Many live TV streaming services can cost as much as a typical cable subscription. That defeats the purpose of cutting the cord. Philo is a new cable replacement that solves that problem as it’s one of the lowest price choices in the space.
In this Philo TV review we cover how the platform works and why it might be an option for you.
What is Philo?
Philo is a low-cost cable and satellite tv alternative. The service first launched in 2017 on college campuses with two plan offerings and has grown into a legitimate video streaming service for people wanting to slash costs without sacrificing live TV.
The streaming service boasts a channel package of 64 networks for only $20 per month. Like other live tv services, there is no contract and you can test it with a free 7-day trial.
There’s just one catch. It does not offer sports or local channels. That will be an issue for many, but for those who want entertainment and lifestyle content, the Philo live streaming service will not disappoint.
If you want to know how to stream ESPN without cable, you can read our guide here for suitable alternatives.
Plans and Pricing
Most cable replacements carry multiple plans. Philo only has one subscription plan, which makes it easier to understand. The current Philo channel lineup offers 64 channels for just $20 per month.
Here are the channels included with a subscription.
|AMC||Food Network||MTV Live|
|American Heroes Channel||FYI||MTV2|
|Animal Planet||Game Show Network||Nick Jr|
|AXS TV||Great American Country||Nick Toons|
|BBC America||Hallmark Channel||OWN|
|BBC World News||Hallmark Drama||Paramount Network|
|BET||Hallmark Movies & Mysteries||PeopleTV|
|Cleo TV||Investigation Discovery||Tastemade|
|Comedy Central||Law and Crime||TLC|
|Cooking Channel||Lifetime||Travel Channel|
|Destination America||Lifetime Movies||TV Land|
The biggest draw of the plan is cost. Sports networks cost a lot of money for services to offer, and that gets passed onto consumers. The next cheapest streaming service is Sling TV, which is $35 per month and offers some sports content.
Most streaming providers offer add-ons to complete a base package. Philo TV is no different. Here are their available add-ons:
Epix ($6 per month): This includes three channels – Epix, Epix Hits, and Epix2.
Starz ($9 per month): This includes three channels – Starz, StarzEncore, and Starz Kids & Family.
Like the base package, each offers a free 7-day trial. Even if you choose both to add to the Philo channels, you will still save money versus other cord-cutting services.
Look and Feel
The platform is very easy to use. It has an intuitive look and feel that’s simple to navigate. When you log into your Philo account you’re taken to a home screen that has Keep Watching, Saved Shows, and Trending Live sections.
The home screen isn’t as busy as other platforms, which is helpful. When you navigate past the home screen and into the guide you will find the same intuitive look and feel.
The guide is a traditional cable grid style with Home, Guide, Top, Saved, Search, and Settings across the top.
The Live screen lists currently available channels in alphabetical order, or you can create your own by favoriting your top channels.
Philo streams live content in 720p and on-demand in 1080p. Some platforms, like fuboTV, support up to 1080p for live streams. However, the service costs $65 a month.
Philo also supports standard Surround 2.0 when streaming content.
In our tests, the service held its own for speed. The company recommends at least 7 mbps for one stream, or 13 mbps with multiple streams on the same network. If you’re at least at that speed you should have a good viewing experience.
One thing to keep in mind is you will have to watch live broadcasts.
The cable replacement space is full of competition. Streaming platforms supplement their offerings to add features viewers expect.
Here are a few of the features that sets Philo TV apart.
A cloud DVR is important to any cord cutter. The Philo cloud DVR offers unlimited recording space and you can keep content for 30 days.
You also have the ability to fast-forward through commercials.
You can replay anything that has aired within the past 72 hours, though you can’t record it.
Multiple Profiles and Simultaneous Streams
Multiple profiles and streams are essential for families wanting to cut the cord on cable. Philo makes it simple for most, allowing for ten profiles and three simultaneous streams.
*Related: Can’t decide between Hulu Live and Sling TV? Check out our Hulu Live vs. Sling TV guide to see a side-by-side analysis.*
This puts the service on the upper end of what’s available.
Unfortunately, Philo does not currently offer parental controls. Competitors like Sling TV and YouTube TV do offer this, but comes with a higher cost.
It would be nice to see this added in the future, especially for on-demand content.
Philo works with numerous devices, including:
- Amazon Fire TV or Stick (all models)
- Android devices (5.0 and later)
- AppleTV 4th generation or later
- iPhones and iPds (iOS 10 and later)
- Chromecast devices
- Web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, and Safari)
- Roku Streaming Stick (model 3600X and later)
- Samsung Smart TVs
- Vizio Smartcast TVs
You can also use the TV Everywhere app to view content.
Unfortunately, Philo does not offer local channels. Like sports networks, local channels cost more for carriers to offer and that gets passed onto subscribers.
Lack of local channels should not hold you back from any streaming service. You can purchase an affordable antenna for a one-time cost and have locals regardless of the streaming service you choose.
Pros and Cons
There’s a lot to consider when choosing a streaming platform. Here are some things to think about when looking at Philo TV.
- Easy to use, unlimited DVR
- Over 60 channels of top entertainment and lifestyle networks
- Reliable streaming platform
- Three simultaneous streams and ten profiles
- No local or sports channels
- No parental controls
The lack of sports is going to hold a lot of people back from the service. However, many people don’t care about or need sports. For viewers who don’t need sports, Philo is an attractive choice.
How Philo Compares Against the Competition
Philo is most affordable alternative in the cord-cutting space. It offers a lot of awesome features, but if you find it doesn’t meet your needs, there are other choices.
Here is how it compares against the other live TV streaming services.
|Hulu Live||$64.99+||65+||2||50 hrs.||4.1/5|
|Sling TV||$35+||30-50||1-4||50 hrs.||4.2/5|
Don’t forget to use free trials to find an option that works for you.
Philo TV Review
Ease of Use
Get live TV and unlimited DVR space for less than one quarter the cost of cable, and no contract!
✔️ Inexpensive cable replacement
✔️ Unlimited DVR
✔️ Dozens of popular lifestyle and entertainment channels
✔️ Three simultaneous streams
✔️ Reliable service
❌ No live sports
❌ No local channels
When you look at all the cord cutting options on the market today, Philo is terrific. Aside from the lack of locals or sports networks, we like the diverse channel lineup.
Comparing the various streaming services, Philo has to be ranked with Sling TV as the low cost leader.
If you can keep your enjoyment of sports limited to what airs on your local channels, with an antenna, there’s no reason you can’t satisfy your TV entertainment needs and save money.
Try their free 7-day trial today to see what you think.
Would you pay less money to not get sports from a streaming provider? How much do you spend on cable each month? What’s one TV network you can’t live without?