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Hulu + Live TV vs. Philo

Hulu + Live TV has more channels (and Hulu), but Philo carries only the channels you might want—which is for you? breaks it down.

Best bundles (live TV streaming)

Price: $76.99–$89.99/mo.

Channels: 95+

Cloud DVR storage: 50 hrs.

Streams: 2

Price: $76.99–$89.99/mo.

Channels: 95+

Cloud DVR storage: 50 hrs.

Streams: 2

Best value (live TV streaming)

Price: $28.00/mo.

Channels: 60+

Cloud DVR storage: Unlimited

Streams: 3

Price: $28.00/mo.

Channels: 60+

Cloud DVR storage: Unlimited

Streams: 3

Hulu + Live TV and Philo are both excellent live TV streaming services, but they’re made for different audiences—basically, those who want more channels versus those who just want their favorite channels.

Hulu + Live TV is closer to a standard cable package, offering a variety of 95+ entertainment, sports, news, kids, and local channels, as well as access to the Hulu on-demand library of on-demand content.

Philo is skinny and niche, offering just over 60 entertainment and lifestyle channels, and no sports or local channels. But, it is one of the few live TV streaming services that carry the Hallmark Channel—‘tis almost the season for holiday movies, after all.

The biggest difference: Hulu + Live TV starts at $76.99/mo., while Philo is just $28.00/mo.. We think Hulu + Live TV is the better service because of its fuller channel lineup and Hulu catalog, but Philo might just hit that sweet TV spot for you.

Hulu + Live TV vs. Philo pros and cons

Hulu + Live TV

85+ channels
Hulu on-demand included
Missing some popular channels


Low price
Unlimited cloud DVR
No local or sports channels

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Deals and promotions

There are plenty of deals to be had with Hulu and Hulu + Live TV, including the popular Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ bundle—check out our Hulu deals guide for all the details.

Philo’s only current deal is its standard seven-day free trial period.

Compare Hulu + Live TV and Philo

Service Price Channels Streams Cloud DVR Details
Hulu + Live TV $76.99–$89.99/mo. 95+ 2 50 hrs. View Plans for Hulu
Philo $28.00/mo. 70+ 3 Unlimited (1 yr.) View Plans for Philo

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

While there are some channel overlaps between the two (both carry Comedy Central, Paramount Network, HGTV, and a handful of others), Hulu + Live TV is more of a “something for everyone” service, whereas Philo targets just fans of entertainment and lifestyle channels.

Plans and pricing

Hulu + Live TV plans and pricing

Plan Price Channels Streams Cloud DVR Details
Hulu + Live TV (with ads) $76.99/mo. 95+ 2 50 hrs. View Plans for Hulu
Hulu + Live TV (no ads) $89.99/mo. 95+ 2 50 hrs. View Plans for Hulu

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Hulu + Live TV’s price varies depending on whether you want the ad-supported or ad-free version of on-demand Hulu—and no, ad-free doesn’t apply to its live channels. There’s no way around ads on live TV, sorry.

Philo plans and pricing

Plan Price Channels Streams Cloud DVR Details
Philo Core $28.00/mo. 60+ 3 Unlimited (1 yr.) View Plans for Philo

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

There’s just one Philo plan, so it’s an easy choice—especially at just $28.00/mo.. But, as we’ll get to in a scroll or two, Philo’s channel focus is very specific and exclusionary to sports and local channels. If you want those channels, Philo isn’t for you.

Cord-cutting savings

Prices go up occasionally, but you can still save a few bucks by switching from cable or satellite to a live TV streaming service. Streaming doesn’t require a monthly rental fee for a receiver/DVR box, there are no installation charges, and there are fewer filler channels (like music and shopping networks) to pay for—unless you’re into QVC, that is.

Live channels

Hulu + Live TV vs. Philo live channels

Channel Hulu + Live TV Philo
ACC Network
Animal Planet
BBC America
BBC World News
Big Ten Network
Bloomberg TV
Cartoon Network / Adult Swim
CBS Sports Network
Cheddar News
CINEMAX® $8.99/mo.
Comedy Central
Cooking Channel
The CW*
Destination America
Discovery Channel
Discovery Family
Disney Channel
Disney Junior
Disney XD
DIY Network
El Rey Network
Food Network
Fox Business Network
Fox News
FOX Soccer Plus
Golf Channel
Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
Investigation Discovery (ID)
Lifetime Movie Network
Max $15.99/mo.
MGM+™ $6.00/mo.
MLB Network
MTV Classic
MTV Live
Nat Geo WILD
National Geographic Channel
NBC Sports Network
NBC Universo
NFL Network
NFL RedZone
NHL Network
Nick Jr.
Nickelodeon / Nick at Nite
Olympic Channel
Oxygen True Crime
Pac-12 Network
Paramount Network
Paramount+ with SHOWTIME® $10.99/mo.
SEC Network
Smithsonian Channel
Sportsman Channel
STARZ® $9.99/mo. $9.00/mo.
Tennis Channel
Travel Channel
TV Land
Universal Kids
USA Network
Weather Channel

*Availability varies by area. Data effective as of post date.

More so than other live TV streaming services, Hulu + Live TV and Philo have somewhat similar channel lineups. Both carry Lifetime, A&E, HISTORY, and VICE, channels mostly absent from other services—but the resemblance ends there.

Philo has the advantage of carrying hard-to-find streaming channels like Hallmark, Hallmark Drama, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Lifetime Movies, Science, and AXS TV. They’re all missing from Hulu + Live TV, but it does have sports and local channels. As you’ll see, it’s about to get real on the field.

Hulu + Live TV vs. Philo sports channels

Channel Hulu + Live TV Philo
ACC Network
Big Ten Network
CBS Sports Network
Golf Channel
MLB Network
MLB Bases Loaded
NBC Sports Network
NFL Network
NFL RedZone
NHL Network
Olympic Channel
Outdoor TV
Pac-12 Network
SEC Network
Sportsman Channel
Tennis Channel

Data effective as of post date.

AXS TV features pro wrestling, and MOTOR TREND has race car coverage—that’s pretty much all the sports you’ll get from Philo.

Hulu + Live TV, on the other hand, has a decent sports channel lineup featuring most of the essentials: ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, FS2, CBS Sports Network, and NBC Sports Network, as well as college-ball outlets AAC Network, Big Ten Network, and SEC Network. If you’re a sports fan, you’ll want Hulu + Live TV.

Hulu + Live TV vs. Philo local channels

Channel* Hulu + Live TV Philo
The CW

*Availability varies by area. Data effective as of post date.

Another blowout: Hulu + Live TV carries local ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and Telemundo channels in most markets, and it makes programming from The CW available on demand. Philo offers zero local channels.

Local channels are an easy workaround, though—all you need is a digital antenna to pick up area broadcasts over-the-air for free.

Premium channels and add-on packages

Channel Hulu + Live TV Philo
Max $15.99/mo.
CINEMAX $8.99/mo.
Paramount+ with SHOWTIME $10.99/mo.
STARZ $9.99/mo. $9.00/mo.
MGM+ $6.00/mo.
AMC+ Included
Entertainment (13 extra channels) $7.99/mo.
Español (6 extra channels) $4.99/mo.

Data effective as of post date.

Hulu+ Live TV has almost all of the top five premium-channel add-ons, missing only MGM+. Philo fills in the gap by offering STARZ and MGM+, plus free AMC+. Unless you’re a diehard MGM+ fan (Belgravia, anyone?), Hulu + Live TV wins here.

Hulu + Live TV also offers a pair of multi-channel add-ons:

  • Entertainment: 13-channel package featuring BET Her, MTV2, NickToons, TeenNick, MTV Classic, American Heroes, CNBC World, Cooking Channel, Destination America, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, Science, and Magnolia Network.
  • Español: Six-channel package featuring ESPN Deportes, Universo, CNN en Español, Discovery en Español, Discovery Familia, and HISTORY en Español.

Specs and features

Cloud DVR

Service Included storage Upgrades
Hulu + Live TV 50 hrs. 200 hrs. ($14.99/mo.)
Philo Unlimited (1 yr.)

Philo’s unlimited cloud DVR will store your recordings for a full year before auto-deleting them—that’s the sweetest DVR deal in live TV streaming. You could store a whole lot of A&E’s Storage Wars in that baby.

Hulu + Live TV’s 50-hour DVR seems a bit puny in comparison, but you can upgrade to the 200-hour Enhanced DVR for an extra $14.99 a month. Still, we prefer Philo’s unlimited approach.

Multiple streams

Service Simultaneous streams Upgrades Offline downloads
Hulu + Live TV 2 Unlimited ($9.99/mo.)
Philo 3

Philo’s three simultaneous streams represent the average in TV streaming, while Hulu + Live TV (and Hulu) stubbornly sticks with just two. Also, if you want offline downloads for on-the-go viewing, it’s available only through the ad-free Hulu plan. Philo doesn’t do offline downloads at all, so it’s kind of a draw here.

Compatible devices

Device Hulu + Live TV Philo
Amazon Fire Cube, Stick, TV
Android phones, tablets
Android TV
Apple TV (4th gen.)
Apple TV 4K
Chromecast, Chromecast with Google TV
Echo Show
iPhone, iPad
LG TVs (select models)
Nintendo Switch
PC, Mac web browsers
PlayStation 3, 4, 5
Roku Ultra, Express, Premiere, Stick, TV
Samsung TVs (select models)
TiVo Stream
Xbox One

Philo is available on fewer streaming devices than Hulu + Live TV, with no support for PlayStation, Xbox, or most smart TVs.

Video and audio quality

Hulu + Live TV and Philo stream live TV at 720p, which is the same picture resolution you get with cable TV. On-demand content from both can stream at up to 1080p resolution, but only the Hulu side of Hulu + Live TV is capable of on-demand 4K UHD, and only on 4K-ready devices.

Hulu + Live TV home screen.
Hulu + Live TV home screen.

Hulu + Live TV supports 5.1 Dolby surround sound audio for shows and movies that utilize it (including the majority of Hulu’s originals), while Philo streams at standard 2.0 stereo only. Videophiles and audiophiles will appreciate Hulu + Live TV’s options over Philo’s

Philo's Channel Guide screen
Philo channel guide

Check your internet

Most streaming services recommend a minimum of 5 Mbps of internet speed to avoid buffering and glitching—we think you can do better. 25 Mbps is a more realistic speed to keep all your devices streaming smoothly. If you need more speed, check out our reviews of the best cheap internet providers.

Is Hulu + Live TV or Philo worth it?

If you’re a newbie cord-cutter coming from the world of cable or satellite TV, Hulu + Live TV is a smooth transition—it has most of the popular channels you’d expect, as well as sports and local channels. It also includes Hulu, a content-filled on-demand library that led us to declare Hulu + Live TV as our editorial pick for the best value in live TV streaming. In this matchup, we much prefer Hulu + Live TV.

Philo is more of a skinny-bundle bargain for the viewer who has no use for local or sports channels but loves their house-hunting shows, foodie series, murder mysteries, holiday movies, and complete cannabis coverage (gotta love VICE). If entertainment and lifestyle TV is your jam, Philo might be the way to go. It’s also our obvious editorial pick for the cheapest live TV streaming service.


Our experts employed hours of hands-on testing and crunched the numbers, rating Hulu + Live TV and Philo on bang for your buck, reliability, features, and customer satisfaction. Then we matched up the live TV streamers head to head to give a clearer picture of their strengths and weaknesses. For more information on our methodology, check out our How We Rank page.

Hulu + Live TV vs. Philo FAQ

Is Is Hulu + Live TV or Philo better?

Hulu + Live TV is a better streaming service for those who want a more cable-like TV experience, with a wide variety of popular channels, including sports and local channels. Philo is better for viewers who want only entertainment and lifestyle channels like HGTV, TLC, Comedy Central, and Hallmark, with no local TV or sports programming.

Does Philo have local channels?

Philo carries no local channels in any market. If you want to get local channels, recommends purchasing a digital antenna to receive local broadcast stations over the air.

Is Hulu included with Hulu + Live TV?

Access to Hulu’s on-demand library of TV shows, movies, and originals is included with Hulu + Live TV, which streams through the same app.

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