With Philo, you can cut the cord but still watch many of your favorite live TV channels at a much lower cost.
Philo is one of the best cable TV alternatives that allows you to view and record live TV from over 60 channels. The app is available on most major streaming devices, including Roku, Chromecast and Apple TV. Philo channels are also now integrated into Google TV and users can access them right from the Live tab.
While Philo TV doesn't have local channels nor every major cable network, it does feature a lot of popular options. Plus, the service offers Starz and Epix as premium add-ons. For the price, Philo could be the perfect streaming solution to get rid of headache-inducing cable bills and impossible-to-cancel contracts, especially if paired with the best free streaming services. A seven-day free trial gives new users the chance to check out Philo before committing to a subscription.
As we noted in our Philo TV review, the service is also easy and pleasurable to use, with a bright, slick interface. Plus, it's great for viewers who like to record a ton of shows and movies to watch later, since Philo's DVR lets you keep an unlimited number of recordings for 30 days. All of those great features makes Philo one of the best streaming services in the market.
What is Philo TV?
The Discovery-owned Philo TV is an "over-the-top," or OTT, service, which means it comes through the internet rather than on dedicated lines or over the air. That puts it in the same bucket as streaming services like Netflix and Amazon. But Philo specializes in live TV, so it streams programs as they are broadcast. It also offers shows and movies on demand.
Philo isn't the only OTT service for those looking to cut the cord, though, as Sling TV Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV and Fubo TV all stream live TV, though their channel lineups, features and prices vary.
To use Philo TV, you can stream on the Philo website or download the app to any of the many devices supported by the service. The company offers a free, 7-day trial to new customers; all you need to do is sign up with your phone number.
In our Philo TV review, we rated the service 3 out of 5 stars. It earned points for its lower price and unlimited DVR, but its limited selection hurt it in the end.
Philo TV cost
Philo TV has only one package and plan: $25 per month.
Philo users can get Starz for $9 per month and Epix for $6, after initial free trials.
Philo TV channels lineup
Currently, there are over 60 Philo TV channels. They include many popular cable networks, including AMC, BBC America, BET, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, Food Network, HGTV, IFC, Lifetime, MTV, Nickelodeon, TV Land and VH1.
Philo does not carry any local channels, so you can't watch broadcast networks ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox or The CW at this time. The Philo TV lineup is also sparse on sports channels, so no ESPN or Fox Sports.
You can browse Philo channels through the live guide, which is in a grid format like you've seen on cable TV. You can also search for specific channels and shows.
Philo also offers the premium add-on channels Starz and Epix.
The service recently added the free channel Crackle, which brings thousands of movies and TV episodes on demand, as well as Bloomberg TV and Revry. Bloomberg TV offers live access to the latest in business, markets and technology news, and Revry is the first global streaming network focused on the LGBTQ community.
Philo TV reviews
Philo TV app and supported devices
Philo TV has apps on iOS and Android, and supported devices include web browsers as well as most major smart TVs, streaming boxes and sticks.
- web browsers on PC and Mac
- iOS mobile devices
- Android mobile devices (OS 5.0 or higher)
- Fire TV
- Apple TV (4th gen or later)
- Android TV (5.0 or higher)
- Fire Tablet (OS 5.0 or higher)
Philo does not support game consoles at this time.
Philo TV DVR
Philo's DVR is one of its best features. You can save an unlimited number of TV shows and movies that are currently airing or scheduled to air in the future. The recording will be available to you for 30 days. And when you play back a DVR recording, you can fast forward and rewind through commercials
The Philo DVR has two tiny little drawbacks. Once you save a show, it'll record every single airing — whether the episode is new or not. Also, you cannot delete recordings before the 30-day expiration date. Of course, since the DVR capacity is unlimited, you don't need to worry about deleting recordings to make space for others.
Philo TV commercials
Yes, Philo airs commercials during shows because you see exactly what you would see if you were watching these channels on cable TV. The ability to fast forward, rewind or pause through commercials varies by channel.
Philo TV movies
Yes, many Philo channels like AMC, BBC America and IFC show classic films and recent hit movies.
Philo TV on-demand content
Philo has over 40,000 titles available to watch on-demand. There isn't an easy way to browse the video on-demand content, though. You just have to look for a "VOD" tag on show profile pages.
Philo TV internet speed suggestions
Philo has internet speed recommendations and notes that the video quality adjusts according to your available bandwidth. Their recommendations are:
13 Mbps – Recommended for reliable HD streaming, even with multiple streams or other devices using the same network.
7 Mbps – Stream one HD video. If multiple devices are streaming or using the network at the same time, there may be buffering issues.
3 Mbps – Stream SD quality video.
Under 3 Mbps – Video quality is reduced. Philo may load slowly or rebuffer.
Is Philo TV worth it?
If you want a live TV service for a low cost, and Philo's channel lineup has your favorites, then it is possibly the most affordable streaming service out there. You get a lot of bang for your buck, since Philo offers over 60 channels, live viewing, unlimited DVR and a ton of on-demand content.
However, if you want local channels or your preferred networks aren't in the lineup, then Philo may not be the best (or only) streaming service for you. It could get expensive if you have to add on another service on top of Philo, because it doesn't give you everything you want to watch. In that case, you may want to consider a more expensive streamer with a more robust channel lineup.