Philo Review - Live TV Streaming Service

Philo

Philo is a live TV streaming service designed for entertainment lovers which includes 40 channels for $16 per month or 49 channels for $20 per month.

You’ll get major channels from A&E Networks, AMC Networks, Discovery, Scripps Networks, and Viacom. These include A&E, AMC, BET, Comedy Central, Discovery, HGTV, MTV, Nickelodeon, and more.

If you upgrade to their $20/month plan — you’ll add channels like Cooking Channel, Destination America, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, LOGO, nicktoons, and more.

While it doesn’t include any local or sports channels like ESPN, FS1, or NBCSN — it is the cheapest option for live entertainment-only TV.

$16 Philo Base

  • 40 Channels
  • Local Channels
  • 17 of Top 35 Cable Channels
  • Sports Channels
7-Day Free Trial
philo.com

$20 Philo Plus

  • 49 Channels
  • Local Channels
  • 17 of Top 35 Cable Channels
  • Sports Channels
7-Day Free Trial
philo.com

Features

Cloud DVR

Unlimited

30 days

3 Device Streams

Watch on up to 3 devices at the same time.

On Demand

Most channels have on demand content.

TV Everywhere Apps

App logins provided for up to 32 apps.

- No Parental Controls

Does not have any parental controls.

Tech Specs

HD Video

720p
30 fps
Stereo

Streaming Reliability

Average

On Demand Reliability

Above Average

Live Delay

25 seconds

Channel Switching

4.5 seconds

7-Day Free Trial

Philo offers a 7-day free trial. Your subscription is month-to-month and you can cancel at any time.

Free Pandora Premium

Get 3 Free Months of Pandora Premium when you subscribe to Philo.

Review

We researched Philo and reviewed six other live TV streaming services for more than 100 hours. Philo is compatible with Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch mobile devices, Roku, and from you computer’s browser.

User Experience

  • Simple and consistent design across apps to switch from Home, Live, & Saved.
  • Channel guide is informative, but feels odd because it lists channels horizontally. Unfortunately, it’s not available on mobile.
  • Search works well and offers quick access to both live and on demand content.

Home Screen

The Philo app’s home screen gives personalized suggestions of shows to keep watching, those you’ve saved, and top shows on Philo.

TV Guide

On most platforms, Philo channel guide lists all available channels alphabetically in a grid, but does not include a standard channel guide.

Search

The Philo search interface is very intuitive. Series, episodes, and people appear as you type.

Show Details

The show details page displays episodes currently live, on demand, and upcoming on a future date. You can automatically record future airings by clicking “Save”.

Playback

When you tune into a live channel, Philo takes you to the beginning of the show. You can skip ahead to live, but you may be shown commercials if it’s also available on demand.


Features

Unlimited Cloud DVR

Philo has unlimited DVR storage, but you can only keep shows for 30 days. You can only record an entire series, not a single episode.

If you start recording after you tune into a channel, the recording will start from the beginning of the program.

While it’s still recording, you can watch from the beginning but you won’t be able to fast forward through commercials.

streams Simultaneous Viewing

This service allows for three simultaneous streams.

37 apps TV Everywhere

Similar to traditional cable and satellite subscriptions, Philo includes “TV Everywhere” logins for most channels they offer (including Comedy Central, Food Network, HGTV, are more).

Mind the Kids No Parental Controls

There are no parental controls for Philo. Only Hulu and Sling have parental controls.


72-hour Rewind

This feature allows you to watch shows that you didn’t record, for up to three days after it aired. This feature adds a lot of additional shows that aren’t normally available on demand.


Tech Specs

  • The service currently offers 720p / 30 fps across all channels.
  • Limited buffering or playback issues in our testing.
  • Changing channels only takes 4.5 seconds, which was slower than most services.

720p / 30 FPS HD Video

Streams were at 720p at 30 fps.

To reduce playback interruptions, Philo will adapt the stream quality to match your network connection.

Great Connection Reliability

Philo was generally stable for both live and on demand content. We had no issues when streaming content.

Philo recommends at least 5 Mbps for each HD stream.

Stereo Audio

All live TV content has standard stereo audio.

25 SECS Live Delay

Live content is about 25 seconds behind cable TV, which is similar to the other services.

4.5 SECS Channel Switching

It takes about 4.5 seconds to switch between channels, which is slower than most of the other services.


Devices and Apps

Device Compatibility

Philo is compatible with Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, Android Phone/Tablet, iPhone/iPad, and Web Browser.

Philo is not compatible with Google Chromecast, Android TV, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Switch.

TV App

Philo has support for Roku, Apple TV, and Fire TV. They don’t support Android TV, Chromecast, or AirPlay. While they have a alphabetical grid of currently live shows, they don’t have a standard channel guide.

Phone & Tablet Apps

Philo has an iPhone app, but does not currently offer an iPad app (you can use the iPhone app on iPad though). The look and feel mimics their other apps, but there is no standard channel guide.

While on Android, there is not a native app, you can play using Chrome on Android 7.0+. The interface looks similar to a native platform, but feels more sluggish.

Computer

You can watch Philo on Mac and Windows computers using most major browsers. It is the only platform that includes a standard channel guide.


Channels

Top Cable Channels

Philo offers top cable channels from A&E Networks, AMC Networks, Discovery, Scripps Networks, and Viacom.

You get 17 of the top 35 cable channels as part of their base package.

If you upgrade to their $20/month plan — you’ll add channels like Cooking Channel, Destination America, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, LOGO, nicktoons, and more.

The top 35 cable channels are listed below. For a list of all channels, look at Philo’s full channel lineup.

“Base” “Plus”
Free Trial Free Trial
$16 $20
A&E
AMC
Animal Planet
BET
Bravo - -
Cartoon Network - -
CNN - -
Comedy Central
Discovery
Disney Channel - -
E! - -
ESPN - -
Food Network
Fox News - -
Fox Sports 1 - -
Freeform - -
FX - -
FXX - -
Hallmark - -
HGTV
History
Investigation Discovery
Lifetime
MSNBC - -
MTV
Nickelodeon
OWN
Paramount Network
Syfy - -
TBS - -
TLC
TNT - -
truTV - -
USA Network - -
VH1

View the Philo full channel lineup for a list of all channels.

Local Channels

Philo doesn’t offer any local channels like ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox, NBC, Telemundo, and Univision.

“Base” “Plus”
Free Trial Free Trial
$16 $20
ABC - -
CBS - -
Fox - -
NBC - -
Telemundo - -
The CW - -
Univision - -

Sports Channels

National Sports Channels

In order to keep monthly pricing low, Philo doesn’t include access to any national sports channels, regional sports networks, or college or pro networks.

“Base” “Plus”
Free Trial Free Trial
$16 $20
ESPN - -
ESPN2 - -
Fox Sports 1 - -
Fox Sports 2 - -
NBC Sports Network - -
TBS - -
TNT - -

Regional Sports Networks (RSNs)

Philo doesn’t include access to regional sports networks (RSNs) as part of their service.

“Base” “Plus”
Free Trial Free Trial
$16 $20
beIN Sports - -
Eleven Sports - -
ESPNEWS - -
Fox Soccer Plus - -
Golf Channel - -
Olympic Channel - -
Tennis Channel - -

Premium Channels

Philo doesn’t currently offer the ability to add premium channels.

“Base” “Plus”
Free Trial Free Trial
$16 $20
Cinemax - -
EPIX - -
HBO - -
Showtime - -
Starz - -

Live TV Streaming Pages