Philo vs. AT&T WatchTV: Which cheap live TV streaming service is best?

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Philo vs. AT&T WatchTV: Which cheap live TV streaming service is best?
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The leading live TV streaming services charge around $40 a month, but Philo and AT&T WatchTV have come out with plans for less than half that price!

If you can do without local news or sports channels, these streaming services are worth a closer look.

RELATED: Ask Clark: How do I get the cheapest internet service?

Cutting the cord? These are the best live TV streaming plans for $20 a month or less

While channel lineups for Sling TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Now and Hulu with Live TV include a little bit of everything, Philo and AT&T WatchTV stick mostly to entertainment networks.

Read on for a comparison of the two services and learn which one I think is best…

Price

AT&T WatchTV is cheaper than Philo by a buck. WatchTV costs $15 a month for more than 30 channels, while Philo charges $16 a month for 43 channels and $20 a month for 55 channels.

If you have a qualifying AT&T unlimited cell phone plan, WatchTV is included at no extra charge.

Unlike cable and satellite TV providers, these streaming services let you start and stop whenever you want. There are no contracts or cancellation penalties. Both have free 7-day trials.

Channel lineups

Philo and AT&T WatchTV don’t have local news or sports channels, but they offer plenty of entertainment networks like A&E, Discovery, Food Network, HGTV, History, Lifetime, TLC and more.

The biggest difference? AT&T’s service includes Turner networks (TBS, Cartoon Network, CNN, etc.) that Philo doesn’t.

RELATED: Which streaming service has the best channel lineup?

Philo

AT&T WatchTV

A&E A&E
AMC AMC
American Heroes Channel*
Animal Planet Animal Planet
aspireTV*
Audience
AXS TV
BBC America BBC America
BBC World News BBC World News
BET BET
BET Her*
Boomerang
Cartoon Network
CNN
Cheddar
Cheddar Big News
CMT
Comedy Central Comedy Central
Cooking Channel*
Destination America*
Discovery Discovery
Discovery Family*
Discovery Life*
DIY Network
Food Network Food Network
FYI FYI
Game Show Network
Hallmark Channel Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Drama
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
HGTV HGTV
History History
HLN
IFC IFC
Investigation Discovery Investigation Discovery
Lifetime Lifetime
Lifetime Movies Lifetime Movies
Logo*
MTV
MTV2 MTV2
MTV Live*
Nickelodeon
Nick Jr.
Nicktoons* Nicktoons
OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network)
Paramount Network
PeopleTV
REVOLT*
Science Channel
Sundance TV Sundance TV
Tastemade
TBS
TCM (Turner Classic Movies)
TeenNick TeenNick
TLC TLC
TNT
Travel Channel
TruTV
TV Land
UPtv*
Velocity Velocity
VH1 VH1
Viceland Viceland
WE tv WE tv

*Only included in Philo’s $20 a month package

Multiple streams

A Philo subscription allows three streams to be played simultaneously, which comes in handy if multiple people in your house want to use the service. AT&T WatchTV only allows streaming on one device at a time.

DVR

Philo lets its subscribers save anything currently airing or scheduled to air and makes it available for 30 days. Users can also fast forward and rewind through DVR recordings.

AT&T WatchTV doesn’t have a DVR, but it provides 15,000 on-demand movies and shows that can be bookmarked.

Supported devices

With Philo and AT&T WatchTV, customers can stream on their phones, computers and on the big screen. However, not all devices are supported for streaming to a TV set.

Supported devices for TV streaming

Device Philo AT&T Watch TV
Amazon Fire TV Yes Yes
Apple TV Yes Yes
Chromecast No Yes
Roku Yes No

My review: Philo vs. AT&T WatchTV

Philo and AT&T WatchTV aren’t going to work for everyone, but the services are a good option for cord-cutters who don’t feel the need for local news or sports channels.

I like AT&T WatchTV over Philo because of the channel lineup, but that’s just a personal preference.

If Philo’s channel list has more of what you like to watch, it’s probably a better choice. Philo has a DVR, allows for multiple streams and supports Roku devices — three things AT&T’s service doesn’t do.

As for the streaming experience, it’s a tie. I’ve had no buffering or freezing issues with either service.

If you’ve had cable before, you won’t have trouble with the navigation. Philo and AT&T WatchTV have traditional TV guides to browse content, but you can also use the search bar feature.

Philo home screen
AT&T WatchTV home screen
AT&T WatchTV home screen

For less than $20 a month, these services are a great value. But if you add as little as $5 to your streaming TV budget, Sling TV becomes a contender — and you can get ESPN and Disney.

Compare your options in Clark’s guide to the best live TV streaming plans and deals!

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Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, MichaelSaves.com.
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