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Sling TV vs Cable TV

Last updated: October 14, 2021

Starts at $40.00/mo
Starts at $/mo

Sling TV is one of the more versatile of the live streaming television options. You get many of the best channels, DVR cloud storage and multiple streams over a variety of devices. When compared to cable, it offers a level of convenience that can't be matched. This is especially true when it comes to the price and the lengthy, mandatory contracts required by most cable companies. Sling TV does not have any hidden fees or service agreements and you can watch your programming from almost any location as long as there is a dedicated internet connection.


The similarities between Sling TV and cable start with the fact that they offer the same channels and most of the same sports and premium movie packages. They also offer different tiers or packages of programs. Their premium packages are also similar and include most of the popular premium movie channels, sports channels, as well as NBA and NFL packages. Both services offer high-definition programming that allows for the sharpest quality images.


The differences start with the range in pricing and continue with cable's mandatory contract requirement. Cable also requires professional installation and will charge you a penalty if you choose to discontinue your service. Sling TV can be viewed on almost any type of electronic device that is capable of establishing an internet connection. It's completely portable and can be viewed from any location. Sling TV does not require any equipment so there is no need for monthly leasing fees like those charged by the cable company.

Monthly Costs & Contracts

Sling TV offers two base packages, Sling Orange and Sling Blue, at $35 per month each or $50 per month for both. Various “Extras” — add-on bundles, features, and individual channels — cost $5 per month and up. The Sling TV pricing structure makes the service very customizable.

Cable pricing varies from service to service and can range from $45 to $105 a month or more. Premium packages can also be added that include movies, sports, and news channels. Two- and three-year contracts are commonly required and professional installation is mandatory. Most services also require an activation or installation fee that is sometimes waived if you choose to bundle your cable, phone, and internet services.

Equipment Required

Sling TV does not require a cable box. You can use it on just about any internet-connected device, including devices from Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and other familiar brands.

Most cable services require a cable box and remote. If your package is bundled to include internet and phone you will also receive a modem.

DVR & Storage

Sling offers DVR and cloud storage for $5 per month. You get 50 worth of storage with your plan.

Cable companies also offer DVR and cloud storage options to go with their packages. The service you have and the package you have subscribed to will determine how much cloud storage space you have.

Live TV

Sling TV offers a wide range of live channels including IFC, AMC, TNT, CNN, TBS, and Comedy Central just to name a few of the most popular. They also include local offerings from NBC and FOX — though, as of this writing, the service is missing ABC and CBS. In addition to the traditional channels, they also offer live sports and news channels that allow you to stay up to speed on your favorite teams and local/world events.

Cable services offer hundreds of live channels including the regular local networks like NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX. They also include cable favorites like AMC, TNT, the Food Network, Comedy Central, ID Discovery, the Discovery Channel, and Animal Planet. They also offer news and sports live programming packages as add-on packages.

Summary: Sling TV vs. Cable

Sling TV is a great way to save money, especially if you want to be able to watch your favorite programs while you are on the go. They offer affordable options and you can start and stop your service at any time.

Cable service is a good choice for anyone who doesn't need portability. It's a good choice if you want high-resolution quality and don't mind paying extra fees each month.

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