Philo vs. Sling TV

Philo and Sling TV are two popular over-the top (OTT) streaming services. Unlike Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, Philo and Sling TV function as cable replacements — streaming broadcasts from national networks just like traditional television. With over 2.69 million subscribers, Sling TV, owned by Dish Network, has accumulated a healthy base. Philo’s numbers top out around 50,000. The two services differ when it comes to available channels. Most notably, Philo doesn’t have sports channels and offers fewer news stations than Sling TV.

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Sign up for the Orange or Blue Sling TV packages, or get them both to access 50+ channels. Use the add-ons to customize your streaming experience!

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Philo is definitely the cheapest way to enjoy cable channels after you’ve cut the cord. Over 40 cable channels are included for just $16 per month. An unlimited cloud-DVR is also included.

Compare Philo vs. Sling TV plans

Both services offer seven-day free trials. Philo provides over 50 channels like Sling TV’s Orange & Blue plan but has limited sports and news options.  

 PhiloSling OrangeSling BlueSling Orange & Blue
Monthly price$20/mo.$30/mo.$30/mo.$45/mo.
Free trial7 days7 days7 days7 days
Number of channels50+30+45+50+
Original contentNoNoNoNo
Cloud DVR storageUnlimited10 hours10 hours10 hours
Simultaneous streams3134
Number of user profiles10111

Which streaming service is right for you? 

If you’re a fan of entertainment and could care less about sports, Philo is a solid decision at $20/mo. Philo’s channels consist of AMC, Comedy Central, Discovery, MTV and more. For a more well-rounded channel collection, you’ll probably want to consider one of Sling TV’s packages. Sling TV splits channels between its Sling Orange and Sling Blue plans. Get channels like CNN and ESPN on Sling Orange or opt for Sling Blue to score Fox News, MSNBC, NFL Network and more. If you want it all, upgrade to Orange & Blue for $45/mo. While Sling TV offers several channels, it falls a bit short when it comes to sports coverage — it lacks some regional sports networks, which can affect your ability to watch MLB, NBA and NFL games. 

Philo only has one plan and doesn’t give the chance to purchase add-ons. Sling TV, on the other hand, gives you the opportunity to customize your viewing experience with add-ons, extras and premium channels.

Channels

Here’s the meat-and-potatoes of our Philo vs. Sling TV comparison – the actual channels offered! Keep in mind that this is a brief comparison – for the full lists, see our Philo channel list and Sling TV channel list.

Philo offers 50+ channels for $20 a month, focusing on entertainment networks. This is the only package available.

Sling TV offers anywhere from 30+ to 50+ channels, depending on the package and add-ons you choose. There are many customization options.

Coverage of entertainment networks

When it comes to entertainment networks, Philo is a clear winner. This service really shines when it comes to entertainment, covering networks like A&E, AMC, BET, Comedy Central, Food Network, HGTV and MANY more. The bulk of Philo’s 55+ channels are all entertainment related.

To be fair, Sling TV offers most of these channels – but many are only in add-ons, which means you’ll pay more for them. If entertainment is what you’re after, click here to try a free 7 day trial of Philo today!

Coverage of sports

When it comes to sports channels, Sling TV is a clear winner. Really, there’s no comparison, as Philo doesn’t cover any dedicated sports networks. Sling TV carries ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, FS2, NBCSN and many more.

If you’re looking to watch sports online, Sling is the way to go. Click here to start a free 7 day trial!

Coverage of local channels

For local channels, Sling TV comes out on top. Sling offers (in select areas) NBC, FOX and CBS, while Philo offers no local channels. So if you’re looking for these networks for local news coverage or important sporting events, Sling is a better bet. Click here to start a free 7 day trial!

Keep in mind that you can also watch local channels with an antenna, so some people opt to go that route. Sling TV has a special deal where you can get a free antenna when you sign up and prepay for a few months of Sling. Alternatively, Philo combined with a good antenna would be a great solution as well!

Coverage of premium channels

If you want to get premium channels like HBO or Showtime, Sling TV comes out on top. Philo does not offer any premiums, while Sling offers HBO, Cinemax, Starz, Showtime and others. Keep in mind that these are all offered for an additional fee.

So, to wrap up – overall, Sling TV has FAR more channels than Philo. For pure entertainment networks, Philo dominates with a fantastic value bundle of 55+ channels. For everything else, Sling tends to be a better option.

Device compatibility

Both of these services work over the internet, without cable TV. You’ll need a compatible device to use the services – but don’t worry, they work on most major devices!

Sling TV devices include:

Philo devices include:

As you can see, Sling TV covers more devices at this time. Both services work on web browsers, Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Android TV and iOS/Android mobile devices. Additionally, Sling TV works on Chromecast, Xbox One, AirTV, LG & Samsung smart TVs, and Oculus.

Sling TV is an older service, so it makes sense that they currently cover more devices. We expect Philo to keep expanding device compatibility as the service grows.

Features

What about special features?

DVR Recording

Both services offer the ability to record live TV to watch later. On Philo it’s included in the price, and on Sling it’s $5/mo extra.

Philo wins in this battle, as it offers unlimited recording for free, while Sling TV charges $5/mo for only 50 hours of space.

On-Demand 

Both services offer a limited on-demand selection. The availability of shows will vary from channel to channel.

Both services are pretty similar when it comes to on-demand, so there’s no clear winner here.

Simultaneous Streaming

Simultaneous streaming refers to how many different devices can be using the service at once. So if you have 2 simultaneous streams, that means the kids can be watching cartoons in the living room while dad watches sports in the bedroom.

Philo offers 3 simultaneous streams, while Sling offers 1 or 3, depending on the package. Philo wins this round!

User experience

The Philo and Sling TV apps are available across several devices, including Android and iOS mobile phones and tablets, Android TV, Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku and web browsers. Sling TV gives you a few more viewing options. Unlike Philo, it’s also compatible with AirTV, Chromecast, LG and Samsung smart TVs, Oculus and Xbox One. 

Philo’s interface features three main modes of navigation: Home, Live and Saved. A key difference between its web browser and mobile and TV interfaces is that only the web browser comes with a channel guide. Don’t expect a channel surfing-experience with Sling TV either. Its interface operates with a menu bar from which you can access the following areas:  My TV (for your content), On Now, Guide, Sports and Movies. Even though there’s a search tool, If you don’t know what you want to watch, you’ll waste a lot of time scrolling. 

Personalization

Philo issues up to 10 user profiles per account. This allows multiple users to sign-in with their own credentials, save favorite shows, and keep track of their personal viewing history. Sling TV doesn’t have an individualized user profile system, but it does somewhat personalize your experience with the My TV section. This area lets you self-customize by housing your most-watched channels in one place. The service’s Favorites category permits you to keep track of the shows and movies you consistently return to. 

Parents aren’t able to manage what their kids want with Philo. But Sling users can operate parental controls within the settings.

Local channels matter when it comes to broadcast streaming. With Sling TV you have a few options like CBS, Fox and NBC with an over-the-air antenna, whereas Philo doesn’t come with local channels. 

Extras

Sling TV outperforms Philo when it comes to add-on features. It lets you customize your package with extra bundles, increased cloud storage and premium channels. Jump from 10 hours of DVR storage to 50 hours for an extra $5/mo. Sports fans can purchase 15 additional channels with the Sports Extra package for $10/mo. The package includes MLB Network, NBA TV and NHL Network. Choose from dozens of extras like the Comedy Extra bundle and premium channels like Showtime.

Philo, unfortunately, doesn’t offer add-ons. What you see is what you get. 

Disadvantages

Philo suffers when it comes to news, sports and add-on features. It’s a cheaper service, but if you’re interested in these areas, you’ll definitely feel the hit. 

Sling TV’s personalization features could be better — the service could start by giving users the ability to create multiple profiles. And with just a few add-ons, you could end up paying as much as you would for cable.

The takeaway

If you’re only interested in channels geared towards entertainment or comfortable getting news and sports through other means, Philo is an affordable choice. If you’d like a variety of customization options as well as the ability to access major news and sports networks, Sling TV is the better option. 

Sling TV logo
Sign up for Sling TV
Start a 7-day free trial

Sign up for the Orange or Blue Sling TV packages, or get them both to access 50+ channels. Use the add-ons to customize your streaming experience!

Sign up for Philo
Start a 7-day free trial

Philo is definitely the cheapest way to enjoy cable channels after you’ve cut the cord. Over 40 cable channels are included for just $16 per month. An unlimited cloud-DVR is also included.

Zack Kulm

Zack Kulm is a writer and contributor of soda.com. He covers a variety of topics from entertainment and gaming technologies to pop culture commentary. Kulm received a degree in English from Penn State University and Film Studies from Pittsburgh Filmmakers Institute. He also produces award-winning documentaries.