Philo Review: 5 Things to Know Before You Sign Up

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  • Philo has discontinued its $16/month plan for new subscribers as of May 6, 2019. A single package is offered for $20/month. 

  • The live TV streaming service features plenty of entertainment networks, but sports and local stations aren’t offered. The $20 a month skinny bundle includes nearly 60 channels. 

  • Unlimited cloud DVR is included with a Philo subscription, and recordings can be saved for up to 30 days. 

  • Philo is compatible with Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV devices, but Google Chromecast isn’t supported. 

  • Only a mobile phone number is required to start a free trial of Philo. You’ll be asked to enter payment information after two days to extend the trial to a full week. 

If you thought AT&T WatchTV was the only live TV streaming service available for around $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 plan that offers 58 channels for $20 per month.

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, AT&T TV 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 is half that price.

Philo discontinued its $16 per month plan in early May 2019, leaving a single $20 package for new subscribers. Those who signed up before May 6 can continue with the cheaper plan.

Here’s how Philo CEO Andrew McCollum explained the decision:

“At Philo, we care deeply about creating the best TV experience possible at an affordable price. Since we launched 18 months ago, most of the other companies in our space have raised their prices, in some cases multiple times. We didn’t want to do that. Still, when we looked at all of the costs of operating Philo—which increase over time—consolidating into a single $20 package was the best way for us to maintain the same offering we have today without raising prices for everyone, or having to cut back in places we strive to excel, like our customer support.”

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.

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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.

Philo: $20/month plan
A&E
AMC
American Heroes Channel
Animal Planet
aspireTV
AXS TV
BBC America
BBC World News
BET
BET Her
Cheddar Business
Cheddar News
Cleo TV
CMT
Comedy Central
Cooking Channel
Destination America
Discovery Channel
Discovery Family
Discovery Life
DIY Network
Food Network
FYI
Game Show Network
Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Drama
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
HGTV
History Channel
IFC
Investigation Discovery
Law&Crime
Lifetime
Lifetime Movies
Logo
MotorTrend
MTV
MTV Classic
MTV2
MTV Live
Nick Jr.
Nickelodeon
Nicktoons
OWN
Paramount Network
PeopleTV
REVOLT
Science Channel
Sundance TV
Tastemade
TeenNick
TLC
Travel Channel
TV Land
UPtv
VH1
Viceland
WE tv
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 for a very low price 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 Clark.com Streaming TV Content: 

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