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Sling Orange vs. Sling Blue: What’s the Difference?

Sling TV brings back free 7-day trial during new coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

The Sling TV free trial is back. You don’t need a credit card, and there are no strings attached, just seven days of free livestreaming TV.

Sling Orange


Price: $30/mo.
Customer rating:
(4.24 /5)

Sling Blue


Price: $30/mo.
Customer rating:
(4.24 /5)

Bottom line: Is Sling Orange or Sling Blue better?

How do you choose between Sling TV’s same-priced, color-coded livestreaming plans? It depends on what you’re looking for: Blue gives you more channels and streams, but Orange carries a handful of gotta-have networks like ESPN and Disney. And neither is great for local programming, FYI.

Thanks to a plethora of add-on packages, you can customize Sling’s TV lineups like an ice cream sundae. Also, Sling Orange and Sling Blue can be swirled into a combo package cleverly named—wait for it—Sling Orange + Blue.

Ultimately, to get the most out of Sling TV, we recommend the Orange + Blue package. But, if we had to choose between the two (which, for the purpose of this review, we do), we’d go with Blue for the channel count and multiple streams.

Sling Orange vs. Sling Blue: Pros and cons

Sling Orange
👍 ESPN channels
👍 Disney and Freeform
👎 Only 1 stream allowed

Sling Blue
👍 15+ more channels than Orange
👍 3 simulatneous streams
👎 Limited local channels

Sling TV free trials and deals

Sling TV doesn’t offer a free trial period, but it will knock $10 off its Orange, Blue, or Orange + Blue packages for the first month. You get Orange or Blue for $20 each or Orange + Blue for $35.

If you prepay for two months of any plan, Sling TV will throw in a free Amazon Fire TV Stick streaming device (regularly $25 to $40), or you can opt for a free HD antenna (regularly $45) or a free AirTV Mini device (regularly $80).

How are Sling Orange and Sling Blue different?

The difference is in the channels (and number of streams).

Swipe Left to See All →
FeaturesSling OrangeSling Blue
Price$30/mo.$30/mo.
Live channels30+45+
Cloud DVR10 hrs. (included) or 50 hrs. ($5/mo.)10 hrs. (included) or 50 hrs. ($5/mo.)
Compatible devices20+20+
Multiple streams13
Free trialNoneNone

Data effective as of 04/03/2020. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Apart from channel and stream counts, Sling Orange and Sling Blue are identical, right down to the price. At first glance, Blue looks like the better deal—but don’t sleep on Orange. There’s an argument or two about why it might work for some TV viewers.

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Sling Orange vs. Sling Blue prices and plans

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PackagePriceChannelsCloud DVRStreams
Sling Orange$30/mo.30+10 hrs. (included) or 50 hrs. ($5/mo.)1
Sling Blue$30/mo.40+10 hrs. (included) or 50 hrs. ($5/mo.)3
Sling Orange + Blue$45/mo.50+10 hrs. (included) or 50 hrs. ($5/mo.)4

Data effective as of 04/03/2020. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Sling Orange and Sling Blue are like “skinny bundle” cable packages—neither probably has everything you want, but either gives you enough channels on the cheap to overlook it.

Sling Orange features fewer channels, but it does have non-Blue networks ESPN, Disney, and Freeform. Also, Orange carries zero local channels and only a couple of cable news channels (the latter of which could be a plus, depending on your taste for politics and talking-head shouting fests).

Sling Blue does slightly better on local channels, offering NBC and FOX stations in most areas—but no ABC, CBS, The CW, PBS, Telemundo, or Univision. Also, Blue’s array of entertainment, sports, and news channels is beefier, and the package gives you three streams to Orange’s one.

Neither Orange nor Blue alone stacks up against CableTV.com’s critical livestreaming favorites, though. For a fuller livestreaming experience, Sling Orange + Blue is the better contender.

In fact, we’ve recently switched our livestreaming sports allegiance from PlayStation Vue (RIP) to Sling Orange + Blue. The combined package features 10 popular sports channels for under $50, and that can be bumped up to 25 channels with Sling’s Sports Extra add-on for another $15 a month. That’s comparable to the sports lineup PS Vue offered, but for at least $10 less overall.

Cord-cutting savings

You can save as much as $100 a month by switching from cable or satellite TV to a livestreaming service. If Sling TV doesn’t grab you, check out CableTV.com’s Best Live TV Streaming Services comparison review of other options.

Sling Orange vs. Sling Blue fees and extra charges

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FeesPrice
Cloud DVR (50 hrs.)$5/mo.

Sling TV includes 10 hours of cloud DVR storage with plan subscriptions, regardless of which color, or combination of colors, it is. For an extra $5 a month, you can up that to 50 hours.

Sling Orange vs. Sling Blue live channels

Here’s how Sling Orange’s and Sling Blue’s channel selections stack up against our favorite competing livestreaming TV packages—including Sling Orange + Blue, which is only weird if you think about it too hard.

Jump to: Live sports | Local channels | Premium channels
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Swipe Left to See All →
Live channelsSling OrangeSling BlueBest for sports
Sling Orange + Blue
Best overall
Hulu + Live TV
Cheapest
Philo
A&E
ABC
ACC Network
AMC
Animal Planet
BBC America
BBC World News
BET
Big Ten Network
Bloomberg TV
Boomerang
Bravo
C-SPAN
Cartoon Network / Adult Swim
CBS
CBS Sports Network
Cheddar News
CINEMAX®
CMT
CNBC
CNN
Comedy Central
COMET
Cooking Channel
COZI TV
The CW
Destination
America
Discovery Channel
Discovery Family
Disney Channel
Disney Junior
Disney XD
DIY Network
E!
El Rey
EPIX®
ESPN
ESPN2
ESPNEWS
ESPNU
Food Network
FOX
FOX Business Network
FOX News
FOX Soccer Plus
FOX Sports 1
FOX Sports 2
Freeform
Fuse
Fusion
FX
FXM
FXX
fyi
Galavisión
Golf Channel
Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
HBO®
HGTV
HISTORY
HLN
IFC
Investigation Discovery
ION
Lifetime
Lifetime Movie Network
MLB Network
MOTOR TREND
MSNBC
MTV
MTV2
MTV Classic
Nat Geo Wild
National Geographic Channel
NBA TV
NBC
NBC Sports Network
NBC UNIVERSO
NFL Network
NFL RedZone
NHL Network
Nick Jr.
Nickelodeon / Nick at Nite
Nicktoons
Olympic Channel
OWN
Oxygen
Pac-12 Network
Paramount Network
PBS
Pop
Science
SEC Network
SHOWTIME®
Smithsonian Channel
Stadium
STARZ®
SundanceTV
Syfy
TBS
TCM
TeenNick
Telemundo
Tennis Channel
TLC
TNT
Travel Channel
TruTV
TV Land
Universal Kids
Univision
USA Network
VH1
VICELAND
WEtv
Weather Channel

Obviously, the Sling Orange + Blue combo package compares better to other livestreaming services than Orange or Blue alone, channel-wise.

If you want more channels, go with Blue: the entertainment channel lineup is fuller, as is its corresponding Blue Sports Extra add-on package (yes, Orange and Blue have different Sport Extra lineups—more on that coming up).

Sports channels

Sling Orange vs. Sling Blue vs. the competition

Swipe Left to See All →
Sports channelsSling OrangeSling BlueBest for sports
Sling Orange + Blue
Best overall
Hulu + Live TV
Cheapest
Philo
ACC Network
Big Ten Network
CBS Sports Network
ESPN
ESPN2
ESPNEWS
ESPNU
FOX Sports 1
FOX Sports 2
Golf Channel
MLB Network
MLB Bases Loaded
NBA TV
NBC Sports Network
NFL Network
NFL RedZone
NHL Network
Olympic Channel
Outdoor TV
Pac-12 Network
SEC Network
Sportsman Channel
Stadium
Tennis Channel

Again, if you want just one plan, we suggest Sling Blue because its Sports Extra add-on package includes NFL RedZone, where Orange’s doesn’t. Follow us here: Sling’s sports add-on packages differ slightly between Orange and Blue (both $10 a month).

Orange’s Sports Extra package includes NBA TV, SEC Network, SEC Network+, Pac-12, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, NHL Network, beIN SPORTS, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Bases Loaded, Outside Television, Tennis Channel, and Motorsport.tv. Not bad, though a couple of these are filler sports channels at best (Goal Line and Bases Loaded probably aren’t anyone’s go-to ESPNs).

Meanwhile, Blue’s Sports Extra package gives you NFL RedZone, NBA TV, NHL Network, Golf Channel, beIN SPORTS, Pac-12, Stadium, Outside Television, Olympic Channel, Tennis Channel, and Motorsport.tv. That’s a nice variety of sports classes, and NFL RedZone puts it over the top easily.

The combined Orange + Blue Sports Extra package goes for $15 a month, overlapping channels and all. It gives you a near-complete roundup of sports, with the notable exception of MLB channels—where’s the baseball, Sling?

Local channels

Sling Orange vs. Sling Blue vs. the competition*

Swipe Left to See All →
Sling OrangeSling BlueBest for sports
Sling Orange + Blue
Best overall
Hulu + Live TV
Cheapest
Philo
ABC
CBS
The CW
FOX
NBC
PBS
Telemundo

*Select markets only.

Sling TV keeps costs down by not paying for a lot of local TV channels—you get some FOX and NBC stations with Blue and Orange + Blue plans, but nada with Orange alone.

Unlike other livestreaming TV services, Sling is big on pushing over-the-air antennas to give its customers free local station coverage, so neither it nor you have to pay to stream it. A rare instance of a TV provider actively trying to save you money, and we like it.

Want more local channels?

If you need more local channels than a streaming service can provide, get an over-the-air antenna—they’re inexpensive, easy to set up, and fashionably retro. We recommend the Mohu Leaf.

Premium channels

Sling Orange vs. Sling Blue vs. the competition

Swipe Left to See All →
Premium channelsSling OrangeOrange BlueBest for sports
Sling Orange + Blue
Best overall
Hulu + Live TV
Cheapest
Philo
CINEMAX
EPIX
HBO
SHOWTIME
STARZ

In addition to seven add-on channel packages, Sling TV also offers a whopping 36 premium channel add-ons, including SHOWTIME, STARZ, and EPIX (sorry, no HBO).

Sling Orange vs. Sling Blue specs and features

Fortunately, Sling Orange and Sling Blue look and perform exactly the same. We don’t think we could psychologically take any more glaring discrepancies between the two.

Cloud DVR

Sling Orange vs. Sling Blue vs. the competition

Swipe Left to See All →
Sling OrangeSling BlueBest for sports
Sling Orange + Blue
Best overall
Hulu + Live TV
Cheapest
Philo
Storage included10 hrs.10 hrs.10 hrs.50 hrs.Unlimited (30 days)
Upgrades50 hrs. ($5/mo.)50 hrs. ($5/mo.)50 hrs. ($5/mo.)200 hrs. ($9.99/mo.)None

After years of not including free cloud DVR storage with a subscription, Sling TV recently broke down and gave up 10 hours for no extra cost—it’s not much, but points for trying.

For an extra $5 a month, you can upgrade any Sling TV package to 50 hours of cloud DVR space, the same amount that Hulu + Live TV includes for free automatically. If you’re not careful, Sling TV’s “extras” can add up quickly.

Multiple streams

Sling Orange vs. Sling Blue vs. the competition

Swipe Left to See All →
Sling OrangeSling BlueBest for sports
Sling Orange + Blue
Best overall
Hulu + Live TV
Cheapest
Philo
Streams included13423
UpgradesNoneNoneNoneUnlimited screens ($9.99/mo.)None

With Sling Orange, you can stream to only one device at a time, where Sling Blue allows for three streams, another point in the Blue column.

The combined Sling Orange + Blue package gives you four simultaneous streams, which makes more mathematical sense for larger households.

Compatible devices

Sling Orange vs. Sling Blue vs. the competition

Swipe Left to See All →
Sling OrangeSling BlueBest for sports
Sling Orange + Blue
Best overall Hulu + Live TVCheapest
Philo
AirTV Player
Amazon Echo Show
Amazon Fire TV Cube
Amazon Fire TV
Amazon Fire TV Stick
Android phones and tablets
Android TV
Apple TV (4th gen.)
Apple TV 4K
Chromecast
Chromecast built-in TVs
Hisense TVs
iPhone and iPad
LG TVs
Nintendo Switch
NVIDIA SHIELD TV
PC and Mac web browsers
PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4
Roku
Roku Express
Roku Ultra
Samsung TVs
VIZIO TVs
Wii
Xbox 360
Xbox One

Sling TV will work with almost every streaming device and smart TV out there, with the exceptions of PlayStation and Nintendo consoles.

If you want to integrate local over-the-air channels into Sling TV’s lineup, its AirTV devices can feed them seamlessly to the interface (have we mentioned that Sling TV really wants you to get an antenna?).

Best streaming devices

What’s the best streaming device for your buck? We’ve reviewed the best streaming TV devices on the market.

Video quality

Sling Orange vs. Sling Blue vs. the competition

Swipe Left to See All →
Sling OrangeSling BlueBest for sports
Sling Orange + Blue
Best overall
Hulu + Live TV
Cheapest
Philo
Video resolution720p720p720p720p720p

Sling TV streams at 720p HD resolution, the same as satellite, cable, and every other livestreaming TV service.

For comparison, on-demand services like Netflix and Prime Video can stream at 1080p and up to 4K. Livestreaming isn’t quite there yet—not that you’ll probably notice the difference between 720p and 1080p when watching Suicide Squad on its fifth TNT airing of the day.

Also, like other livestreaming services, Sling TV’s audio is standard 2.0 stereo.

Channel guide

Sling TV’s screen interface is an easy-to-navigate mix of horizontal lists and vertical channel guides, nothing drastically different from a cable or satellite setup.

You can also group your go-to channels under the “My TV” tab, which also contains DVR recordings and your designated favorite shows. The pink hearts indicating favorite channels are a nice touch.

Commercials

There’s no getting away from commercials in livestreaming, unfortunately. But Sling TV does allow you to skip ads in 30-second increments on recorded shows or fast-forward through the entire program (complete with a helpful preview frame).

Our final take: Is Sling Orange or Sling Blue worth it?

Sling Orange and Sling Blue are both decent livestreaming packages for the money, but we prefer Blue for its larger channel selection and three simultaneous streams.

Then again, if you’re a single streamer who just wants their ESPN and Disney, Orange is the obvious pick.

We really like them together: In CableTV.com’s Best Live TV Streaming Services rundown, Sling Orange + Blue is one of our top picks. With it, you get a wider choice of channels, and its sports add-on package gives you access to all of the athletic action you can get through streaming.

If you can spring for the extra $15, we definitely recommend Sling Orange + Blue. Otherwise, Sling Blue is a worthwhile budget choice.

Sling Orange vs. Sling Blue FAQ

What’s the difference between Sling Orange and Sling Blue?

Orange is the skinniest of Sling TV’s skinny packages, carrying about 30 channels that include ESPN, Disney, and Freeform (and no local or FOX cable channels). Sling Blue features around 45 channels, including FOX entertainment and sports channels, and NBC and FOX local broadcast channels in some areas.

Orange and Blue are identical in price ($30 a month) and can be combined as the Sling Orange + Blue plan with a 50-channel lineup for $45 a month.

Can I switch from Sling Blue to Sling Orange?

Sling TV subscriptions run monthly with no contracts, so it’s easy to switch between packages, or combine them, at the end of a billing cycle.

How many streams do Sling Orange and Sling Blue offer?

Sling Blue will let you stream on three devices simultaneously, while Sling Orange will allow for only one. Sling Orange + Blue features four simultaneous device streams, which is one more than most streaming TV services.

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