Philo vs. Sling TV… which is the best streaming service? As more and more players enter the market, it’s becoming increasingly hard to determine an answer.
For many people, the decision is driven by cost. Philo and Sling are two of the leading budget streaming services available, but which offers the best deal?
Philo vs. Sling: Background
Although Philo has been around since 2009 (then called Tivli), it only began offering a streaming service in late 2017. At the time of writing, it has amassed 50,000 subscribers and a string of high-profile investors, including Mark Cuban, HBO, and Facebook co-founder Andrew McCollum. Today, it is jointly owned by A&E, AMC, Discovery, and Viacom.
Sling is a newer company (it was founded in 2015) but has offered streaming services since its inception. It is owned by Dish Network. Unlike Philo, Sling TV benefits from extensive brand recognition and a much larger userbase. At the time of writing it has 2.5 million subscribers.
Philo vs. Sling: Cost
Philo offers a single package to its users. It costs $20/month and includes 58 television channels. If you’re a new subscriber, you can benefit from a seven-day free trial. And when you do sign up, you will not be tied down to a lengthy contract; you can cancel and restart your plan at any time and as frequently as you wish.
Sling TV has two packages: Sling Blue and Sling Orange. They each cost $25/month. Sling Orange offers 32 channels; Sling Blue includes 47 channels. If you want access to the full set of content, you need to sign up for the $40/month combined package. Like Philo, you can take advantage of a seven-day free trial before you commit, and you’re free to cancel your plan at any time.
Philo vs. Sling: Channel Availability
Aside from price, another key aspect of establishing which is the best streaming service is the availability of channels.
Firstly, let’s look at Sling TV Orange vs. Blue. There is some channel overlap between them. Both packages include TNT, AMC, CNN, Comedy Central, History Channel, A&E, The Travel Channel, Cartoon Network, Newsy, BBC America, Comet, Food Network, HGTV, and TLC.
The differences appear when you look at the premium channels. Channels that are exclusive to Sling Orange include Disney Channel, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3, Freeform, and Motor Trend. Sling Blue has more exclusives, including Discovery Channel, E!, FOX, FOX Sports, FS1, FS2, National Geographic, NBC, NBC Sports, NFL Network, Nick Jr., and Paramount Network. Sling Blue also offers local channels from FOX and NBC in some markets.
These variances cause issues for sports lovers and families with kids. ESPN is on Orange, while FOX Sports is on Blue. Disney is on Orange, while Nickelodeon is on Blue.
Philo has no such discrepancies. It only offers a single plan to its users. Some of the most noteworthy channels on the service include A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, BBC America, BBC World News, Comedy Central, Discovery, DIY Network, HGTV, History Channel, MTV, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, VH1, and TLC.
Readers with a keen eye for detail will have noticed some glaring omissions. Significantly, Philo does not carry any sports channels and does not offer any domestic news channels. Philo also does not offer any local channels. For many users, that makes the service entirely unsuitable.
Philo vs. Sling: Add-Ons
Philo’s channel lineup is fixed; the company does not provide any add-ons or additional packages.
In contrast, Sling offers a few add-ons for users with niche interests. For example, several Spanish-language add-ons are available. For $5/month/region, you can watch channels from Mexico, Spain, South America, Central America, or the Caribbean.
There are also additional packages for comedy, premium channels, sports, kids, news, lifestyle, Hollywood, outdoor living, and international channels. Again, each additional package is $5/month.
Philo vs. Sling: Country Restrictions
Both Philo and Sling are only available to people living within the United States. If you want to access the plans from other territories, you need to use a high-quality paid VPN.
Philo vs. Sling: App Availability
Philo has apps available for Roku, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, iOS, and Fire TV. Sling supports those six platforms, but also has apps for AirTV, LG webOS, and Xbox. And unlike Philo, Sling TV is also Chromecast-enabled.
Both services have browser-based web apps.
Philo vs. Sling: Other Features
If you still can’t decide which is the best streaming service for your needs, perhaps some of the services’ additional features might help to crystallize your thoughts.
For example, Sling has some differences between its packages regarding the number of simultaneous streams. Sling Orange only allows you to watch one stream at a time, whereas Sling Blue increases the number to three. And if you subscribe to Orange + Blue, you can watch on four screens simultaneously. Philo offers three simultaneous streams for all of its subscribers.
Philo also includes the ability to record shows and watch them for up to 30 days after they aired. There is no restriction on the number of shows you can record.
If you want to record shows on Sling TV, you will need to subscribe to the Cloud DVR add-on for $5/month. All your recordings will be available forever; you do not need to watch them within a 30-day period. Furthermore, your recordings will still be available if you leave as a customer and then return at some point in the future.
NB: Check out our article looking at the best streaming services with family plans for more information.
Philo vs. Sling: Which Is the Best Streaming Service?
So, Philo vs. Sling TV Orange vs. Blue—which is the best streaming service for you? It’s a difficult question to answer. If money is no object, then the Sling Orange + Blue package with the entire suite of add-ons is the best solution. However, if you’re an occasional TV watcher with no interest in sports content, we’d recommend going for Philo as the budget option.
To learn more, be sure to read our article listing the best TV streaming services available right now.