Philo is an entertainment junkie’s dream. As a cable-alternative streaming service, Philo presents subscribers with a traditional TV experience for a fraction of the price. What sets Philo apart from other streaming services is how it focuses primarily on entertainment and lifestyle programming. There are a wide variety of channels featured on Philo, including A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, BBC America, Hallmark Channel, HGTV, IFC, Lifetime, TLC and Travel Channel. Philo even carries popular ViacomCBS such as Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and VH1.
The more pixels you have, the better, which is why 4K is one of the best streaming qualities. But how do you watch Philo in 4K? Unfortunately, at this point in time, Philo doesn’t support 4K programming, which is par for the course with most streaming services. Most services, like Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV, don’t stream live programming in 4K resolution. Instead, these services stream in high-definition, usually ranging from 720p to 1080p.
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Philo offers a single “slim” plan for the cost of $20/mo. This means you won’t find any other packaging options with superior features like streaming quality. While you’re limited to 720p for live national TV channels, you’ll have the power to stream in up to 1080p for on-demand titles.
Philo 4K content
At this point in time, like most cable and TV-alternative services, Philo doesn’t carry 4K channels. There are some cable-alternatives that are experimenting with 4K channels such as fuboTV with certain sports channels. Or, since Philo serves best as a supplementary service, it works especially well in conjunction with other streaming apps. We recommend pairing Philo with CBS All Access as it includes some news and sports coverage.
Philo may not have 4K movies for you to stream, but did you know Roku supplies a rolling catalog of 4K titles with The Roku Channel? And the best part is it’s free. You can also watch 4K movies with Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Netflix.
User experience and navigation
The Philo interface is polished. Its black background accentuates the blue Philo logo and menu, which consists of Home, Live and Saved tabs. In the Home menu, a grid of programming is grouped by things like titles you’ve started watching and shows you’ve saved for later. The interface differs slightly between devices like your smartphone, TV and web browser.
Philo subscribers have expressed their enthusiasm for its channel guide. It’s particularly useful for quick surfing to find exactly what you want to watch. Unfortunately, this feature is only available with the web browser and Roku devices — just make sure that you’ve downloaded the most recent version of Philo.
Some streaming services like Disney+ will highlight their 4K content. But with no 4K content on Philo, you won’t find any indicator or sign highlighting any form of streaming quality.
The final cut
Philo is a cable-alternative service that’ll provide you with an affordable TV plan. But most national networks, not to mention cable-alternative services, offer few solutions for 4K streaming — and Philo is no different. While you’ll be able to stream live TV in 720p standard HD, as well as on-demand movies and shows in 1080p Full HD, there’s no 4K content. You’ll benefit from Philo if you’re seeking an affordable service that resembles cable and satellite. Philo is meant to complement other apps and services, such as those with 4K streaming capabilities. Now, if you require news and sports, then Philo’s not for you. For that, you’d most likely prefer a subscription with fuboTV or Sling TV.