The main reason to drop cable is to save money use more affordable streaming services. The two live TV streaming services that appear to understand this most are Philo and Sling TV. Both have focused on delivering customers an affordable channel package that makes sense when dropping cable. Today we are going to take a look at how these two services stack up against one another.
Sling Vs. Philo
Sling TV was one of the first live streaming services to hit the market. They have taken a mix and match approach to channel selection since 2015. Sling offers several price points, each with live and on-demand access to a variety of cable networks, as well as numerous add-on channels to customize viewing.
Philo, a relatively newer live TV streaming service, has taken the innovative approach of eliminating cable news and sports from their channel lineup to deliver entertainment channels at a rock bottom price.
Let’s look at how both of these services compare on price, channel lineup, features, and more.
|Price per Month||$25||$40||$40|
|DVR||Unlimited||50 hours||50 hours|
|# of Screens||3||1||3|
|# of Channels||63+||33+||45+|
Pricing comparisons are where Philo shines. They offer 60+ live channels for just $25 per month after a free trial. Philo keeps its price low by offering entertainment channels and leaving out sports and cable TV news. They also only offer 1 plan, so it’s straightforward to decide when signing up. You either want the plan Philo is offering, or you don’t.
Sling, on the other hand, takes a different approach. Sling starts more expensive than Philo, with either its Orange or Blue package costing $40 a month. Subscribers can also opt to combine both packages for $55 per month. (Each package has a different combination of cable channels.) However, Sling offers multiple thematic packs (sports, kids, comedy, news, lifestyle, Hollywood, and so forth) for $5 to $10 more per month. Each gives you an additional handful of channels in a particular genre. Sling does offer all the add-ons in what they call “The Total TV Deal” for $25 more per month. That deal, along with both Sling base packages, would cost $75 per month.
On the other hand, if Sling Blue, for example, has all your favorites, and you just need to add the Comedy package to get Paramount Network and MTV, then you’re running about $40 a month.
There are stark contrasts when it comes to the channel offering of each service. For example:
- Philo does not carry News and Sports channels like ESPN, FS1, Fox News, CNN, or MSNBC. All of these channels are available through Sling—however, some on different channel plans.
- Philo also does not carry local broadcast networks like ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox. Sling TV carries just Fox, and NBC is major markets only. See this Sling support page or our guide to watching local channels for details.
- Sling offers, Showtime, Epix, and Starz as add-on packages. Philo only offers Starz and Epix.
We recently did an analysis of each streaming services channel lineup with Philo coming in #1 for what you pay vs the channels you get. While Sling TV’s Blue package was #2, it was 50% more expensive than Philo when looking at the price you pay for each channel lineup. Things got worse for Sling when looking at other packages. Sling’s Orange plan came in dead last out of 7 service. That said, Sling does have a wider variety of channels available to subscribers.
The table below compares popular channels and their availability on each service. Sling offers “add-on” channel packages called “Comedy Extra,” “Lifestyle Extra,” and “Kids Extra.” If a channel is available through an add-on package, we denote the table with a “C” for “Comedy,” “L” for “Lifestyle,” and “K” for “Kids.” We also included the monthly price of the extra package.
Sling has the upper hand on channel availability. However, they may be scattered in a few different base and add-on packages. Sling gets the win here, but you will need to figure in cost to see which is the better value. For all the channels on each service, please see the links below.
The Philo TV DVR is included in the $25 monthly subscription to Philo. Philo allows you to record any number of shows and saves each recording for up to 1-year. Storage is unlimited as long as you watch a recording within 1 year of saving the episode.
Sling’s standard packages include a cloud DVR with 50 hours of storage. For an additional $5 a month, subscribers can expand to 200 hours of cloud DVR storage.
Philo has a better DVR option over Sling.
Sling is supported on more devices than Philo. However, both work on the most popular streaming devices like Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV. Below is a more detailed list of devices supported by both services.
Philo Device Support:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Apple TV
- Mac and PC on a web browser
- Apple iPhone and iPad (running iOS 9 or newer)
- Android phones and tablets (running 5.0 or newer)
- Mac & PC computers
- Roku (select models)*
- Apple TV (4th generation)*
- Apple/IOS devices
- Android phones and tablets
- Amazon Fire TV and stick
- Xbox One
- Samsung & LG smart TVs
- AirTV Player
- Xiaomi Mi TVs
Which Is The Better Sevice
On value, the call goes to Philo. All those top entertainment channels for just $25 per month are tough to beat. If you want a lot of channels, Sling provides the flexibility to put together a pretty decent channel streaming package. You are just going to be paying for it. The edge goes to Philo. It’s just too good of a deal to pass up. However, if you are looking for a wide array of channels and the price isn’t too much of a concern, then Sling TV is the better option.
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