We compare the deposition rate, hydrogen incorporation and optoelectronic properties of hydrogenated polymorphous silicon films produced either by the decomposition of silane-hydrogen or of silane-helium mixtures. Our results clearly show that He dilution allows to drastically reduce the RF power needed to achieve the same deposition rate as in the case of H2 dilution. Infrared spectroscopy and hydrogen effusion experiments show clear differences in the hydrogen bonding and content in both series of films. Interestingly, both He and hydrogen dilution result in films with improved transport properties, in particular the hole diffusion length, with respect to standard amorphous silicon. These results indicate that He dilution is a good alternative to H2 dilution to prepare intrinsic layers for solar cells.