If you’re still paying $100 a month for traditional cable or satellite TV service, you may have heard about the new internet-based replacements like DirecTV Now, YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV.
I’ve spent the past year testing out all of the new options for cord cutters that can slash your pay TV bill in half in 2018!
Sling TV vs. Philo TV: Which live TV streaming service is best?
The base plans from DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV and PlayStation Vue start around $40 per month. Their channel lineups include ESPN, Disney, CNN, Bravo and dozens more.
But if you’re someone who doesn’t spend hours and hours watching TV every day, $40 a month is still a lot of money!
Sling TV and Philo TV are two live TV streaming services that have packages starting under $20. I’ve tried them out to help you decide which one is the best cable and satellite TV alternative for your household.
Let’s get to the comparison of Sling TV and Philo TV…
How much do Sling TV and Philo TV cost?
Philo has two packages for $20 or less a month and Sling has one. Sling also has a number of add-ons to help you customize your channel lineup, but those will cost you extra. Both services bill monthly and allow you to cancel whenever you want.
Sling TV: Sling Orange is priced at $20 per month and comes with more than 30 channels. Sling also has a $25/month package called Sling Blue that has more than 45 channels. You can get Sling Orange + Sling Blue for $40 per month.
Philo TV: Philo’s starter package comes with 37 channels for $16/month or you can upgrade to 46 channels for $20 per month.
What channels do you get with Sling TV and Philo TV?
The channel list is probably going to be the most important consideration for anyone looking to switch to a live TV streaming service. For $20 a month or less, you’re obviously not going to get the 150 channels that come with a cable or satellite TV subscription.
Philo TV focuses on entertainment channels, while Sling TV offers a mix of sports, news and entertainment networks. Here are the channel lists:
Sling’s $20/month package
- ESPN, AMC, CNN, HGTV, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network, History Channel. Disney Channel, ESPN2, ESPN3, TNT, ACC Network Extra, Food Network, TBS, BBC America, Freeform, IFC, EPIX Drive-In, Tribeca Shortlist, A&E, Viceland, Lifetime, Travel Channel, AXS TV, Fuse, Newsy, Cheddar, Bloomberg Television, Local Now, Flama, Galavision
Philo’s $16/month package
- A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, AXS TV, BBC America, BBC World News, BET, Cheddar, CMT, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, DIY Network, Food Network, FYI, Game Show Network, HGTV, History, IFC, Investigation Discovery, Lifetime, Lifetime Movies, MTV, MTV2 , Nickelodeon , Nick Jr., OWN, Paramount Network, Science Channel, Sundance TV , TeenNick , TLC, Travel Channel, TV Land, Velocity, VH1, Viceland, WE tv
Philo’s $20/month package (Everything above also included)
- American Heroes Channel, BET Her, Cooking Channel, Destination America, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, Logo, MTV Live, Nicktoons
Wondering about your local channels? I don’t rely on live TV streaming services to provide those. Instead, I use a $40 digital antenna that I bought years ago to get my local NBC, CBS, FOX, ABC, PBS and independent stations.
Which devices do Sling TV and Philo TV support?
These services allow you to stream your favorite channels from your phone, computer or TV. To watch Philo on your TV set, you’ll need a Roku device like the $29 Roku Express. It doesn’t support Fire TV or Apple TV yet.
Meanwhile, Sling supports Roku and a long list of other devices:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Amazon Tablet
- Android device
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- iOS device
- LG TV
- Samsung Smart TV
- XBOX One
- Windows 10
Is DVR included with Sling TV and Philo TV?
Sling TV offers 50 hours of cloud DVR storage, but it’ll cost you an extra $5 per month. Philo lets users save anything currently airing or scheduled to air and makes it available for 30 days.
Can I watch on multiple streams with Sling TV and Philo TV?
The ability to stream on multiple devices at the same time is important if everyone in your house has different shows they want to watch.
With Sling Orange, the $20/month package, you can only watch one stream at a time. However, a Philo subscription allows three different streams to be played at the same time.
What are Sling TV and Philo TV’s internet speed requirements?
Although live TV streaming services can cut your cable bill, you’ll still need high-speed internet service. Both Sling and Philo recommend at least 5 Mbps for a streaming experience that’s free of buffering.
If you have multiple devices connected to the internet at the same time, a higher speed may be needed. Check your internet speed at SpeedTest.net.
Do Sling TV and Philo TV have free trials?
All of the streaming services I’ve tried have offered free trials, typically for a week. Philo lets you try out its service for two days without even entering your credit card information — just your phone number.
After those two days are up, you can extend the trial to a full week by entering payment information. Learn more here.
Sling asks for you to submit credit card information when you sign up for the free trial, but you can always cancel before the trial ends. Both services make it easy to cancel online from your account page without having to call customer service.
If you try either of these services and don’t like them, just move on to other options like DirecTV Now and YouTube TV — both under $40/month.
I haven’t had a traditional cable TV package since 2010 when I started paying off my $86,000 mortgage in two years, but I really like these new live TV streaming services because they’re so flexible.
For example, I tend to watch more TV during the coldest months of the winter and the hottest months of the summer.
By taking advantage of these new streaming options, I can sign up for Sling TV or Philo TV in August, cancel in September and sign up all over again in December. You don’t get that option with traditional cable or satellite TV.
To keep my high-speed internet costs down, I also use Trim. This service has lowered my Xfinity by Comcast internet bill a handful of times!
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