Philo is one of the better known live TV streaming services on the market at the moment. While it lacks many of the features and channels of other live TV services, it does come in at a budget price point.
In this comprehensive Philo TV review, we'll examine the pros and cons of Philo and see what features it has, what it's missing, and how it compares to its rivals.
Philo is a streaming service that can be used as an alternative to services like Fubo TV, Hulu and Youtube TV.
One way it's different from the other two is that at $25 per month, Philo costs one third of what Youtube TV and Hulu cost. For the price, Philo offers more than enough to compete with those services.
One thing to keep in mind is that even though Philo costs a third of what Netflix and Hulu cost, it's still not exactly cheap. Most smart TVs have access to those streaming services already built-in, so if you're going for one service, you might as well go with the ones that are already on your TV.
The benefit of Philo is that if you already own a Roku, Fire TV, Android TV and/or Apple TV, then the Philo app can be accessed through those devices.
So is Philo actually any good, and how does it compare to the other live TV streaming service providers I mentioned?
I believe Philo is OK, but not perfect and there are better options available.
I've been using Philo since early November and have had no major problems with the service itself.
My only real complaint is that the on-demand library still needs some work as there are some shows missing from it. The biggest problem with this though, is that those shows are still available to watch on-demand if you have a cable subscription.
My favorite part about Philo is that it's the only live TV streaming service that has all of The Walking Dead channels and full series available on-demand. AMC Networks will be dropping both Philo and Sling TV in January 2019, so if you want to watch The Walking Dead without cable then we might not have that choice for much longer.
MY major gripe is the lack of dedicated sports channels
Philo TV is cheaper but Fubo TV has better service. When you compare the FuboTV prices and channels, you'll see that although FuboTV is more expensive, it offers so much more.
If you're interested in having access to local channels, FuboTV is probably your best option because it's the only live television streaming service that offers all of the major networks.
That said, if you don't need local channels and want to spend the least amount possible, Philo is a good choice. Their price of $25 per month is pretty unbeatable.
Hulu is better than Philo because Hulu has more shows available on-demand.
Philo does have some good entertainment channels like AMC, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, Food Network, TLC (The Learning Channel), Cooking Channel and History Channel but it also lacks some channels like BET and Nick at Nite.
Both Philo and Hulu offer a lot of the same channels, but they also offer some different ones as well. Channels like BET (Black Entertainment Television) and Nickelodeon (Nick at Nite) are available on both services but MTV is not available on Philo.
On the other hand, shows from MTV are available on Hulu. To make things more confusing, some shows from MTV are not available on Hulu but they are on Philo. In the end though, both services have a lot of good shows and most people would probably be happy with either one.
At the moment, Philo isn't an app that comes pre-installed on most streaming devices. That means if you want to watch Philo, you'll probably have to buy a streaming device like Roku or Fire TV and install their apps (or get Apple TV).
If you already own one of these devices then it's not a bad deal because you'll be able to watch live TV and on-demand shows for $25 per month. If not, then I would recommend getting a Fire TV (or another streaming device) and Philo.
People who already own major streaming devices like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV should definitely get Philo because it's cheaper than the other live TV streaming services, meaning you would save money by switching to Philo. People who don't own any of those devices should get a Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or Apple TV because it's cheaper than purchasing all three to use with Philo.
Philo is also available on iOS and Android which means people who have smartphones could get the service. I don't think it's worth it to pay for Philo if you're only going to use it on your phone but if you do want the option then get a streaming device too. It will be cheaper than getting both.
Philo only serves the USA and therefore, if you live anywhere else in the world, a VPN required to watch live TV on Philo.
The service providers we recommend for the best VPN – such as ExpressVPN, NordVPN and Vypr – do not expressly promise Philo will work.
It's not like you can't see Philo if you have an Internet connection via VPN. The VPN will test compatibility with Philo during their 30-month refund guarantee to see how well they're working in the long haul. Other options would be to use a VPN utilizing split tunneling, allowing connection to Philo outside this VPN.
By default, a monthly subscription to Philo TV grants you 60 live channels and unlimited on-demand access to shows from each channel.
Some of the live TV channels included in your subscription are A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, AXS TV, BBC America, BBC America, BET (Black Entertainment Television), Big Ten Network*, Bravo, BYUtv, Cheddar*, Comedy TV, Discovery Channel, DIY Network, Food Network, FYI*, Game Show Network (GSN), HGTV, History Channel, IFC*, Investigation Discovery (ID), Lifetime, Lifetime Movies, MTV Live*, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon*, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network*, Science Channel*, Tastemade*, TeenNick*, TLC, Travel Channel, Tribeca Shortlist*, Univision Deportes Network*, Viceland* and WE tv.
Not all of these channels are actually offered on Philo's website but they were on my subscription so I'm assuming that the list is accurate.
The only major channel missing from the lineup was Comedy Central. But, as I mentioned before, some Comedy Central shows are available on Philo.
In my opinion, the best channels from Philo were A&E, AMC, Animal Planet and BET (Black Entertainment Television). That's a good selection but a lot of the other major networks like ESPN and HGTV weren't included. However, there are some good sports channels included in the lineup.
For my family, what made Philo unique was that there were several channels I didn't have to pay extra for like Discovery Channel and MTV. That allowed me to consolidate my subscriptions so now I just have one streaming service instead of three.
Yes. Local channel availability is determined by your location, though, so if you're not in an area where any of them are offered then they won't be available to you with Philo.
Live news was only available on CNN through Philo which you couldn't get live local channels with the service. This made it difficult for Philo to compete with other streaming services like DirecTV Now and Sling TV.
Unfortunately, Philo doesn't offer any extra add-ons that would allow you to customize your own package based on your interests or needs. You can also not get the channels à la carte. The subscription itself is the starting and end point if you want to subscribe.
That means all extra channels were included in Philo's basic package to make it affordable for people who didn't want a bunch of different streaming services to get their favorite shows.
For example, there was no way to add HBO or Showtime, two premium networks that many people like.
Philo is not a good selection for sports enthusiasts because it lacks specialized sport channels or products. There's no ESPN, no NFL Network, no NBCSN and no regional sports networks.
That means sports lovers are left to pay extra for other streaming services to get their fix.
However, Philo does provide some sporting coverage through Big Ten Network. It mostly broadcasts college sports games, though, so many people would not consider it valuable
Yes, Philo has recently upgraded their offering and now features 12 month unlimited DVR storage.
However, if you aren't paying attention and miss the show while it's airing then it will get lost in the DVR abyss because once a show is over it automatically gets deleted.
This is much better than the rather lousy 30 day timeframe they used to offer. After that time frame expires, all the shows recorded before will get deleted automatically.
If you have more than one person in your household, you might worry about how much you can stream your TV programs.
So the good news is that the answer is yes. Philo allows multiple simultaneous streams at once for the same price as one stream.
So if you were to subscribe to Philo with three people in your family, everyone would be able to watch different shows live or recorded on their individual devices at the same time without adding any extra fees.
For $25 a month Philco offers 65+ live television channels and a cloud DVR for recording your favorite television show and more. While the service is a significant increase, it still has the greatest value with low prices. Philo tries to keep the cost of news and sport channels low.
Philo offers free 7 day trials. Combining Philo with a standalone broadband Internet service could make comparing cable television bundles much cheaper.
While it doesn't offer a lot of extra options, Philo does have hidden costs.
Philo is a TV streaming service that starts at $25 a month and offers a limited range of channels for the price.
However, if you choose to upgrade by purchasing add-ons, your price is going to increase significantly. And you'll need to do that if you want many of the cable TV channels you're used to.
It depends what you want, Philo is cheap but limited. Many live TV channels are missing, especially premium entertainment channels and sports networks.
But if you're happy with the channels that are included then you'll find the price appealing.
I would say that Philo is a good, budget friendly choice for anyone who wants to cut costs and doesn't mind missing out on cable sports and local news.
No, this service is available on Roku but it isn't free.
No, this service is only available on Roku and not Amazon Prime.
You can't, this service is not free. It costs $25 a month for the base plan and purchase is done directly on their website.
Last Updated January 2, 2022