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Sling TV vs. Philo

Sling TV and Philo are both inexpensive live TV streaming services, but which is better? Let CableTV.com’s experts walk you through it.

Best for kids (live TV streaming)

Price: $35.00–$50.00/mo.
Channels: 30–50+
Cloud DVR storage: 50 hrs.

Cheapest (live TV streaming)

Price: $25.00/mo.
Channels: 63+
Cloud DVR storage: Unlimited

Sling TV and Philo offer some of the lowest-priced monthly plans in live TV streaming. On the downside, they also feature fewer channels than pricier competitors like YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV.

More minuses: Sling TV is light on local channels, and Philo carries none at all (there are no sports channels on Philo, either). But Sling TV does offer a plethora of add-on channel packages for a tailored-to-you viewing experience, while Philo features a cloud DVR with unlimited storage space for 1 year and a few hard-to-get channels in streaming (like Hallmark).

If you want custom channel add-on options, as well as sports and local channels, we’d say go with Sling TV. But, if entertainment and lifestyle channels are your jam and you wouldn’t miss sports, we think the cheaper Philo might be right for you.

Sling TV vs. Philo pros and cons

Sling TV

Low-priced plans
30+ channel add-on options
Limited local channels

Philo

Lowest-priced plan
Unlimited cloud DVR
No local or sports channels

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Deals and promotions

Philo gives you a seven-day free trial to try out its service before subscribing.

Sling TV has no free trial, but does offer several deals on antennas and streaming devices—check out our Sling TV Deals guide for the details.

Compare Sling TV and Philo

Service
Sling TV
Philo
Price Channels Streams Cloud DVR Details
$35.00–$50.00/mo. 30–50+ 1–4 50 hrs.
$25.00/mo. 63+ 3 Unlimited (1 yr.)

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

Sling TV offers three plan options, but Philo’s single plan is cheaper than all of them and features more channels. However, you get no local or sports channels with Philo—that’s a big “but” to work around, even at just $25 a month.

Plans and pricing

Sling TV plans and pricing

Price Channels Streams Cloud DVR Details
$35.00/mo. 30+ 1 50 hrs.
$35.00/mo. 40+ 3 50 hrs.
$50.00/mo. 50+ 4 50 hrs.

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

Sling Orange + Blue’s combined 50 channels for $50 a month is easy math but, depending on your viewing needs, Sling Orange or Sling Blue could have you covered for just $35 a month. Hint: Sling Orange is better for sports and family channels, like ESPN and Disney, while Sling Blue carries more entertainment and news channels, like Syfy and MSNBC.

Philo plans and pricing

Plan
Philo
Price Channels Streams Cloud DVR Details
$25.00/mo. 63+ 3 Unlimited (1 yr.)

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

Philo keeps it simple with one plan featuring over 60 live channels. If you don’t care about sports or local channels, but you have to have your Comedy Central, ID, and Lifetime, Philo delivers. Lifestyle and entertainment channels are cheaper to license than sports networks and local stations, which is how Philo keeps the price down to $25 a month.

Cord-cutting savings

You could save up to $100 a month 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.

Live channels

Sling TV vs. Philo live channels

Channel
A&E
ABC*
ACC Network
AMC
Animal Planet
BBC America
BBC World News
BET
Big Ten Network
Bloomberg TV
Boomerang
Bravo
C-SPAN
Cartoon Network / Adult Swim
CBS*
CBS Sports Network
Cheddar News
CINEMAX®
CMT
CNBC
CNN
Comedy Central
COMET
Cooking Channel
COZI TV
The CW*
Destination America
Discovery Channel
Discovery Family
Disney Channel
Disney Junior
Disney XD
DIY Network
E!
El Rey Network
EPIX®
ESPN
ESPN2
ESPNews
ESPNU
Food Network
FOX*
Fox Business Network
Fox News
FOX Soccer Plus
FS1
FS2
Freeform
Fuse
Fusion
FX
FXM
FXX
FYI
Galavisión
Golf Channel
Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
HBO®
HGTV
HISTORY
HLN
IFC
Investigation Discovery (ID)
ION
Lifetime
Lifetime Movie Network
MLB Network
MOTOR TREND
MSNBC
MTV
MTV2
MTV Classic
Nat Geo WILD
National Geographic Channel
NBA TV
NBC*
NBC Sports Network
NBC Universo
NFL Network
NFL RedZone
NHL Network
Nick Jr.
Nickelodeon / Nick at Nite
Nicktoons
Olympic Channel
OWN
Oxygen
Pac-12 Network
Paramount Network
PBS*
Pop
Science
SEC Network
SHOWTIME®
Smithsonian Channel
Sportsman Channel
Stadium
STARZ®
SundanceTV
Syfy
TBS
TCM
TeenNick
Telemundo*
Tennis Channel
TLC
TNT
Travel Channel
truTV
TV Land
Universal Kids
Univision
USA Network
VH1
VICE
WEtv
Weather Channel
Sling Orange Sling Blue Sling Orange + Blue Philo

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

While Philo technically has more channels than Sling TV’s fattest plan, they may not all be channels you want—sure, the Game Show Network is cool, but would you rather have it or the NFL Network on Sling TV?

Philo is not for sports fans, as you’ll see in a minute.

Sling TV vs. Philo sports channels

Channel
ACC Network
Big Ten Network
CBS Sports Network
ESPN
ESPN2
ESPNews
ESPNU
FS1
FS2
Golf Channel
MLB Network
NBA TV
NBC Sports Network
NFL Network
NFL RedZone
NHL Network
Olympic Channel
Outdoor TV
Pac-12 Network
SEC Network
Sportsman Channel
Stadium
Tennis Channel
Sling Orange Sling Blue Sling Orange + Blue Philo

Data effective as of post date.

Sling TV blows out Philo for sports channels, easily. Sling TV’s basic plans carry ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, NBC Sports Network, and NFL Network, and you can get over 20 more sports channels with the Sports Extra add-on for an additional $11 a month.

The closest you can get to sports on Philo is Basketball Wives on VH1—an entertaining show, but not quite the same as NBA TV.

Sling TV vs. Philo local channels

Channel*
ABC
CBS
The CW
FOX
NBC
PBS
Telemundo
Sling Orange Sling Blue Sling Orange + Blue Philo

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

In some markets, Sling TV carries local FOX and NBC stations—but only on the Blue and Orange + plans. Also, Sling TV offers several deals on digital antennas so you can pick up more local channels over the air than it streams. Philo has zero locals (which can also be remedied with an antenna).

Premium channels and add-on packages

Channel
HBO Max
CINEMAX
SHOWTIME
STARZ
EPIX
Add-on channel packages
Sling TV Philo
$10.00/mo.
$9.00/mo. $9.00/mo.
$5.00/mo. $6.00/mo.
30+

Data effective as of post date.

In addition to premium channels, there are over 30 add-on channel packages available through Sling TV, ranging from sports channels to kids’ programming, movie-buff bundles, and more. There are no add-on packages with Philo, but you can at least get STARZ and EPIX.

Sling TV vs. Philo specs and features

Cloud DVR

Service
Sling TV
Philo
Included storage Upgrades
50 hrs. 200 hrs. ($5.00/mo.)
Unlimited (1 yr.)

Philo’s cloud DVR used to store your recorded shows for 30 days before auto-deletion, which wasn’t bad—but that’s recently been upgraded to a full year, three months longer than even YouTube TV offers. Sling TV, on the other hand, includes just 50 hours of DVR space, which can be upgraded to 500 hours for an extra $5 a month.

Philo gets the big win in this category.

Multiple streams

Service
Sling TV
Philo
Simultaneous streams Upgrades
1–4
3

Confusing, huh? Sling TV’s simultaneous streams allow for one, three, or four devices at a time depending on the plan. Philo keeps it simple at three, which is the most common number among live TV and on-demand streaming services—a small victory for Philo here.

Compatible devices

Device
AirTV
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
NVIDIA SHIELD Pro TV
PC, Mac web browsers
PlayStation 3, 4, 5
Roku Ultra, Express, Premiere, Stick, TV
Samsung TVs (select models)
TiVo Stream
Wii
Xbox One
Sling TV Philo

Philo doesn’t play nice—or at all—with gaming devices, but it does work with most basic streaming TV gear. Sling TV is available on more smart TVs, as well as Xbox.

Video and audio quality

Both Sling TV and Philo stream 720p HD video, the standard for live TV streaming, with some on-demand content at 1080p. Sharp-eyed video connoisseurs may be able to tell the difference, but most viewers would be hard-pressed to discern the pixel count.

Sling TV's on-demand menu

Philo streams at standard 2.0 stereo audio only, which is adequate for those ‘90s Nation video blocks on MTV Classic—shh, Bell Biv DeVoe’s “Poison” is up next.

Sling TV also streams standard 2.0 stereo audio, with some content available in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround.

Philo's DVR menu

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.

Final take: Is Sling TV or Philo worth it?

It’s like this: Sling TV is more expensive ($35.00–$50.00 a month) but gives you more popular channels and dozens of customizable options, while Philo offers just one skinny-bundle plan for $25 a month.

Sports fans need not give Philo a second look, though; Sling TV can cover all your ballin’ needs for a few dollars more. Your other interests, too—Sling TV’s add-on channel package selection is redonkulous (it’s a technical term we TV experts like to use).

We’d recommend Philo to those into entertainment and lifestyle channels only, whereas Sling TV can cover it all—for a price.

Methodology

Our experts employed hours of hands-on testing and crunched the numbers, rating Sling 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.

Sling TV vs. Philo FAQ

Is Philo or Sling TV better?

Philo would be good for fans of lifestyle and entertainment channels (like MTV, HGTV, and VICE) who aren’t into sports and don’t need local channels—it’s also cheaper. Sling TV is a better option for sports fans, as it carries networks like ESPN, FS1, and NFL Network, and features a sports add-on package with over 20 more channels for an additional $11 a month.

Which is cheaper, Philo or Sling TV?

At $25 a month, Philo is a cheaper option than Sling TV, which starts at $35 a month.

Can you get local channels on Philo?

Philo carries no local ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, The CW, PBS, or Telemundo channels. Sling TV carries some local NBC and FOX channels, but not in all areas. To get all your local channels, we’d recommend purchasing an over-the-air digital antenna.