I’ve extensively tested all of the major live TV streaming services over the past few years. Hulu + Live TV and Philo both put a focus on entertainment networks, but that’s about where the similarities stop.
Philo vs. Hulu + Live TV: What You Need to Know
This article will compare the key features of Philo and Hulu Live. I’ll review the plans and pricing, channel lineups, cloud DVR, supported devices and limits on multiple streams.
Let’s dive right into the comparison!
Table of Contents:
Philo is the cheapest of the major live TV streaming services. Philo costs $20 per month, while a Hulu + Live TV subscription is $54.99. It increases to $64.99 per month as of December 18, 2020. Both services have add-on options that can increase your bill.
For example, Philo offers EPIX and STARZ premium networks for an additional monthly fee.
Meanwhile, Hulu + Live TV has add-ons for premium networks like SHOWTIME, HBO Max and Cinemax. Plus, you can pay for more DVR storage and additional streams.
Hulu Live and Philo both offer 7-day free trials, but a future payment method is required when you sign up.
If you sign up for a free trial and decide that you don’t want to continue as a paying subscriber, simply cancel from your account dashboard online. Philo and Hulu + Live TV make this easy to do.
If you think that you may cancel, create a calendar reminder for the last day of the free trial.
Philo and Hulu Live put a heavy emphasis on entertainment networks, but their channel lineups are actually quite different.
Hulu + Live TV has agreements to carry NBC Universal, Disney and WarnerMedia networks that you won’t find on Philo. Meanwhile, Philo carries many channels that Hulu Live doesn’t, including ViacomCBS networks.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Philo offers 60+ networks, but you won’t get broadcast networks, the major cable news networks (CNN, FOX News, MSNBC) or major sports networks (ESPN, FS1, NBCSN).
- Hulu + Live TV offers 65+ networks, including local stations, cable news and live sports. Hulu’s on-demand streaming library is also included.
To determine which service has the best channel lineup, identify your favorite networks using this side-by-side comparison of the channel lists for Philo and Hulu Live:
|Philo||Hulu + Live TV|
|ABC News Live|
|ACC Network (ACCN)|
|American Heroes Channel|
|Animal Planet||Animal Planet|
|BBC World News|
|Big Ten Network (BTN)|
|CBS Sports Network|
|Discovery Channel||Discovery Channel|
|ESPN College Extra|
|Fox Business Network|
|Fox News Channel|
|Fox Sports 1 (FS1)|
|Fox Sports 2 (FS2)|
|Game Show Network|
|Great American Country|
|Hallmark Movies & Mysteries|
|History Channel||History Channel|
|Investigation Discovery (ID)||Investigation Discovery (ID)|
|Law & Crime|
|Nat Geo Wild|
|Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)|
|Travel Channel||Travel Channel|
|Turner Classic Movies (TCM)|
If you’re leaning toward Philo but still want to watch broadcast networks, consider buying an indoor antenna to pick up ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS and more.
In some cities, you can stream these local channels for free with a not-for-profit service called Locast.
Hulu + Live TV and Philo include cloud DVR storage with their plans, but Philo’s DVR is better for two main reasons:
- Philo subscribers get unlimited cloud DVR storage, while Hulu Live’s base plan only includes 50 hours of storage. You can upgrade to 200 hours for an extra $9.99 per month.
- Philo allows subscribers to skip ads on recordings. Meanwhile, Hulu Live only lets you fast forward through ads on DVR recordings if you pay for the upgraded DVR.
Philo vs. Hulu Live: Cloud DVR Comparison
|Storage Limit||Unlimited||Base plan: 50 hours |
With upgrade: 200 hours
|Recording Expiration||30 days||No limit set|
|Fast Forward Through Ads||Yes||Only with upgrade|
You can stream Hulu Live and Philo on a phone, computer or to a TV set with a compatible device. Both services support entry-level streaming media players from Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
Here’s an alphabetized list of the supported devices for TV with Philo and Hulu Live:
Philo vs. Hulu Live: Supported Devices for TV
|Amazon Fire TV||Amazon Fire TV|
|Android TV||Android TV|
|Apple TV||Apple TV|
|Google Chromecast||Google Chromecast|
|Select Smart TVs|
When it comes to streaming on the big screen, Hulu Live has more options compared to Philo. Most notably, several brands of smart TVs and gaming consoles are compatible with Hulu Live.
If you have a house full of people with different TV preferences, the ability to use multiple streams is a must-have feature — and Philo has the advantage over Hulu Live.
Philo allows for three simultaneous streams, while Hulu + Live TV includes two streams in its base plan.
For an extra $9.99 per month, Hulu Live subscribers can get unlimited screens from their home location and up to three separate mobile screens while on the go.
If you want unlimited screens and the upgraded DVR from Hulu Live, you can get both for $14.99 per month.
Hulu Live is for consumers who want the best of cable TV at a lower price. Meanwhile, Philo is ideal for price-sensitive streamers who enjoy watching entertainment networks but can live without cable news and sports.
Philo vs. Hulu Live: Pros and Cons
|Pro: 60+ channels for a very low price||Pro: Well-rounded channel lineup at an affordable price|
|Pro: Unlimited DVR storage||Pro: Hulu’s on-demand streaming library included|
|Con: No local stations, cable news or live sports||Con: Expensive DVR and unlimited streams upgrades|
The best thing about Philo, Hulu Live and other streaming services is that you don’t have a contract or long-term commitment. There’s no risk in trying out one service because you can always switch to another.
Best Credit Cards for Streaming Services
Paying with a rewards credit card is one of the easiest ways to lower your monthly streaming bill. I’ve researched the best credit cards that offer cash back for streaming TV and music purchases. Here are my favorites.