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Philo TV vs. YouTube TV

Philo TV is inexpensive because it's limited; YouTube TV costs 3x more because it has the full spectrum of channels.

Best value
Free trial:
7 days
Live channels:
Unlimited (keep for 12 mos.)
Free trial:
7 days
Live channels:
Unlimited (keep for 12 mos.)
Editor’s Choice: Best overall
Free trial:
Live channels:
Unlimited (keep for 9 mos.)
Free trial:
Live channels:
Unlimited (keep for 9 mos.)

Is Philo or YouTube TV better?

YouTubeTV is the superior live TV streaming service, with 100+ channels—covering entertainment, kids, news, sports, and more—unlimited cloud DVR, and copious add-ons. It’s what most of us want from a streaming TV service.

Philo is for budget-minded users, but its 70+ channels focus on entertainment and reality TV—so you won’t have local, news, or sports channels. Philo also has unlimited cloud DVR with a longer keep time (12 months) than YouTube TV (9 months), but Philo’s missing channels will bother most users.

Philo vs. YouTube TV pros and cons


Inexpensive pricing
Rare channels unavailable elsewhere
Unlimited cloud DVR (12 mos.)
No sports channels
No local channels
Few add-ons or upgrades

YouTube TV

100+ channels
Unlimited cloud DVR storage (9 mos.)
Missing some regional sports networks
No A&E, Lifetime, or VICE

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Philo vs. YouTube TV deals

Philo and YouTube TV both have attractive deals for new customers. If you don’t see an expiration date, the offer doesn’t list one. So snag these Philo and YouTube TV deals while you can.

Philo deals

The Philo TV streaming service is already a deal at $25 monthly with a 7-day free trial, but here’s a sweet deal we dug up:

  • Save 50% on Philo: New Philo subscribers can get half off their first month (a $12.50 value) with the coupon code “VELVET” (expires January 15, 2024).

For more money-saving offers, see our Philo deals page.

YouTube deals

  • New customer discount: After a 14-day free trial, YouTube TV first-timers can save 30% ($22 monthly) on their first three months of service.
  • NFL Sunday Ticket discount: Pay only $79 (regular price: $109) to watch every out-of-market NFL game for the rest of the 2023 season, either a la carte or bundled with the YouTube TV Base Plan. Expires December 31, 2023.
  • Free Max™: When you subscribe to the YouTube TV + NFL Sunday Ticket bundle, you can get the Max streaming service free for a month (a $15.99 value). Offer expires December 31, 2023.
  • Frontier Internet’s YouTube TV bundles: New Frontier customers can save $120 ($10 a month for 12 months) with these YouTube TV bundles, available only through Frontier Internet.

Keep an eye on our YouTube TV review to find more deals on the live TV streaming service.

Philo vs. YouTube TV head to head

Service Price Channels Streams Cloud DVR Details
Philo $25.00/mo. 70+ 3 Unlimited (12 mos.) View plan
YouTube TV $72.99/mo. 100+ 3 Unlimited (9 mos.) View plan

Philo (70+ channels) and YouTube TV (85+ channels) have comparable channel counts, unlimited DVR storage, and the same number of simultaneous streams. There are, however, some key differences between the two services. Let’s explore them.

Philo vs. YouTube TV plans and prices

Unlike most other live TV streaming services, Philo and YouTube TV each offer only one plan. That’s where the similarities end, and we see where the two streaming services diverge on pricing, channel lineup, and how long you can store DVR recordings.

  • YouTube TV costs $48 more per month than Philo.
  • Philo has no local or sports channels—hence, the wildly different pricing.
  • Philo lets you keep your DVR recordings for three months longer than YouTube TV.

Philo plans and prices

Plan Price Channels Streams Cloud DVR Details
Philo TV $25.00/mo. 70+ 3 Unlimited (12 mos.) View plan

Philo is a good option if you prefer entertainment and reality TV and don’t care about local, news, and sports channels. That might be fine if your smart TV already has a built-in antenna to pick up your local broadcast affiliates (which carry some live sports) and subchannels.

If your smart TV lacks an antenna, an easy-to-install indoor over-the-air (OTA) TV antenna is a nice, inexpensive way to add local channels and live sports to your Philo channel lineup for a one-time cost of $25–$70.

Pro tip: If you want your local channels in 4K UHD but have an older smart TV, you can buy a new OTA antenna with ATSC 3.0 compatibility. We recommend the Mohu Leaf Plus ($47.99 on Amazon). uses paid Amazon links.
Amazon Price; $47.99 (as of 3/14/2023 at 11:40 a.m. Mountain). Read full disclaimer.

YouTube TV plans and prices

Plan Price Channels Streams Cloud DVR Details
YouTube TV $72.99/mo. 100+ 3 Unlimited (9 mos.) View plan
Spanish Plan $34.99/mo. 28+ 3 Unlimited (9 mos.) View plan
4K Plus add-on $19.99/mo. N/A Unlimited in-network N/A View plan

Philo’s limited entertainment and reality TV lineup is how it keeps the monthly payment low. YouTube TV is our Editor’s Choice pick for the best overall live TV streaming service—but does that justify YouTube TV charging close to 3x more than Philo? Absolutely, if you’re looking for a service with the full spectrum of channels: entertainment, kids, lifestyle, news, sports, and more.

Philo vs. YouTube TV fees and extra charges

Philo fees and extra charges

Fees Amount
None N/A

Unlike cable and satellite TV providers, streaming TV services rarely have hidden fees or extra charges. Neither Philo nor YouTube TV has them. Sweet.

YouTube TV fees and extra charges

Fees Amount
None N/A

Check out Sling TV vs. YouTube TV

Sling TV doesn’t have the same limited channel lineup as Philo, so it compares better with YouTube TV. Check our Sling TV vs. YouTube TV to see how the two live TV streaming services stack up against each other.

Philo vs. YouTube TV: channels

We’ve established that Philo is inexpensive because of its limited channel lineup. And YouTube TV costs nearly 3x more since it has what most of us want from a live TV streaming service: an assortment of popular entertainment, kids, lifestyle, news, and sports channels. Now we’ll put a finer point on that, uh, point.

Pro tip: YouTube TV doesn’t guarantee local channel availability in all areas. Before you subscribe, enter your zip code to see which channels you can get.

Local channels

Local broadcast affiliate channels—like ABC, CBS, The CW, FOX, NBC, and Telemundo—are some of the most popular channels.

The 70+ Philo channels don’t include these networks, but you can solve that problem with an OTA antenna. YouTube TV carries most local broadcast channels but only guarantees availability in some areas. Before subscribing, enter your zip code to see which local channels YouTube TV has in your area.

Let’s see how Philo and YouTube TV stack up compared to Variety’s annual list of most-watched channels.

Popular channels

According to Variety, Philo has 25 of the top 50 most-watched TV channels, while YouTube TV has 43 out of 50. The discrepancy is due mainly to Philo not carrying local channels, but both providers lack channels you might want.

Variety’s top 50 most-watched channels of 2023

  1. NBC*
  2. CBS*
  3. ABC*
  4. FOX*
  5. FOX News Channel*
  6. ESPN*
  7. Univision*
  8. MSNBC*
  9. ION*
  10. HGTV
  11. TNT*
  12. Hallmark Channel
  13. Telemundo*
  14. TBS*
  15. HISTORY°
  16. TLC
  17. INSP°
  18. Discovery Channel
  1. USA Network*
  2. Food Network
  3. MeTV°
  4. CNN*
  5. Bravo*
  6. Investigation Discovery
  7. Grit*°
  8. TV Land
  9. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
  10. The CW*
  11. Lifetime°
  12. A&E°
  13. FX*
  14. UniMás*
  15. AMC
  16. WE TV
  17. Paramount Network
  18. Game Show Network

37. REELZChannel°
38. BET
39. ESPN 2*
40. Oxygen*
41. FS1*
42. National Geographic*
43. Syfy*
44. MTV
45. Freeform*
46. Bounce TV
47. Nick at Nite*†
48. Comedy Central
49. fetv (Family Entertainment TV)°
50. Travel Channel

Data effective as of post date.
* Not on Philo
° Not on YouTube TV
Airs on Nickelodeon

Missing channels


FOX News Channel
USA Network

YouTube TV

Family Entertainment Network

Most people will immediately reject Philo based on its lack of local news and sports channels. The service also doesn’t have FX, TBS, and TNT, but Philo remains the best choice for budget-conscious folks. And, again, an OTA antenna adds some news, sports, and major-network TV series via your local channels and subchannels for a one-time cost of $25–$70.

YouTube TV has more popular channels than Philo, but the service doesn’t carry A&E, Lifetime, and TLC. So, if you’re a reality TV fiend, you definitely want Philo. Otherwise, YouTube TV is the more well-rounded of the two services, with a little of everything.

Spanish-language channels (partial list)

Both services’ base plans will disappoint Latinos looking for programming in their native language. Fortunately, sign up for YouTube TV’s Spanish plan, which has 28+ channels en Español for $34.99 monthly.

Pro tip: For a limited time, the YouTube TV Spanish plan is only $24.99 for the first six months (regularly $34.99/mo.).

YouTube TV Spanish Plan channels

  • Antena 3
  • Baby TV Español
  • Bandamax
  • Cinelatino
  • Cine Mexicano
  • Cine Sony
  • De Película
  • De Película Clásico
  • Discovery en Español
  • Discovery Familia
  • ESPN Deportes
  • Estrella TV
  • FOROtv
  • FOX Deportes
  • Galavision
  • NTN 24
  • Nuestra Tele
  • Pasiones
  • TASTEMADE en Español
  • Telehit
  • Telehit Música
  • tlnovelas
  • TUDN
  • TyC Sports
  • UniMás
  • Univision
  • WAPA América
  • The Weather Channel en Español

Sports channels

This one’s easy: Philo has zero sportsball action, while YouTube TV has 17 popular sports channels and even some regional sports networks.

YouTube TV sports channels

  • ACC Network
  • Big Ten Sports Network
  • CBS Sports Network
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • ESPNews
  • FS1
  • FS2
  • Golf Channel
  • MLB Network
  • NBA TV
  • NBC Sports Network
  • NFL Network
  • Olympic Channel
  • SEC Network

Premium channels and add-ons

Premium channel/Add-on Philo YouTube TV
HBO $15.99/mo.
Max $15.99/mo.
Paramount+ with SHOWTIME $11.99/mo.
STARZ $9.00/mo. $9.00/mo.
MGM+ $6.00/mo. $6.00/mo.
AMC+ $7.00/mo.
Shudder $6.00/mo.
NBA League Pass $39.99/mo.
ALLBLK $5.00/mo.
Acorn TV $6.00/mo.
Curiosity Stream $3.00/mo.
Movies & More (FMC, REELZ, HDNet Movies, and Sony Movies) $3.00/mo.

Data as of post date. Subject to change.

YouTube TV has an incredible 46 premium channels and add-on packs. Popular premium networks include Max™, live HBO, Cinemax, MGM+™, Paramount+ with SHOWTIME®, and STARZ®. Add-on packs are mainly niche streaming-service add-ons like AMC+ and Shudder, plus one big sports add-on: NBA League Pass.

The AMC+ add-on for YouTube TV includes more than AMC—you also get Shudder, BBC America, IFC, Sundance Now, and more.

Philo, no surprise, has far fewer add-ons. Movies & More has FMC, HDNet Movies, REELZ, and Sony Movies for only $3.00 a month. There are also three-channel add-ons for MGM+ ($6.00 monthly) and STARZ ($9 monthly). The MGM+ and STARZ packs will have the best premium movies and TV series.

For more information on channels, see our Philo channel lineup guide and YouTube TV review.

Philo vs. YouTube TV: specs and features

DVR storage limits suck. Lucky for you, Philo and YouTube TV both offer unlimited cloud DVR storage. There’s a catch: You can’t keep the recordings forever like you can with traditional receiver/DVRs from cable and satellite TV providers. Keep reading for more about both services’ cloud DVRs, simultaneous streams, and video quality.

Cloud DVR

Philo TV Cloud DVR

Package Storage Keep for Price
Philo TV Unlimited 12 mos. Included

We love unlimited storage, but what’s the use of storing as many movies and shows as you want if you can’t keep ‘em forever? At least Philo lets you store the recordings for 12 months.

YouTube TV Cloud DVR

Package Storage Keep for Price
YouTube TV Unlimited 9 mos. Included

YouTube TV’s unlimited storage also deserves our love—but we’re not crazy about the shorter, 9-month keep time. If Philo can give us a year, why can’t YouTube TV?

Simultaneous streams

Philo TV streams

Package Streams Price
Philo TV 3 Included

Three simultaneous streams are average among streaming TV services, and that’s what you get with Philo—even at the rock-bottom $25-a-month pricing.

YouTube TV streams

Package Streams Price
YouTube TV 3 Included
4K Plus add-on Unlimited (in-network) $19.99/mo.

YouTube TV’s main plan starts you off with three streams, but it’ll bump you up to unlimited streams if you sign up for the 4K Plus add-on. That sounds great, except for the extra 20 bucks a month part.

Philo vs. YouTube TV: Compatible devices

Device Philo TV YouTube TV
Amazon Echo Show
Amazon Fire Cube, Stick, Tablet, TV
Android phones and tablets
Android TV
Apple TV
Chromecast, Chromecast with Google TV
Hisense smart TVs (select models)
iOS mobile devices
LG TV Smart TVs (select models)
Mac computers
Nintendo Switch
Oculus Go
PlayStation 3, 4, 5 ✔ (No PS3)
Roku devices
Samsung Smart TVs (select models)
SHARP smart TVs (select models)
Sony smart TVs (select models)
TiVO Stream
VIZIO SmartCast TV (select models)
Wii U
Windows computers
Windows 10 phones
Xbox 360/One/Series X|S

Data as of post date. Subject to change.

Philo TV and YouTube TV support many of the same streaming devices from Amazon, Android, Roku, Apple, and more. The big difference between the two services is in smart TVs and gaming consoles. If you use either of those devices to stream TV, you’ll wanna go with YouTube TV over Philo.

Check out Hulu + Live TV vs. YouTube TV

Hulu + Live TV is another live TV streaming service you should compare with YouTube TV because they’re similar in pricing and features. Check out our Hulu + Live TV review to learn more.

Philo vs. YouTube TV: video quality

Philo TV video quality

Package Resolution Price
Philo TV 720p N/A

Philo and YouTube TV (among other streaming TV services) stream in 720p resolution, which feels silly now that we have 4K and 8K TVs. Why not stream in full HD (1080p), at least?

Well, neither Philo nor YouTube TV looks terrible at 720p. You may not even notice a difference between it and 1080p—especially if your smart TV upscales lower-resolution content.

YouTube TV video quality

Package Resolution Price
YouTube TV 720p N/A
4K Plus add-on Up to 4K UHD $19.99/mo.

As we mentioned earlier, YouTube TV does have a higher-res option—but it’s not worth paying an extra 20 bucks a month (even with unlimited in-network streams).

Channel guide

Channel guides leave little room for innovation. Philo found some ways to refine the common grid format, but not in ways that would dramatically outshine YouTube TV’s more standard guide.

Philo channel guide

Screenshot of Philo channel guide

Philo’s guide uses larger tiles, which makes it easier to read, and when you land on a show, it displays either a thumbnail pic or a silent video preview. Unfortunately, Philo provides only 24 hours of programming info—but searches go further into the future so that you can set DVR recordings.

You can also select favorite channels that Philo filters into a separate guide page, which is handy.

YouTube TV channel guide

Screenshot of YouTube TV channel guide

The YouTube TV guide is like every cable or satellite TV provider’s guide. A grid of bar tiles shows only program titles, while a short description and thumbnail pic preview appears above the grid.

We could scroll through 10 days of YouTube TV programming info—but it was a chore. Unlike Philo’s guide, you can’t scrub through the YouTube TV titles by holding down a button, so it took an estimated 240 button presses to get through all 10 days (boy, is my thumb tired).

YouTube TV filters your most-watched shows into a separate menu, and clicking on a channel logo lets you filter programming by the time of day and three categories: news, specials, and series.


Philo TV

  • Fast-forwarding on most cloud DVR recordings
  • No live TV fast-forwarding
  • Some on-demand fast-forwarding

YouTube TV

  • Fast-forwarding on most cloud DVR recordings
  • No live TV fast-forwarding
  • Some on-demand fast-forwarding
  • YouTube Premium content (including YouTube Originals)

The only way to skip commercials on both Philo and YouTube TV is on DVR recordings and some on-demand programs. You know what that means? You’ll watch more recorded content on either service (unless you like watching ads).

Pro tip: YouTube TV differs from YouTube Premium, a subscription service that applies only to regular YouTube.

Final take: Is Philo TV or YouTube TV better?

YouTubeTV is clearly a better live TV streaming service than Philo because it has more popular channels—and especially local, news, and sports channels. It also has a superior selection of premium channels and add-ons.

Philo is a great choice if you’re on a tight budget—and we love seeing unlimited cloud DVR storage from such an affordable service. However, we strongly recommend supplementing Philo’s narrow channel lineup with an OTA antenna so you can get local channels, news, and sports.

Philo vs. YouTube TV FAQ

Is Philo TV better than YouTube TV?

When we compare Philo vs. YouTube TV, YouTube TV comes out on top with a better selection of 85+ popular channels, including local, news, and sports channels, with unlimited cloud DVR for $72.99 monthly.

Philo offers 70+ channels, but they’re limited to entertainment and reality TV content—no locals, news, or sportsball—with unlimited cloud DVR for only $25 monthly. But if you’re on a budget, Philo plus an OTA antenna (for your local channels, which will also add live news and live sports) is an excellent choice.

What is the downside of Philo?

A drawback of Philo is that it doesn’t have local, news, or sports channels—but you can fix that with an OTA antenna for a one-time payment of $25–$70. We recommend the Mohu Leaf Plus, which is under $50 at Amazon.

What channels are missing from Philo?

Philo doesn’t carry local channels (like ABC, CBS, The CW, FOX, NBC, and Telemundo), news, or sports channels.

Is Philo worth paying for?

Philo is worth paying for, especially if your budget’s tight. The 70+ channel lineup is limited to entertainment and reality TV, so there are no local, news, or sports channels—but you can add those with an OTA antenna for a one-time cost of $25–$70 (we recommend the Mohu Leaf Plus, which is under $50 on Amazon). And Philo does give you a ton of on-demand movies and shows, plus unlimited cloud DVR for only $25 monthly.

Which is better, Netflix or Philo?

Netflix is better—but it’s not a fair comparison. Netflix is an on-demand streaming TV service with no live TV. Philo is a live TV streaming service with 70+ live TV channels plus thousands of hours of on-demand content. The Netflix library is more extensive, with a broader selection to please most people, while Philo focuses on entertainment and reality TV.


Our streaming TV experts have logged hundreds of hours researching and hands-on testing Philo TV and YouTube TV’s functionality and reliability. We then compared plans, pricing, channel lineups, hidden fees, and extra features so we could make accurate, reliable recommendations to our readers. For more on our process, see our How We Rank page.


Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. utilizes paid Amazon links.


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