Philo, Hulu, SlingTV and Youtube TV
Posted On July 29, 2020
I recently had another discussion with several people about cutting the cord with cable and what services were being used by everyone to replace the channels they couldn’t get over the air. Over The Air (OTA) channels are another discussion which I’ll post about shortly and what I think is the best option to get your local channels for free as well as retain your DVR service.
The discussion revolved around the usual players, so I thought I’d do a comparison (as it stands today since they seem to change offerings and prices every other day) of some of them. I’ve chosen Philo , Hulu Live, Sling TV, and YouTube TV.
One of the first things you’ll realize when comparing services is that they make it impossible to compare apples to apples. Each one has crafted their offerings such that they are slightly different than the other. All fair when competing in business. It wouldn’t make sense to offer the exact same thing as everyone else. Unfortunately, it makes it that much more confusing for those who are just starting out trying to decide the best path to take given so many options. So hopefully I can break it down at least for these 4.
|$20 ||$55 ||Orange/Blue $30 ||$65|
Even something as simple as cost, really isn’t simple. The number of channels each offers differs and you have Sling which has two different packages with slightly different channels offered in each. When I had Sling, I had both packages plus an add-on to get all the channels we wanted, so ended up paying closer to $60/month.
If you don’t care about sports on ESPN, Fox Sports, etc. then Philo is the obvious cost winner. At only $20, with over 60 channels, and unlimited DVR (shows are saved for 30 days), plus the ability to fast forward and rewind those saved shows, it’s the best bargain in my opinion.
When I used Sling in the past tense earlier, one of the major factors in me changing to Philo was the cost. We got almost the same channels, less maybe 2 or 3 that we rarely watched anyway, for $40/month less! For the $480/yr savings, we decided we could watch those channels on their individual apps.
|61 ||65 ||53 (orange + blue) ||85|
Once again, numbers are relative in terms of how many channels each offers. If there are 5 must have channels that you watch, it really doesn’t matter if a provider has 1000 channels if they don’t offer those 5. We’re getting into the same territory as the cable packages that we all were trying to get away from.
The best thing to do is decide what channels you have to have, whether it’s just 1 or 30. Then compare what each offers and decide what you can live with or without. To make life easier for you, I recommend trying MyBundle.TV. It’s an online service where you plug in all the channels you want to have and it will put together a package for you, pulled from various services, and tells you the cost and what channels if any aren’t included but with options of how to obtain them.
STREAMS – Concurrent
|3 ||2 ||Orange 1 / Blue 3 ||3|
If you’re a single person, the number of streams you can watch at one time is probably at the bottom of your list. However, if you’re a family with multiple members in your home, all who have their own viewing needs, then the ability to go off and watch what you want on a different TV or device becomes much more important. That’s one difference you have to get used to when you drop cable. Honestly though, with a service that offers 3 streams, it should be rare that you conflict with each other.
In this category, Hulu falls short as does Sling Orange. If you have two kids and one is watching Nick Jr in one room, and a teen watching who knows what, then one of you is out of luck if you want to watch another enthralling Hallmark movie.
|Amazon Fire ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes|
|Apple TV ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes|
|Android TV ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes|
|Roku ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes|
|Web ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes ||Yes|
In the past this was an issue and varied between the services. Obviously, streaming has been around long enough now and the competition is great enough that they all are trying to make sure they are available on as many platforms as possible.
There are a lot of services to choose from beyond just these few and the decision will really come down to a personal preference. Again, I would recommend MyBundle.TV as a reference and guide to help build the package you want. The great thing about streaming is that if you try a service and don’t like it, you cancel it and get something else. There’s no arguing with your cable provider. You click cancel my account on one service and sign-up with another.
Now, to entice you over to Philo, if you click this link and sign up with them, both of us will get $5 off of one month of service. Plus you get a 7-day free trial, so once again, if you don’t like it, you cancel it and it doesn’t cost you a dime.
Look for another post about getting and saving your Over The Air shows and my review of Tablo TV.
If you have any questions or experience with any of these or other services, feel free to put them in the comments below!