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Frndly TV vs Philo: Which Cheap Live TV Service Is Best?


Streaming Better Frndly TV and Philo banners

Frndly TV and Philo both offer access to cheap live TV packages, making either a good option for homes looking to save on the cost of live TV. Both services also come with their own limitations, and these differences can help in deciding which of these cheap live TV services is best for you.

Frndly TV first launched in 2019. At the time, the channel lineup was a little limited, but it has slowly grown over time. At the last count, Frndly TV was understood to be delivering live TV to more than 700,000 homes.

Frndly TV
Frndly TV GuideFrom $7.99/month
40+ channels
Up to 4 streams
Unlimited DVR (select plans)
7-day free trial

Philo has been around for a few years now and its first live TV streaming service officially launched in 2017. Similar to Frndly TV, Philo’s channel lineup was a little limited to begin with, but has steadily improved over the years. At last count, Philo had more than 800,000 subscribers.

Philo Live TV guide$25/month
70+ channels
3 streams
Unlimited DVR
7-day Free Trial

Frndly TV is cheaper than Philo

With plans starting at just $6.99 per month, Frndly TV is purpose-designed to be a highly affordable live TV service. Frndly TV also offers more than one live TV plan to choose from, making it possible for homes to choose the one that best suits their needs. While Philo is also designed to be an affordable solution for streaming live TV over the internet, Frndly TV is the cheaper option overall.

Philo only offers one main base plan to choose from and it is priced at $25 per month. Considering Frndly TV’s cheapest package costs $6.99 a month, it is a considerably cheaper option. Even though Frndly TV also offers more expensive plans, they are also much cheaper than Philo’s base package.

Frndly TV’s Classic plan costs $8.99 per month and not only adds an unlimited DVR, but also increases the video quality (to HD) and increases the number of devices that can stream at the same time. The Premium plan further increases the number of simultaneous streams (beyond Philo’s limit) and increases how long recordings can be kept for.

Frndly TVPhilo
Cost p/m$6.99 (Basic)
$8.99 (Classic)
$10.99 (Premium)
DVRNone (Basic)
Unlimited (Classic)
Unlimited (Premium)
Streams1 (Basic)
3 (Classic)
4 (Premium)

With the Premium plan priced at $10.99 a month, Frndly TV’s most expensive package is still less than half the cost of Philo’s base plan. Overall, this makes Frndly TV the better choice for any homes looking to save as much as possible on live TV.

For reference, Frndly TV also offers an annual plan (unlike Philo), which can help to reduce the cost of a live TV plan even more over a 12-month period.

Philo offers more channels (and a better selection)

One of the areas that directly affects how much a service costs is the selection of channels, and with Frndly TV so much more cheaper, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that its channel lineup doesn’t compare to Philo’s.

In total, Frndly TV offers access to more than 40 live TV channels. One of the good things about Frndly TV is that there are no channel differences between its packages. Whether you subscribe to the cheapest or most expensive plan, you still get access to the same channel lineup.

In contrast, Philo offers access to more than 70 live TV channels. As Philo only offers one base plan, there are no other packages or channel lineups to worry about.

Not only does Philo offer more channels overall, but it also offers a better selection as well. More specifically, it offers mostly every channel that Frndly TV does and more.

Frndly TV and Philo channel comparison

Frndly TVPhilo
AccuWeather Network
American Heroes Channel
Animal Planet
BBC America
BBC World News
The Bob Ross Channel
Catchy Comedy
Cheddar News
Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Comedy Central
Comedy Dynamics
Cooking Channel
Cowboy Way
Crime + Investigation
Deck the Hallmark
Destination America
Discovery Channel
Discovery Family
Discovery Life
Dove Channel
Dove Family Movies
Drag Race Universe
Dove Kids
Food Network
Game Show Network
Great American Family
Great American Living
Gusto TV
Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Drama
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
Heartland TV
Heroes & Icons
Investigation Discovery
ION Mystery
Local Now
Magnolia Network
Military HISTORY
Motor Trend
MTV Classic
MTV Live
Nick Jr.
Oprah Winfrey Network
Outdoor Channel
Paramount Network
People Are Awesome
The Pet Collective
Pop TV
Ryan and Friends
Science Channel
Screambox TV
Smithsonian Channel
Sportsman Channel
Start TV
Sundance TV
Travel Channel
TV Land
TV One
Vevo ’80s
Vevo ’90s
Vevo Country
Vevo Hip-Hop
Vevo Pop
WE tv
The Weather Channel
World Fishing Network

Some of the popular channels you get with Philo that you don’t get with Frndly TV include AMC, Animal Planet, BBC America, BET, CMT, Comedy Central, Destination America, Discovery Channel, Food Network, HGTV, ID, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, TLC, Travel Channel, and VH1.

Even though Frndly TV offers access to fewer channels overall, a subscription does include some channels you won’t find on Philo. For example, Dove Channel, Grit, ION, Local Now, Military History, Outdoor Channel, QVC, and The Weather Channel.

When it comes to add-ons, this is another win for Philo. While Frndly TV subscribers can only add Hallmark Movies Now to their live TV plan, Philo subscribers can add MGM+, Starz, and Movies & More. The latter of which unlocks access to HDNet Movies, REELZ, Sony Movies, and FMC.

One area where both of these services suffer is live news. If you are looking for access to live news channels, then you may want to consider also subscribing to Level News at the same time as Frndly TV or Philo.

The same is also true of live sports. If you want access to live sports content and channels, neither of these live TV services are going to be the right choice for you.

Both Frndly TV and Philo offer good value overall

Regardless whether you sign up to Frndly TV or Philo, you do get a lot of value for your money, as both offer somewhat of a premium experience in spite of their cheaper prices.

Both Frndly TV and Philo provide subscribers with an unlimited cloud DVR. Technically, Frndly TV only provides a DVR with its Classic and Premium plans, so those subscribed to the cheapest package won’t have access to any recording options.

In addition, Frndly TV is more limited in terms of how long recordings can be stored for. Classic subscribers can keep recordings for up to three months and Premium subscribers can keep recordings for up to nine months. In contrast, Philo subscribers get to keep their recordings for up to a year.

Philo Cloud DVR Recordings
Philo DVR

Differences aside, both DVRs are unlimited so subscribers do have the option of recording as much content as they want. In our testing, we also found both recording experiences to be easy to use and manage.

Even though Philo has the upper hand in the DVR department, Frndly TV does offer a Look Back feature that Philo doesn’t.

Frndly TV Look Back Resume
Frndly TV Look Back

With Look Back, subscribers are able to go back through the guide and watch programs that have already been shown live. Look Back can be used to watch anything that was shown up to 72 hours before.

As there are very few limitations with Look Back, we found this to be a very useful feature overall, and a great way to avoid being so reliant on the DVR.

Is Frndly TV or Philo the best budget live TV service?

If picking between these services, we prefer Philo. The wider selection of channels, better DVR, and more premium app experience suited our needs better. However, Philo is significantly more expensive and that’s something that cannot be overlooked.

If you are looking for the absolute cheapest live TV package, and the channel lineup meets your needs, we would happily recommend Frndly TV.

Frndly TV
Frndly TV GuideFrom $7.99/month
40+ channels
Up to 4 streams
Unlimited DVR (select plans)
7-day free trial

If Frndly TV’s channel lineup is a little too limited, and you don’t want to spend as much as Sling TV charges, then we would suggest giving Philo a try.

Philo Live TV guide$25/month
70+ channels
3 streams
Unlimited DVR
7-day Free Trial
John Finn


1 response to “Frndly TV vs Philo: Which Cheap Live TV Service Is Best?”

  1. I had Frndly TV for several years, and the service has only gotten worse. I stream on my laptop, via a top internet connection. can only stream on one tv in our home because the other brand of tv isn’t on their list. And when I do stream on my laptop it buffers constantly and now I’m getting an error message that a video cannot be played. I’ve seen a lot of comments regarding these issues. I’m a senior on a fixed income, and will be trying Philo shortly.

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