Hulu Live TV vs. Philo - Which Should You Choose?
If you’re looking for a new live TV streaming service, is Hulu Live TV or Philo a better choice? The decision may depend on what you value most. Both are excellent streaming options with lots of pros and cons. If you’d like a quick comparison, check out The Streamable’s Service Matchmaker. Let’s dig in to compare your options.
Winner on Price: Philo
Philo clocks in at $25 / month and Hulu starts at $69.99 / month, so Philo wins, hands-down. Obviously, there are reasons Philo is a fraction of the cost, but it might make a lot of sense, especially if you’re spending money on other services like Netflix or HBO Max. If you’re looking for a live TV option, Philo’s price is nearly impossible to beat.
Winner on Overall Channels: Hulu Live TV
Hulu includes 33 of the top 35 cable channels, which tops Philo’s 18. Overall, Hulu Live TV can provide 101 channels while Philo offers 75.
Hulu will be your choice if you like to watch Bravo, Cartoon Network, CNN, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, E!, ESPN, Fox News, Freeform, FX, FXX, MSNBC, Syfy, TBS, TNT, truTV, and USA Network.
But Philo will be your choice if you like to watch AMC and WE tv.
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Winner on Local Channels: Hulu Live TV
Hulu Live TV offers ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, Telemundo, and The CW. Philo doesn’t offer local channels, so you’d need to use an antenna if those are important to you.
Winner on Sports Channels: Hulu Live TV
Pro Sports Networks
If you’re a sports fan, Philo is not for you.
Hulu Live TV includes NFL Network. NFL RedZone is included in a $9.99 Sports Add-On, which also includes MAVTV, Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel, TVG, and TVG2.
Hulu Live TV also includes free access to ESPN+. We’ll have more on that later, but the service provides a ton of value to sports fans, especially if you like hockey.
Regional Sports Networks
Hulu Live TV offers NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports Northwest, NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBC Sports Philadelphia+, NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Washington+, and SportsNet NY. Philo offers none.
College Sports Networks
When it comes to college sports, Hulu Live TV wins again. It offers ACC Network, ACC Network Extra, Big Ten Network, CBS Sports Network, ESPNU, and SEC Network. Philo offers none.
Winner on Included Features: Hulu Live TV
If you’re the kind of person who records a lot of TV, Hulu Live TV holds a slight edge with its unlimited cloud DVR. You can store recordings up to nine months. On Philo, your unlimited DVR only allows you to keep shows for 30 days.
On Demand Library
Hulu Live users get access to Hulu’s vast library of on demand content, although you will see ads unless you’re willing to upgrade for another $6/month. That’s honestly a great deal for the number of movies and shows you’ll get. Normally, ad-free access to Hulu’s library would cost $14.99 / month. You’ll be able to see “The Handmaid's Tale,” “Pam & Tommy,” “Only Murders in the Building,” “Little Fires Everywhere,” “Palm Springs,” “PEN15,” “Shrill,” and a great rotating library of blockbuster movies.
Philo offers no similar feature.
The Disney Bundle
Subscribers to Hulu Live TV now get automatic, free access to Disney+ and ESPN+. That means you’ll be able to stream most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, every Star Wars film, Pixar movies, and classic Disney animation, along with the strong sports package on ESPN+, including tons of NHL games. It’s a staggering amount of content and it comes as part of your normal Hulu Live TV subscription.
72-hour Rewind Feature
Philo is the only service to offer this nifty feature. You can watch shows that you didn’t record, up to three days after they aired. This feature adds a lot of additional shows that aren’t normally available on demand.
Philo offers a free trial, while Hulu Live TV does not.
Your decision comes down to whether you need sports and local channels. If those are important to you, Hulu Live TV is the obvious choice.
Hulu’s great value of the on-demand library and free Disney+ and ESPN+ makes this the most compelling value in live TV streaming.
When it comes to value, it’s hard to beat Philo. You’ll still have access to many important cable channels and a good DVR. With a free trial, it’s easy to sample Philo and see if it’s right for you.