Philo vs Hulu Live: What You Need to Know in 2019

The online streaming industry is a fast-growing place. It seems like every year we get more and more options vying for our attention – and it can get a bit confusing! In the live streaming space, two of the most popular options are Hulu Live TV and Philo. If you’ve narrowed your search down to these two options, keep reading for our Philo vs Hulu Live comparison!

Both Philo and Hulu Live are online live streaming services that let you watch live TV without cable. Each has unique pros and cons, which we’ll go over in more detail in the guide below.


Similarities Between Philo and Hulu Live TV

First and foremost, let’s start with the basics. What ARE these services, and how are they similar?

  • Both are online streaming services for LIVE tv
  • Both let you watch live television on a wide variety of channels
  • Both are available without cable
  • Both offer packages of 50+ channels to watch live
  • Both have live and on-demand viewing options
  • Both have no contract, and can be cancelled at any time
  • Both are FAR cheaper than cable TV, and offer a similar experience

Additionally, both of these services offer free trials.

Since both services allow you to test them out for free, you could potentially sign up for both if you wanted and do your own Hulu vs Philo comparison!

Keep in mind that Hulu LIVE is different than the original Hulu program. This can create some confusion. Hulu Live (which is what we discuss in this article) is a live streaming service for TV channels, while the original Hulu is an on-demand platform similar to Netflix. The classic Hulu on-demand library is actually included with Hulu Live, or it’s also available on its own.

Now, let’s check out the differences between Philo and Hulu Live in more detail.


Philo vs Hulu Live: At a Glance

Philo is a very budget-friendly live streaming service with a focus on entertainment networks. It has 55+ channels and costs only $20 a month. However, it does not include any sports channels, or local channels and offers very few news networks. It offers a free 7 day trial.

Hulu Live is a full-scale entertainment platform, offering just about everything. It costs $45 a month. It has 60+ channels covering everything from sports to news to entertainment. It also has great coverage of local channels, as well as a HUGE on-demand library. It offers a free 7 day trial.

So in short, Hulu Live offers a lot more entertainment options – but it also costs about twice as much as Philo.

Thus, here’s our simplistic recommendations:

If you want to save as much money as possible and mostly want entertainment channels, then Philo is a great option. It’s the cheapest live streaming service, and offers a great selection of entertainment networks. See our Philo review for details.

If you want a full-scale entertainment solution, with sports, news, entertainment and more, then Hulu is a better bet. It offers a very versatile selection of channels and features, and enough options to keep the whole family happy. See our Hulu review for details.


Hulu Live vs Philo Pricing

When it comes to cost, we can do a pretty straightforward comparison: Philo is way cheaper than Hulu, but offers less in terms of selection.

Philo has only one plan, which costs $20 a month. This includes 55+ channels, most of which are entertainment/lifestyle channels. There are no sports, and only a couple news networks.

Hulu Live has one main plan, which costs $45 a month. This includes 60+ channels, covering sports, news, entertainment, local coverage and more. There is a wide selection of channels.

Additionally, Hulu Live also offers some add-ons. For instance, you can add ~10 more entertainment networks for $8 a month extra. Or you can add premium channels, like HBO or Cinemax, for additional fees.

Based on cost alone, comparing Philo vs Hulu Live makes it seem like Philo is a better deal. However, you have to consider the differences in what these services are offering. For instance, Philo’s lack of sports channels is a deal-breaker for some.

Both services are a great deal overall. Considering the average cable TV bill now exceeds $100 per month, BOTH Philo and Hulu Live are a great bargain.


Philo vs Hulu Live Channels

The focus of the Hulu vs Philo comparison for many people is the channels offered by each service. The information below summarizes the key differences in the channel lineups for these two services. For full details, see our Philo channel list and Hulu channel list guides.

Channel Overview

Philo has 55+ channels for $20 a month, and focuses almost exclusively on entertainment and lifestyle channels. You won’t find any sports channels, local networks or mainstream news channels, however.

Hulu Live has 60+ channels for $45 a month, and offers a diverse selection of sports, entertainment and news networks. It also has extensive local network coverage for your local sports teams and news.

Entertainment Channels

Entertainment channels

For entertainment/lifestyle channels, both services bring a lot to the table. Many of the most popular channels are included on both services – although Philo offers a much better bang-for-your-buck with the lower price tag.

The selection of entertainment networks is overall better on Philo, but Hulu still offers a lot of the main ones. But if you factor in price, Philo is a clear winner in this category.

Sports Channels

watch sports online

For folks looking to watch sports online, Hulu is a clear winner. In fact, Philo doesn’t really even put up a fight. While Hulu carries ESPN, FS1, NBCSN, GOLF Network and more, Philo doesn’t carry any fully sports-dedicated channels. Additionally, Hulu carries local sports networks and regional NBC/FOX/etc affiliates, while Philo does not.

For sports fans, Hulu Live TV is a clear winner.

Local Channels

stream local channels

When it comes to watching local channels online, Hulu tops the charts. The service offers local NBC, FOX, CBS and ABC affiliates in most markets around the country. It also carries regional sports networks in most areas! Philo, on the other hand, offers no coverage of local channels. That said, you may be able to get some of these networks for free using an antenna.

So again, this is an area where Hulu dominates Philo.

Premium Channels

Premium channels

Want premium channels like HBO or Showtime? You can get these networks through Hulu Live, although you’ll pay an extra fee. Philo does not currently carry premium channels.

With that said, these channels are mostly available on their own, so this isn’t a huge deal.


So, wrapping up – Hulu Live TV offers a far broader selection of channels, particularly when it comes to sports and news. Philo offers a cheaper lineup that’s focused on entertainment/lifestyle channels.


Device Compatibility

Both Philo and Hulu Live work over the internet, without cable. As such, you will need a compatible device to use either service. Most major devices will work for both services, but here is  an outline of covered devices.

Philo devices include:

Philo devices

Hulu Live devices include: 

Hulu Live devices

So, both services work with:

  • Computers via web browsers
  • Streaming players like Roku, Apple TV, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV
  • Mobile devices from Android and iOS

And additionally, Hulu Live works with:

  • Chromecast
  • Xbox One/Xbox 360
  • Select Samsung & LG Smart TVs
  • Nintendo Switch

We expect Philo to keep adding devices as the service expands. For now, Hulu has broader device compatibility, but both cover the most popular devices.



What about special features like DVR recording? Here’s the lowdown.

DVR Recording

Both services offer DVR recording so you can record live TV to watch later.

Philo has unlimited recording included in the price. Hulu has 50 hours of storage included, and you can upgrade to 200 hours for an additional fee.

On-Demand Streaming

Both services offer on-demand streaming libraries. Hulu’s is far more extensive.

Philo offers something like the on-demand library offered by traditional cable subscribers, with a limited rotating selection of on-demand content. Hulu, on the other hand, has a massive on-demand library that’s closer to Netflix than cable’s on-demand library.

Simultaneous Streaming

Simultaneous streaming refers to the number of devices that can be using the service at once, on the same account. So 2 streams means that two household members can watch two different channels on two different devices – at the same time, using the same account login.

Philo offers 3 simultaneous streams for most channels. Hulu offers 2 for most channels. Hulu also has the option to upgrade to unlimited streams for an additional fee.


Which Service is Right for Me?

Now that you’ve read through our Philo vs Hulu Live TV review, you have a better idea of the pros and cons of each service. Here’s a recap.

If you want to watch sports, local coverage or mainstream news channels you should go with Hulu Live TV. Click here to try Hulu Live TV free for 7 days

If you just want entertainment networks at a rock-bottom price, Philo is an excellent option. Click here to try Philo free for 7 days

Because both services have free trials (and both can be cancelled at any time), you don’t need to commit to either right away. You could potentially try both, and decide for yourself on which one makes most sense to keep long-term. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions!