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Last updated Feb. 28, 2023 by Chim Gracia
Watching movies and other videos on the go can be relatively expensive. Hence, it’s no surprise that some may prefer the traditional method of subscribing to cable TV.
However, Philo has considered these details and created a platform for people to stream their favorite channels at affordable rates.
Philo is a live TV streaming app designed for entertainment lovers which features over 60 channels for as low as $25 per month. You can get channels like Destination America, Cooking Channel, Discovery Family, LOGO, Discovery Life, and Nicktoons.
While it doesn’t feature any local or sports channels like FS1, ESPN, or NBC Sports Network, it is the cheapest option available for live entertainment-only TV.
What Is Philo?
Philo is a low-cost streaming service similar to YouTube TV, Sling TV, and Hulu Live. It brings together cable TV networks and delivers them online with no annual contract or hidden charges.
But the distinguishing feature of Philo is its channel lineup. For a typical pay-TV bundle, the four primary components based on channels are local stations, cable news, live sports, and entertainment.
On the other hand, Philo’s offer of 60+ channels feature mostly entertainment fare. It also has an app for Android users on Playstore and IOS.
Philo is a company based in San Francisco, California. The company is named after the renowned Philo T. Farnsworth, the inventor of the electronic television.
Philo Review: Features
In June 2021, Philo announced an increase in the price of its main bundle to $25 per month for new customers. Initially, the price was $20 per month. However, those who joined before the price increment were allowed to keep their plan.
Also, the Starz and Epix add-ons to the main bundle (starting at $6 per month) were not affected by this June 2021 price increase. However, Philo CEO Andrew McCollum, in a blog post to its customers, said the company was forced to a price increment for two main reasons.
First is because fees from content partners are on the rise. And secondly, it is due to costs associated with the platform and billing partners.
Philo is a live streaming platform, but you don’t have to watch shows or series as they premiere, thanks to its cloud DVR. With Philo’s June 2021 price increase, the DVR also got a significant upgrade.
Philo’s DVR is unlimited, meaning you can save as many movies or shows as you want. But recordings can now be saved for a whole year. Initially, it was only 30 days.
When using Philo’s DVR, also called Saved or Saved Shows, there’re a few things to note.
- When you find a movie or show, you want to record, select “Save” before it starts.
- Philo’s DVR can now record all future airings, both new and reruns.
- You can access your recordings from the “Saved” category and click the DVR version if you want to fast-forward through the ads.
- Philo can record everything aired in the last 72 hours; this can come in handy when you forget to set your DVR. However, the on-demand version (VOD) includes unskippable ads.
You can stream Philo on your mobile phone, computer, or even on a TV set with a compatible device. However, it is recommended you use a high-speed internet connection on Philo, and a download speed of a minimum of 13 Mbps for HD streaming, even while using multiple streams or devices.
Nonetheless, you can stream at a slower speed; however, the video quality and performance may be affected. So, the best way to enjoy a hitch-free and quality video experience is to get a high-speed internet connection.
Meanwhile, you can enjoy Philo’s streaming service on up to three devices simultaneously, and they’re up to ten user profiles per account. Each user gets their sign-in details, DVR, and viewing history.
With Philo, you can access 63 channels, including BBC America, AMC, BET, Animal Planet, Cooking Channel, Comedy Central, Food Network, HGTV, IFC, Discovery Channel, Logo, Lifetime, and the Travel Channel.
Other channels include Hallmark, PeopleTV, Cheddar Big News, OWN, SCI, and Tastemade. The most recent additions are Crime + Investigation and Newsy. If you aren’t interested in watching live TV, Discovery+’s lineup has on-demand shows from most of those same channels.
Philo Review: Pros and Cons
Despite being one of the best and cheapest live TV streaming platforms out there, Philo still has its advantages and disadvantages.
- Offers low-cost streaming service.
- Has over 60 channels.
- Easy-to-use mobile app.
- Reliable streaming performance.
- Easy-to-use DVR.
- No local sports coverage and few local news channels.
- Lacks parental control options
- Some saved and on-demand videos have ads
Is Philo Worth It?
Despite its price increase, Philo still stands as one of the few remaining best platforms in live TV streaming. If you are the type that watches a lot of reality TV, then Philo is worth considering.
However, these days, a growing number of people are choosing live TV in favor of on-demand apps. For example, Discovery+ goes for an initial $5 a month.
It features shows from Discovery-owned networks like TLC, HGTV, and Food Network. But it also has A&E Networks like History, A&E, and Lifetime content.
Discovery+ lets you stream on your terms, but the downside is that it relies heavily on library content. Meanwhile, Philo features live channels of Discovery-owned networks and lots more.
So, the choice is yours. If you’re committed to the bundle, Philo is great for two types of consumers.
- Those who watch drama and reality TV can do without live sports, broadcast stations, and cable news.
- Those who have another live TV streaming service but want access to must-have channels that they don’t currently get.
In a nutshell, Philo is best for:
- Those who want access to live streaming TV but on a low budget.
- Those who want unlimited DVR
- Those interested in multiple streams (for up to 3 at once).
On the other hand, Philo is not recommended for:
- Sports viewers
- Local channels viewers
- News viewers.
Philo Review: Getting Started
Philo is unique because it allows you to sign up and log in to your account using your phone number or email address.
However, users oddly do not require a password for their account on Philo. Instead, they’ll send you a text message or email with a unique six-digit code (depending on which method you used), then enter and gain access.
Using this method is quite more secure than the traditional sign-in method because it requires you to gain access to the secondary method, but it is only partially true multifactor authentication.
Traditional methods require you to sign in using a username and a password first before sending you an additional login token to link your account.
YouTube TV VS Philo: Which Is Better?
Youtube TV boasts of having a wide offering of virtually every major channel, six accounts, unlimited DVR, and up to three simultaneous streams. As a result, it’s the perfect option for most families.
The cost is a bit steep, and they’re cheaper options out there, but with an excellent interface (Live TV services does not always have the most intuitive interfaces) and wide availability across devices, it’s fair to say that you’ll get your every dollar’s worth.
On the other hand, nothing beats Philo’s price of $25, which is relatively cheap. And the fact that you’ll get unlimited DVR. In comparison, Youtube TV has unlimited DVR but costs three times as much.
Philo costs only $25, whereas YouTube TV costs $65. Therefore, getting YouTube TV instead of Philo can set you back $40 more every month.
Frequently Asked Questions related to Philo App
Is Philo a Good app?
Yes, Philo is an excellent app for watching live Tv. Despite the low price, most reviewers mostly agree that Philo works excellently on a technical level.
It offers HD quality (1080p for on-demand options and 720p for live TV), and its unlimited DVR makes it stand out amongst the others.
Why is Philo $25 a Month?
In June 2021, Philo made an increase in price of its main bundle to $25 per month for new customers. In a blog post published to its customers, Andrew McCollum, Philo CEO, revealed the company was forced to a price increment for two main reasons: first, fees from content partners are on the rise.
And secondly, it is due to costs associated with the platform and billing partners.
What is the Best Streaming Live TV Package?
Philo has a decent streaming live package of $25 per month. However, YouTube has the best live TV streaming package. YouTube TV offers more top channels than any other platform at the price of $65 for its basic plan.
YouTube TV service also features the best cloud DVR of the bunch, unlimited storage, and nine months to watch recordings (most competitors only offer 30 days).
What Is The Best TV Streaming Plan?
Sling has cheaper premium services than the likes of HULU and YouTube because it has very few local stations (no local CBS or ABC stations, and the availability of local NBC and FOX is minimal).
Sling has not only one but two $35-per-month live TV streaming channel packages, including Sling Orange and Sling Blue. Orange features the ESPN/Disney package, while Blue has the Fox/NBC package and provides more channels overall.