What is Philo?
First launched in 2017, Philo is one of the most affordable live TV streaming services around. At only $20 per month, it’s our top service for live TV viewers on a budget. Giving subscribers access to almost 63 channels and thousands of on-demand titles, the service focuses primarily on lifestyle and entertainment content.
And although Philo doesn’t feature any local or sports options, fans of food shows, documentaries, and reality TV are well served.
It’s not yet clear how popular Philo is. The service hasn’t disclosed exact subscriber numbers, but it did report rapid growth in 2019. This is likely due to Philo offering three things that rival streamers don’t always provide: a low cost, unlimited DVR, and multi-streaming features.
Wondering what else Philo TV can deliver? We’ve rounded up everything you need to know.
Philo plans and pricing
|Free trial length||7 days|
|Number of channels||63|
|Streaming quality||720p for live streaming, 1080p for on-demand|
One of Philo’s biggest draws is its affordability. For $20 a month, you gain access to 63 channels and unlimited recording space. It is an exceptional value when you consider other live TV platforms charge more. Sling TV charges $30 for each of its two packages, while Hulu just raised its live TV price to $65 per month.
There are aspects of Philo’s interface to enjoy and some things that could use improvement. Let’s start with the good: Philo is very easy to use. The bright interface’s design allows you to access everything you want through the headers located at the top of the screen. There is also a profile and search section you can access at the top right-hand corner of the screen.
The search feature, in particular, is a convenient element. Once you enter your search, Philo quickly pulls up results based on TV shows, movies, and channels, so you can find the content you want within seconds. The guide is also easy to use. Philo has a playback feature, allowing you to choose between catching a program live or viewing the broadcast from the beginning. Another unique feature is where they placed the play button. As you browse through the guide, you will notice the play button on the right side of the box, making it simple to access the live programming.
Philo has also made changes to its guide to make it easier to find channels. Now, you can browse channels alphabetically to access the content you want. You can choose your favorite networks by clicking on the heart icon next to the channel icon.
Speaking of speed, when loading the platform, it also buffers and loads quickly. However, your internet connection and the device used can play a huge role in how fast you can access the content.
Where it lacks
There are several ways the interface could use improvements. First, there are no parental control settings under the profile section. It is a pretty big deal for parents, as it does not allow them to control the type of content their children can watch.
On the content side of things, Philo also has a home section. It is where they suggest trending shows, what’s on now, and more. That said, the recommendations are more generic than personalized. For some viewers, this section might not offer much in the way of value.
Overall, the platform’s crisp design makes it convenient to find the shows and channels you want quickly. However, parents want to be extra watchful of the content their children view since there are no parental controls.
Philo supported devices
Currently, Philo supports several devices, including smartphones, tablets, web browsers, and TV platforms like Roku. (The only other thing you’ll need is a high-speed internet connection.)
Once subscribed, you’ll also get access to participating networks’ apps, allowing you to view Philo on a wide range of devices, such as Chromecast and Xbox.
Here’s the full list of devices you can use the service with right now:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- Android phones and tablets
- iOS phones and tablets
- Fire tablets (OS 5.0 minimum)
Channels and Add Ons
If you are searching for entertainment and news channels, Philo has a great mix of both. The platform recently added the Newsy channel. This channel, coupled with BBC American or World News gives viewers a great mix of news channels to watch.
Philo also added the TV One Channel. INSP, and getTV to its lineup last year. These channels compliment the impressive growing list Philo continues to stream. You can discover the top networks on Philo like AMC, A&E, VICE, Nickelodeon, TLC, HGTV, and Comedy Central. The platform offers an eclectic mix of reality programming with TLC, VH-1, MTV, the History Channel, and more. There is also family-friendly content by way of Nickelodeon and Teen Nick.
Philo also delivers a unique mix of specialty content to draw in varied interests. They offer BET, CMT, the DIY Network, the Game Show Network, IFC, MotorTrend, OWN, People TV, SCI, Sundance TV, TV Land, WE TV, the Food Network, the Travel Channel, the Lifetime Movie Channel, and the Hallmark Channel. The latter two of which are perfect for movie lovers.
Meanwhile, there are add-ons available to watch hit shows and movies. The Epix Package includes three EPIX channels for $6 per month. Or, you can purchase the Starz Bundle that has three STARZ channels for $9 per month. Currently, the platform does not have HBO or Cinemax.
What to watch on Philo
Philo’s set-up is super easy to navigate. The Home screen lets you view the most popular content chosen by subscribers as well as your personal favorite selections. You can quickly flick through new premieres, or switch to another screen for a rundown of Philo channels, schedules, and live shows. The only thing you can’t do right now is filter shows and movies by genre.
The streaming service houses 63 lifestyle-focused cable channels, ranging from big names such as AMC and Comedy Central to more specialist titles like Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, and Cooking Channel. For younger viewers, there’s a range of Nickelodeon channels, including Nick Jr. and Nicktoons. Despite its budget-friendly price, Philo features several major networks. You won’t find the likes of Disney, ESPN, CNN, or premium add-ons, but Philo more than makes up for this. You can watch hugely popular shows like The Walking Dead and The Daily Show live. You can also catch up on past episodes of popular programming on-demand. Wannabe chefs, history buffs, and nature-lovers will find hours upon hours of entertainment. Plus, reality TV fans will be pleased to hear all of TLC’s super addictive shows are included in the service.
When you’ve had enough series, you’ll find plenty of movies to enjoy. The likes of Hallmark and Lifetime feature enough new releases and on-demand titles to keep you busy for the entirety of 2020 and beyond.
Lastly, if you’re interested in local channels, you can simply invest in an HD antenna to access local channels for free.
Philo’s unlimited DVR feature is one of the service’s biggest benefits. It comes with no storage limit and the ability to skip ads, and viewers can save shows for 30 days.
Users and Replay
Philo also lets subscribers replay almost any show or movie that’s aired within the past 72 hours. It also permits users to watch the same, or different, title on up to three devices at once. This is likely to be a huge plus for any household with multiple TV viewers.
The final cut
If you’ve been looking for a way to cut costs while still enjoying the benefits of cable TV, Philo is a great option. What it lacks on the sports and local front, it makes up for with a huge range of entertainment and lifestyle channels. You can watch both live and on-demand TV and save shows for only $20/mo.
So whether you’re a parent looking to please different household tastes or a person who needs a daily reality show fix, try Philo for a cheap and easy way to watch your favorite content.