If you can do without local news or sports channels, these streaming services are worth a closer look.
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…
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.
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.
|American Heroes Channel*|
|Animal Planet||Animal Planet|
|BBC America||BBC America|
|BBC World News||BBC World News|
|Cheddar Big News|
|Comedy Central||Comedy Central|
|Food Network||Food Network|
|Game Show Network|
|Hallmark Channel||Hallmark Channel|
|Hallmark Movies & Mysteries||Hallmark Movies & Mysteries|
|Investigation Discovery||Investigation Discovery|
|Lifetime Movies||Lifetime Movies|
|OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network)||OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network)|
|Sundance TV||Sundance TV|
|TCM (Turner Classic Movies)|
|WE tv||WE tv|
*Only included in Philo’s $20 a month package
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.
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.
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|
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.
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.