling TV package. So, we were pleasantly surprised when Sling TV delivered their ‘a la carte’ promise.
On top of local channels, Sling TV allows its users to watch premium channels such as ESPN, FOX News, ABC, Discovery Channel, NBC, CNN, and Cartoon Network.
However, most of Sling TV’s Premium, On-Demand, and Viacom channels are available on their paid library.
One of the Best Budget Live TV Streaming Services
Between Sling TV and YouTube, Sling is the more affordable platform. First of all, it has a minimum number of local channels.
You get a few ESPN channels on their basic plan and popular cable channels, including Comedy Central, History Channel, Disney Channel, IFC, NFL Network, TBS, CNN, Food Network, and AMC.
More local channels can be unlocked by paying a small fee. Keep in mind that there are no local ABC and CBS stations.
Premium Channel Add-ons
Sling TV offers a staggering number of premium channels, with prices starting at $6 a month.
Whether your plan is Sling Orange or Sling Blue, you can view many channels in high resolution and download them to DVR. The sports channels on Sling TV are pretty impressive, but you can get more live sports for $11/month.
NBA TV, Pac-12 Network, NHL Network, MLB Network, Tennis, and beIN Sports are available on Blue and Orange channels. Here’s a quick breakdown of the channels you get on Sling Sports Extra:
|Sling Orange||Sling Blue|
MLB Network Strike Zone
MLB Network Strike Zone
Big Ten Network
The channels you get on Sling Blue can be very different from those you get on Sling Orange. It can get confusing new users to choose a suitable Sling TV plan.
You can watch ESPN along with a good number of sports networks on Sling Orange. However, if you prefer Fox Sports, Fox News, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC to ESPN, Sling Blue will be a much better fit.
Sling TV News Channels Add-on ($6/month)
CNBC (Sling Blue only)
NDTV 24×7 (Sling Blue only)
France 24 (Sling Blue only)
Fox Business (Sling Blue only)
HLN (Sling Orange only)
News channels you get on either plan include NewsNation, BBC World News, Euronews, News18, Science Channel, RT America, and CGTN.
Apart from its brilliant news and sports coverage, Sling TV also offers Hollywood Extras, Lifestyle Extras, Kids Extras, and Comedy Extras, each containing a wide range of channels with the entire collection priced between $21-$27!
50 hours of Cloud DVR
Sling TV offers significantly less Cloud DVR space; it’s still quite nice for small families. You can always expand your Cloud storage to 200 hours for $5/month extra.
The best thing about Sling TV is that it doesn’t remove your Cloud DVR content after a certain time, which YouTube TV definitely will. This live TV platform gives you nine months to catch up with downloaded shows.
Sling Orange, Blue, and Combo Plans
Each Sling TV package has 30+ channels with the option to upgrade your streaming plan as necessary.
As we mentioned a while ago, most channel upgrades on Sling TV are 6 bucks/package. Sports Extra is the only “expensive” lineup among all seven – Entertainment, Comedy, News, Lifestyle, Hollywood, Heartland, and Kids.
The base price of both Sling Orange and Sling Blue is $35/month with 50 hours of DVR storage and up to three simultaneous streams.
Disney Channel and ESPN are only available on Sling Orange, whereas there are more than 15 channels for the same price on Sling Blue.
From today’s YouTube TV vs. Sling TV comparison, we are choosing YouTube TV to be the winner. It easily has the highest number of channels, Premium on-demand shows, and impeccable playbacks in 4k.
YouTube TV’s Cloud DVR allows you and all other users in your plan to download unlimited shows and keep them for nine whole months.
Sling TV is a convenient streaming service for new cord-cutters on a budget. So, although it has some pretty good features, there are many things Sling TV can improve, starting from their channel lineup and confusing package deals.
Overall though, the Sling streaming service is a decent alternative to other more expensive options out there and is great for people on a budget.
Thanks for reading!