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Sling Orange vs Blue: The Differences And How To Choose The Right Plan

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Sling TV’s Orange and Blue plans share many similarities, but there are also enough differences between the two to make choosing between them easier. In general, both are positioned to be affordable live TV streaming options, and both do come with the ability to customize the package to create a more robust plan overall. For those that just want to choose between the base Sling Orange and Sling Blue plans, here are the main differences to be aware of before subscribing.

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Sling remains one of the better options for streaming live TV over the internet. In reality, the finished product is not quite as finished as services like fuboTV, Hulu Live TV or YouTube TV. Not to mention, the channel lineups are not exactly as robust either. However, this is reflected in the price, with both the Sling Orange and Sling Blue plans costing almost half as much as the other services mentioned.

Speaking of price, this is one of the areas where there is absolutely no difference between the two Sling TV plans. Both the Sling Orange and Sling Blue plans cost $35 per month, so choosing one plan over the other won’t necessarily save on the monthly cost. Likewise, whenever Sling TV happens to run any deals, they tend to be equally available with both plans. Put simply, price cannot and should not be used as a way to differentiate between the two subscriptions. When it comes to the channel lineups, however, that’s a different story altogether.

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Sling Blue offers more channels

While traditional TV plans have typically looked to bundle as many channels as possible, albeit usually at a higher price, the quality of a service’s channel lineup is more important than the quantity. After all, if a service offers every channel other than the ones an individual wants, it is not going to be as useful as a service that only offers the channels the subscriber wants. That said, if quantity does matter, then Sling Blue is the better plan for channels overall. While Sling Orange provides access to more than 30 channels, Sling Blue includes more than 40 channels. What’s more, many of the same channels are included with both plans.

Many is not the same as all, however, and it is in the channel lineup differences where the true value of each plan can be seen. In the simplest of terms, Sling Orange is likely to be the best option for those wanting access to sports while Sling Blue is likely to be the better option for those more in need of entertainment channels. Take sports, for example, Sling Orange comes with all three ESPN channels and Stadium. There are some exceptions here, as FS1, NFL Network, and NBC (select markets) are only available with Sling Blue. So, depending on the sport, Sling Blue may actually be the better option.

When it comes to entertainment, Sling Blue not only includes NBC, but also many other NBC-related channels as well, such as Bravo, Syfy and USA. This is in addition to Fox (select markets), FX, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, TruTV, and TLC. Again, there are some exceptions here, considering Disney Channel and Freeform are both only available with a Sling Orange subscription. The point is, if an individual or household is looking for select channels, then it should be fairly easy to choose the right Sling TV plan.

Sling Blue better for business households

Besides the greater number of channels, Sling Blue is also likely to be the better option for busier households or any situation where a subscription is shared with others. The main reason for this is the number of simultaneous streams that are available. This is an often overlooked area when signing up to a live TV plan, even though it has the potential to impact on the experience as much as anything else.

For example, Sling Blue comes with three simultaneous streams allowing a single subscription to be streamed on up to three different devices at the same time. In contrast, Sling Orange limits the number of same-time streams to just one. If a home is likely to be watching live TV or on-demand content on more than one device at the same time, Sling Blue is certainly going to be the better option. In this sense, Sling Orange is somewhat purpose-designed to be a one-home, one-TV service.

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Outside of the number of streams, there are not too many other differences between the two plans. For example, both Sling Orange and Sling Blue provide a cloud DVR with the option to record as many as 50 hours of video. In addition, both plans come with the option to expand the recording limit when needed, and add a variety of other channels to a package through the use of the service’s substantial list of add-ons. Then again, watching any recorded content or any additional channels that are added will also be bound by the same number of streams limit, making Sling Blue the better option in this respect as well.

Sling Blue and Orange differences summary

Sling Blue offers more channels than Sling Orange and the ability to stream on more devices at the same time. For these two reasons, Sling Blue is likely to be the better plan for many households. However, and this is a big however, Sling Orange does include some channels that Sling Blue doesn’t. If an individual or household finds that the Sling Orange channel lineup better suits their needs, then that is going to be the better subscription, in spite of the fewer channels and simultaneous streams.

Of course, there is always the combined Sling Orange + Sling Blue plan. Although this option increases the cost of a subscription, it does also offer the best experience overall by combining the channel lineups of both services as well as the number of available streams. Not to mention, Sling TV does also offer the option to easily switch between the Orange and Blue plans at any time. In other words, Sling TV subscribers can easily and quickly test out both plans during the same paid month and see which one better suits their individual or household’s needs before committing to either.

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John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Better to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been writing about technology and TV-related services and devices since 2014 and believes the best streaming approach is to bounce between services as needed. Contact John via email at john@streamingbetter.com or on Twitter

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