This guide compares Philo vs. Sling TV. You can either scroll down for an in-depth comparison, or use our Cord-Cutter Express tool to see how all the major streaming services stack up. Just answer a few quick questions and we’ll match you to the perfect streaming service, taking into account all of your watching preferences.
Fact 1: They Both Have Similar Prices
Both Sling TV and Philo offer low-cost, stripped down TV subscription deals. Philo’s cheapest subscription costs $20/month, while Sling TV’s two base plans both cost $30/month. These prices are significantly lower than what competing streaming services charge.
Here’s a closer look at the two services’ subscription plans.
Philo’s single subscription option comes with around 60 channels and it only costs $20 per month. This makes it one of the cheapest options for cutting the cord. Other streaming services charge twice as much or more. Moreover, Sling TV and many other streaming services opted to raise their prices in 2019. Philo seems to be committed to the $20 price point, though.
7-day free trial
To learn more about Philo pricing, check here.
As mentioned earlier, Sling TV has two different base plans. You can choose between Sling Orange and Sling Blue. Thematically, both plans cover the same TV genres. The main difference between the two is that Disney owns all the Sling Orange channels, while other companies own the channels that are a part of Sling Blue. Both plans cost $30, but you can get a recurring monthly discount from Sling TV if you get both base plans.
Another related advantage that Sling TV offers is special deals and discounts. For example, Sling TV is currently offering a 14-day free “Quarantine” offer to attract new customers during coronavirus-related shutdowns. Other deals let you get free cord-cutter equipment by paying in advance for service. Further details are available on the Sling TV website.
Limited time offer
Limited time offer$30.00/ month
Sling Orange + Blue
Limited time offer
To learn more about Sling TV pricing, check here.
Fact 2: Sling TV Carries More Channels
Philo’s channel menu is smaller and much more specialized compared to Sling TV.
Philo caters to fans of reality TV, talk shows and educational programming. There’s no way to get any sports networks or broadcast channels through Philo.
Philo has two subscription options, and that’s it. Sling TV, on the other hand, has all kinds of different channels — including several networks that your local cable provider probably doesn’t carry.
Once you get a base plan, you can add all kinds of different channel expansion packs. The price of the expansion packs changes depending on which base plan you have, but most of the Extras cost $5-$10.
Here’s a few of Sling’s best extras:
- Sports Extra: Adds all kinds of extra sports channels, including beIN Sports, Motorsport TV, NBA TV, NHL Network and more.
- Kids Extra: Key channels in this pack include BabyTV, Boomerang, duckTV, NickToons, Sling Kids and TeenNick.
- News Extra: If you’re a news junkie, you can buy the News Extra and get all kinds of international and national news channels like BBC World News, CGTN, Euronews, France24, HLN, NDTV, News18, RT Network, TheBlaze, Weather Nation and others.
- Lifestyle Extra: Standard channels with this pack include Afro, BET, Cooking Channel, DIY, FYI, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Lifetime Movie Network, VH1, Vibrant and Z Living HD.
Fact 3: Philo Has Better Next-gen TV Features
Sling TV was one of the first streaming services to enter the cable alternative market. Though it still has a lot to offer in terms of customization, Sling TV is a bit behind the times in some ways– especially when it comes to features.
Even with the recent Sling TV DVR upgrade, Philo still has the edge when it comes to recording. In fact, unlimited recording is one of Philo’s best features. All Philo subscribers can record as much TV content as they want for free. A few months ago, Sling TV brought its very restrictive DVR up to par with the other streaming services. You now get 10 hours of recording time for free and you can record any channel except Local Now, ESPN3, ACC Network Extra and SEC Network+. Previously, you had to pay extra for the DVR, which could only record Sling Blue channels.
Philo also has better family features compared to Sling TV. With Philo, you can stream to as many as three devices at a time without any restrictions.
Sling TV has a much stricter account sharing policy. If you get Sling TV and pull up an Orange channel, nobody else in your family will be able to use Sling TV Orange until you close Sling TV. (You can watch Sling Blue channels on three devices at once, though.)
Philo was supposed to release a TV sharing feature last year, but that never happened. This feature will let Philo users see where their friends and family are at in a TV series and find out whether or not they are watching TV.
In an interview with Business Insider, Philo’s CEO Andrew 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
Whether or not Philo’s upcoming social features will succeed, however, remains to be seen. Netflix has flirted with social features, but discontinued them after they proved to be unpopular.
Fact 4: Sling TV Has Lots of Sports Channels (Philo Has None)
Sling TV has a very strong selection of sports channels.
If you buy the Orange + Blue plan and tack on the Sports Extra package, you can get about 25 sports channels though Sling TV. The exact number varies depending on where you live.
As mentioned above, Philo doesn’t have any sports channels at all, with the exception of Velocity, which occasionally shows some motorsports programming.
Fact 5: Sling TV Has a Stronger Selection of Apps
Both services cover all the most popular devices among cord-cutters, but Sling TV has more apps overall compare to Philo
This is perhaps no surprise, given that Sling has been around — and developing apps — for more than four years, while Philo has barely been out for two years.
One nice thing about internet TV is that none of the internet TV providers lock you in with contracts. If you’re waiting for a Philo app to come out, you can just subscribe to Sling TV or some other internet TV service and then switch over when Philo rolls out whatever app you need.
Fact 6: Philo Unlocks More Cable TV Apps/Websites
Many cable channels let you access live streams and full episodes via their apps, but only if you subscribe to a TV service that’s compatible with TV Everywhere.
Both Philo and Sling TV are compatible with TV Everywhere. It used to be that Sling unlocked more apps, but Philo is now the TV Everywhere champion. You can use TV Everywhere to access just about every channel that Philo offers.
In contrast, Sling TV only works with 24 apps. It’s not hard to pick a winner, here.
One significant benefit of TV Everywhere apps is that they let you circumvent simultaneous streaming limitations. In other words, if you use your Philo credentials to log into A&E’s app, you can watch A&E content while three other people use your Philo account to watch TV.
TV Everywhere apps work the same way with Sling TV. Any apps you unlock with your Sling TV credentials won’t count against your simultaneous stream limit when you use them.
Fact 7: Sling TV Has More On-demand Content
On-demand videos let you tune in and watch your favorite shows and movies whenever you want.
Currently, Netflix and Hulu are the biggest on-demand players. However, Sling TV’s on-demand library is pretty big as well. Sling TV says it has 10,000 hours of on-demand content.
Philo’s relatively small on-demand library could be a deal breaker if you don’t already subscribe to an on-demand service. According to Philo’s website, Philo stores around 1,000 hours of TV show videos in its on-demand library. Philo doesn’t have any movies, but this may not be much of a concern if you already subscribe to a service like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video.
Before you sign up with either service, you should know that Sling TV and Philo are both live TV specialists. That means that neither of their on-demand content libraries can compete with other streaming services that specialize in on-demand content.
Fact 8: Both Services Have 7-Day Free Trials
If you still can’t decide between Sling TV and Philo, try them both out yourself for free. Both internet TV services have 7-day 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 to unlock 2 days of free TV. However, you’ll have to give them your card to unlock the following 5 days of the free trial.
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Philo Vs. Sling TV: Which Is Better?
Right now, Sling TV has more to offer compared to Philo in terms of channel variety and apps. However, that may change as Philo matures. Philo’s upcoming social network may be revolutionary, or it could turn out to be a flop.
On the other hand, Philo may be the better choice depending on how and why you watch TV.
Do you like reality TV shows?
If you like to binge reality shows, Philo might be right up your alley. You can cut the cord and still enjoy most of your favorite programs.
How often do you watch sports?
If you can’t live without sports, Sling TV is the obvious better choice. Philo doesn’t have any sports channels and it also doesn’t have any of the “big four” American broadcast networks. Conversely, if you don’t watch sports at all, it could make more sense to go with Philo.
Do you have a large family?
Sling has placed a “one stream at a time” limit on all Sling TV Orange channels, which is a significant downside — especially if you intend to share your account with your family. Philo lets you stream all of its channels to up to three devices at once, plus it will roll out new social features this year. Additionally, Philo has better recording features compared to Sling TV.
Do you use a TV antenna to watch TV?
Sling TV’s Orange base plan and Philo both help fill in the gaps that you’ll encounter once you cut the cord and start using your TV antenna to get your entertainment. However, Sling Orange offers a more well-rounded selection of networks. Philo has a strong mix of lifestyle channels, but it lacks sports and local channels.
One nice thing about Sling TV is that they’ll send you an HD antenna for free if you pay for service in advance. If you mostly watch TV through a traditional TV set but you don’t have an antenna yet, it probably makes more sense to go with Sling TV.