Philo review: This cheap live TV streaming service is only $16/month

Philo review: This cheap live TV streaming service is only $16/month
Image Credit: Philo
Team Clark is adamant that we will never write content influenced by or paid for by an advertiser. To support our work, we do make money from some links to companies and deals on our site. Learn more about our guarantee here.

If you thought AT&T WatchTV was the only live TV streaming service available for less than $20 a month, think again!

Philo is a cable and satellite TV alternative that caters to cord cutters who are serious about keeping their costs down with a base plan starting at $16 per month for 44 channels.

It includes favorites like AMC, Food Network, HGTV, Investigation Discovery, OWN, Nickelodeon and now Hallmark!

RELATED: Which live TV streaming service has the best channel lineup?

Philo live TV streaming service: Everything you need to know 

Team Clark signed up for a free trial and quickly discovered what makes Philo different from competitors like YouTube TV, DirecTV Now and PlayStation Vue.

Here are five things you need to know before you sign up!

Philo review: Table of contents

1. How much does Philo cost? 

Most of the leading live TV streaming services have starter packages that cost around $40 per month, but Philo’s entry-level offering is less than half that price.

The 45-channel plan is $16 per month and its 58-channel plan is just $20 per month.

Philo offers a two-day free trial that only requires a cell phone number to sign up — no credit card — but you can extend the trial to a week by adding payment information.

You can cancel your subscription at any time. There are no long-term commitments.

2. What channels do you get with Philo? 

Philo’s lineup is unlike its competitors because it doesn’t include any local or sports channels. However, you will find plenty of reality TV shows, children’s programming, documentaries and movies while browsing Philo’s channels.

Hallmark Channel, along with Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and Hallmark Drama, were added in October 2018.

“Since our launch last November, Philo has remained focused on building a better way to watch entertainment-based TV. The Hallmark networks join an amazing slate of programming partners, and have been our most requested to add since launch,” said Andrew McCollum, Philo CEO. “What better way to kick off the holiday season than by adding three new channels from Hallmark to our service.”

Philo $16/month package 

  • A&E
  • AMC
  • Animal Planet
  • AXS TV
  • BBC America
  • BBC World News
  • BET
  • Cheddar Business
  • Cheddar News
  • Cleo TV
  • CMT
  • Comedy Central
  • Discovery Channel
  • DIY Network
  • Food Network
  • FYI
  • Game Show Network
  • Hallmark Channel
  • Hallmark Drama
  • Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
  • HGTV
  • History
  • IFC
  • Investigation Discovery
  • Lifetime
  • Lifetime Movies
  • Motor Trend
  • MTV
  • MTV Classic
  • MTV2
  • Nick Jr.
  • Nickelodeon
  • Oprah Winfrey Network
  • Paramount Network
  • PeopleTV
  • Science Channel
  • Sundance TV
  • Tastemade
  • TeenNick
  • TLC
  • Travel Channel
  • TV Land
  • VH1
  • Viceland
  • WE tv

Philo $20/month package (Everything above also included)

  • American Heroes Channel
  • aspireTV
  • BET Her
  • Cooking Channel
  • Destination America
  • Discovery Family
  • Discovery Life
  • Law&Crime
  • Logo
  • MTV Live
  • Nicktoons
  • UPtv
Philo guide on tvOS
Philo guide on tvOS

3. Does Philo come with DVR capabilities? 

If Philo has the channels that you like, you’ll be glad to know that it includes unlimited DVR. Save any shows you want and they’ll be available to view for 30 days — with the ability to fast-forward through commercials.

In addition, Philo says it lets users replay just about everything that’s aired within the last 72 hours.

4. How do you stream Philo on your TV? 

Like all live TV streaming services, you must have a high-speed internet connection and a supported device. Philo is available on Mac and PC on a web browser, Apple iPhone and iPad, Android phones and tablets — plus Roku.

In July 2018, Philo made the service available to users who have Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. See all supported devices here.
Philo on Roku

5. Does Philo allow for multiple streams? 

If you have multiple people in your house who want to use Philo, a subscription allows three different streams to be played at the same time. The oldest stream will stop working at four streams.

Final thought 

I had no trouble using Philo during my free trial period. Its interface took a few minutes to get used to, but I found the TV guide function pretty user-friendly once I played around with it. I also had no issues with buffering.

Philo is priced below the competition, but the absence of ESPN, Bravo, CNN and Disney will be deal-breakers for many households.

Philo: Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Lots of entertainment networks starting at $16/month Google Chromecast not supported
Unlimited DVR included No local or sports channels
Three streams at a time allowed

If you’re willing to spend $40 per month, some of the other live TV streaming services offer bundles with channel lineups that will more closely resemble a traditional cable or satellite TV package.

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

More stories you may like: 

  • Show Comments Hide Comments