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Philo TV Review: Get Cable TV For $20 Per Month!

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Philo TV is the leader in low-cost streaming providers. Our Philo review covers how it works and how to get cable content for only $20 per month.

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.

channel2channel3
A&EDIYMTV Classic
AMCFood NetworkMTV Live
American Heroes ChannelFYIMTV2
Animal PlanetGame Show NetworkNick Jr
AspireTVgetTVNickelodeon
AXS TVGreat American CountryNick Toons
BBC AmericaHallmark ChannelOWN
BBC World NewsHallmark DramaParamount Network
BETHallmark Movies & MysteriesPeopleTV
BET HerHGTVRevolt
CheddarHistory ChannelSCI
Crime-InvestigationIFCSundance TV
Cleo TVInvestigation DiscoveryTastemade
CMTINSPTeenNick
Comedy CentralLaw and CrimeTLC
Cooking ChannelLifetimeTravel Channel
Destination AmericaLifetime MoviesTV Land
DiscoveryLogoTV One
Discovery FamilyMotorTrendUpTV
Discovery LifeMTVVH1
AccuWeatherNewseyVice
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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.

Add-Ons

 

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.

home screen

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.

tv guide

The Live screen lists currently available channels in alphabetical order, or you can create your own by favoriting your top channels.

Video Quality

 

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.

Features

 

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.

Cloud DVR

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.

Parental Controls

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.

Supported Devices

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.

Local Channels

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.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use, unlimited DVR
  • Over 60 channels of top entertainment and lifestyle networks
  • Reliable streaming platform
  • Three simultaneous streams and ten profiles

Cons:

  • 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.

 

 

 

Summary

 

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?

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Nicole Schmoll is an experienced professional copywriter who writes regularly for clients in the finance, IT, healthcare, trades and retail industries. Check out samples of her work and services at Ink Harmony.

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12 Comments

  • Brian says:

    Recent Cord cutter here! I paired YouTube TV with Philo and it’s and awesome combination. For less than half of what I was paying Dish network I’m getting all the channels I ACTUALLY watch without all the dreck. I’m not a sports guy so it’s perfect. honestly I wish YouTube TV would have a no sports option because I’m sure it would be 20 bucks a month less.

  • Steve says:

    Do you have any idea if I know will ever offer any news stations like Fox news?

    • John Schmoll says:

      No idea, unfortunately Steve. I’d imagine they won’t be adding it soon as news & sports channels tend to be more expensive to offer.

  • Jennifer Stamper says:

    I believe you are incorrect about FireTV as I am streaming Philo.

  • Alma Joyce says:

    If OTA local TV was a possibility I would have cut the cord and subscribed to Philo. Next best is You Tube Live (Googlevision?) but they don’t have PBS.

  • Kathy Caito says:

    Besides the antenna do i have to have a roku ot firestick to subscribe and do i have to have internet connection

    • John Schmoll says:

      Yes, you do need to have an internet connection to get Philo. That can be either through your smart TV, or on a computer.

  • Bill Sivula says:

    I am disappointed that no information (that I noticed) is given, whether no/some/all of the channels provide HD or 4K.
    I am “turned on” by THREE Hallmark channels.
    But when you mention “no-Sports-Channels”, *I* think you should mention “no-News-Channels” at the Same Time. (I can live without sports, but I enjoy Fox News Channel, and would like to also have Fox Business News Channel.)

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s not provided because it’s based on the channel – not the streaming provider. There are hundreds of cable channels out there, so it’s not feasible to provide that information. Philo markets themselves as not offering sports, so we take the same approach. If you want Fox News, you can check out our guide on how to watch Fox News without cable.

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