It’s a better time than ever to cut the cord and switch to internet TV. Internet TV services can do everything your local cable company can do– and a whole lot more. Best of all: internet TV subscription prices are incredibly cheap.
In the past, lack of choice was an issue for cord-cutters that wanted to make the switch. Now, there are so many internet TV services out there that it can be hard to decide which one to get. If you’ve narrowed it down to Philo vs. fuboTV, keep reading to find out 8 things you should know before you sign up.
Philo and fuboTV are attempting to corner two very different cord-cutter markets. Here’s a quick overview of how these two internet TV services compare.
For $16, a base subscription to Philo gives you access to 37 channels. For $4 more, you can add nine more networks to your account.
Philo’s ultra low prices are its main selling point. Its $16 subscription makes Philo the way to go if you want to save as much money as possible when you cut the cord and transition to internet TV. No other internet TV service is cheaper.
Another nice thing about Philo is the fact that all of its next-gen TV features are surprisingly on point. One key benefit of internet TV is cloud DVR (digital video recorder) integration. With a cloud DVR, you can record your favorite shows to the internet and watch your recordings whenever you want. With Philo, you can record as many TV shows as you want and save your recordings for up to 30 days. Plus, Philo has a recommendation algorithm that learns what you like to watch and serves up shows that it thinks you might enjoy.
Philo is cheap because its creators decided to offer a smaller menu of channels. None of the “big four” American broadcast networks are on Philo’s channel menu. Also, Philo doesn’t have ESPN or any other sports channels.
Another issue with Philo is that it doesn’t have apps for Android, Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV. The only next-gen TV device for the living room that Philo works with is Roku.
Philo has yet to release any information about how many subscribers it has, probably because it just came out in November of 2017.
fuboTV’s core subscription plan is called fubo Premier. fubo Premier costs $45 per month and has around 80 channels.
Instead of avoiding sports channels to cut costs, fuboTV chose to try to make deals with as many sports channels as it could. As a result of fuboTV’s sports-first approach, it now has more sports channels than any other internet TV service.
Like Philo, fuboTV also has excellent recording features. Though a basic fuboTV subscription limits you to recording 30 hours of content, you can keep your recordings for as long as you want. You can also upgrade the recording features for $10 extra per month and get 500 hours instead of 30.
fuboTV has yet to reach an agreement to sell any ESPN channels. However, fuboTV has so many alternative sports channels that you may not miss it.
Along with ESPN, fuboTV also lacks other Disney-owned channels. Disney Channel, ABC and Freeform are also not on the menu.
Nobody knows for sure how many people currently subscribe to fuboTV, but back in October of 2017 fuboTV announced it had surpassed 100k subscribers.
Fact 1: Philo Is Way Less Expensive
Because Philo’s subscription prices start at $16, its the ultimate “skinny bundle” cable replacer. Skinny bundle internet TV services offer a slim selection of channels for a discounted price.
If you’re looking to maximize your savings when you cut the cord, there’s no better deal than Philo– as long as you’re willing to accept the smaller selection of channels that Philo provides.
Philo offers two subscription options:
- 37 channels for $16 per month.
- 46 channels for $20 per month.
fuboTV’s core subscription costs $45– that’s over twice as much per month compared to Philo. In addition to fubo Premier, there’s also an $18 Spanish-language pack called fubo Latino and a $20 Portuguese-language pack called fubo Portuguese.
- fubo Premier: 80+ channels / $45 per month
- fubo Latino: 13 channels / $18 per month.
- fubo Portuguese: 5 channels / $20 per month.
Fact 2: fuboTV Has a Ton of Sports Channels (Philo Has None)
Even though ESPN is not on the menu, fuboTV still sells 35+ sports channels. No other internet TV service offers more in the way of sports entertainment.
The $45 fubo Premier subscription has around 20 sports channels:
- NBC Sports Network
- NFL Network
- Pac 12 Networks
- Big 10 Network
- CBS Sports Network
- NBA TV
- Fox Sports 1
- Fox Sports 2
- Big 10 Network
- NBC Golf
- Fox Desportes
- Eleven Sports
- Olympic Channel
- Fox Soccer Plus
- 10 different BeIN sports channels
For $9 more, you can get around 15 additional sports channels with fuboTV’s Sports Extra channel add-on pack:
- NFL RedZone
- 6 Pac 12 channels
- 3 Fox College Sports channels
- GolTV (English and Spanish)
- TyC Sports
- FNTSY Sports Network
- Fight Network.
As mentioned above, Philo doesn’t have any sports channels at all.
Fact 3: fuboTV Has a Much Stronger Selection of Apps
Because Philo just came out, Philo’s app lineup is very weak compared to competing internet TV services.
Philo is developing Android apps and is working on apps for Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV as well. However, if you own a device that Philo doesn’t currently support you may want to go with fuboTV or some other internet TV service until Philo comes out with the app you need.
- Living room devices: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Chromecast and Roku.
- Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: None.
- Mobile devices and tablets: Android and iOS.
- Game consoles: None.
- Desktop browsers: Chrome is recommended.
- Living room devices: Roku.
- Smart TVs and Blu-ray players: None.
- Mobile devices and tablets: iOS.
- Game consoles: None.
- Desktop browsers: Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Safari.
Fact 4: Philo Has Better Account Sharing Features
If you intend to share fuboTV with your family, you may be put off by fuboTV’s restrictive 2-device simultaneous stream limit. Only two people can watch a fuboTV at the same time through a single account. If you want 3 simultaneous streams, you have to pay $6 extra per month for the “Family Share” upgrade. Philo lets you stream to up to three devices at once by default.
Sometime this year Philo will release innovative social features for Philo. Eventually, you’ll be able to see where your friends and family are at in a TV series and find out if they are watching TV.
Given the fact that Philo’s CEO Andrew McCollum was a co-founder of Facebook, Philo’s focus on social networking makes sense. In an interview with Business Insider, McCollum had this to say about Philo’s upcoming social features:
“TV will be transformed by making it more social. None of the TV products have any social functionality built in at all.” – Philo CEO Andrew McCollum
Fact 5: fuboTV Unlocks More Cable TV Apps/Websites
In addition to using your core fuboTV / Philo app, you can also unlock apps for specific cable channels via the TV Everywhere program. All you have to do is download a TV Everywhere app and log in with your fuboTV / Philo credentials to unlock it.
TV Everywhere apps don’t count against your concurrent stream limit. In other words: if your internet TV service limits you to two streams at a time, you can get around that limit by using TV Everywhere apps to watch TV.
However, not every cable TV channel participates in TV Everywhere. Also, the number of TV Everywhere apps you can access varies depending on which internet TV provider you get.
fuboTV can unlock 34 TVE websites/apps:
- Broadcast networks: CBS, NBC, CBSN, Fox Now.
- News: CNBC, Viceland, MSNBC.
- Sports: beIN SPORTS, beIN SPORTS en Español, BTN2Go, Olympic Channel, Fox Sports Go, MSG Go, Pac-12, NBC Sports.
- Arts and education: Nat Geo TV, FYI, History.
- Lifestyle: A&E, E! Now, Esquire TV Now, Lifetime.
- Entertainment: Hallmark Channel Everywhere, FXNOW, UDN, Oxygen Now, Syfy Now, Sprout Now, Bravo Now, USA Now.
- Spanish: Galavision, Universo Now, UniMas, Univision.
Initially, Philo didn’t work with TV Everywhere at all. However, in the beginning of February of this year, a redditor found out that Philo now works with about six different Scripps Network apps/websites:
- Cooking Channel
- DIY Network
- Food Network
- Great American Country
- Travel Channel
Fact 6: fuboTV Has Better On-demand Content
Philo’s shrimpy on-demand library could be a deal breaker if you don’t already subscribe to Netflix or some other on-demand movie platform.
According to Philo’s website, Philo stores around 1000 hours of TV show videos in its on-demand library. Philo doesn’t have any movies in its on-demand catalog, though.
fuboTV doesn’t have a huge selection of on-demand content, but it does have around 100 or so movies and roughly as much TV show content as Philo.
Fact 7: fuboTV Has American Cable News Channels
In addition to ditching sports channels and the “big four” broadcast networks, Philo also opted to take a pass on all the American cable news networks.
The only news channel you get with Philo is BBC World News.
Because most of the American cable news networks let you tune in for free online, you may not care that Philo doesn’t come with the American news networks. However, if you’re a dedicated cable news junkie, you may want to go with fuboTV.
With a subscription to fubo Premier, you’ll get all the following news networks:
- Fox News
- CBS News
- CNBC World
- Fox Business
- The Weather Channel
- Local Now
Fact 8: Both Services Have 7-Day Free Trials
If you still can’t decide between fuboTV and Philo, try them both out yourself and see what you think. Both internet TV services have 7-day free trials.
One convenient thing about Philo’s trial is that you don’t need to pull out your credit card to sign up for it. All you need is a mobile phone number.
Philo Vs. fuboTV: Which Is Better?
The answer depends on how and why you watch TV.
If you’re a sports fanatic…
If the main thing you watch on TV is sports, fuboTV is the obvious choice. fuboTV has more sports channels than any other internet TV provider. Philo doesn’t have any sports channels and it also doesn’t have any of the “big four” American broadcast networks.
If you use a TV antenna to watch TV…
If you already get your sports coverage and news via your TV antenna, it probably makes more sense to get Philo. Most of the gaps in Philo TV’s channel menu can be filled in with the channels you can get for free with a TV antenna setup.
If you use an Amazon, Apple or Android device to watch TV…
If you use a next-gen TV device to watch TV and you’re stuck between Philo and fuboTV, you’ll probably want to go with fuboTV.
Currently, the only living room TV device that Philo supports is Roku.
As mentioned above, Philo has weak app support because it just came out. fuboTV has been out for several years and it has more apps than Philo. Because fuboTV doesn’t require you to sign a contract, you could just sign up with fuboTV and use it until Philo comes out with an app for whatever device you use.
If you don’t have Netflix…
If you don’t subscribe to Netflix or Hulu but you do like to watch a movie every now and then, you may want to try fuboTV and check out its on-demand movie catalog. fuboTV’s on-demand catalog is small compared to Netflix and Hulu, but at least it has a few hundred on-demand movies. Philo only has TV shows in its on-demand catalog.
If you’re a cable news junkie…
If you can’t image life without Fox News, MSNBC and all the other cable news networks, go with fuboTV. The only news channel Philo has is BBC World News. Philo doesn’t carry any American news networks.
Philo offers more family-friendly flexibility than fuboTV. fuboTV only lets you watch two streams at once. Philo lets you watch three streams at the same time, plus it will roll out new social features this year.