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Philo Review: Everything You Need to Know Before You Subscribe


The switch from cable to streaming is a big one. And the decision can feel daunting given the endless number of streaming services out there. But in our society, where you can customize everything from dinner bowls to cars, streaming services are no different. Well, most of them. Philo TV is unique: It has just one single plan.

Philo TV is attuned to the inability of any service to fulfill the needs of every viewer.  Instead of taking the one-size-fits-all approach, this live TV streaming service chooses to focus on two things: entertainment and affordability. Rather than catering to the full spectrum of content consumers, Philo TV cuts back on some of the pricier content, like sports and local channels, in order to offer a cheaper plan for its users. 

And this plan is perfect for entertainment lovers and those who don’t want to give up access to live TV. With the ability to stream Philo on all the leading streaming devices, you won’t find yourself missing any pieces when you’re ready to start watching.

Philo TV’s service is one of the more affordable streaming options that still includes live TV without forgoing quality. Between Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, Nickelodeon, Vice, and 60 more high-profile channels, Philo TV is a comprehensive streaming option at a low price point.

What plans does Philo offer?

Philo differentiates itself from nearly every other streaming service in that it only offers one straightforward plan. This means less decision-making, which gives us all a little break. And with a $25 package with unlimited DVR recordings and over 60 entertainment channels, you won’t need to go back and forth on which plan to choose. 

If you’re looking to add more content on top of your Philo TV plan, there are three add-ons: Movies & More for $3 per month, EPIX for $6 per month, and STARZ for $9 per month. As previously mentioned, what this streaming service lacks is local channels and sports. So don’t expect to find any channels like ABC, CBS, NBC, ESPN, or Fox with Philo.

In addition to the 60 channels that subscribers pay for, Philo also offers access to eight free channels, including Boomerang Television, Cheddar News, Crackle, Gusto TV, Players TV, Pocket.Watch, and Revry and Ryan and Friends.

We don’t consider this a downfall of the service, though. If you’re looking for sports content, you’re better suited somewhere else. But for entertainment and affordability, Philo tops the chart. And there is a free trial, so there’s no downside to checking it out for a week and seeing if it’s right for you.

Which add-ons does Philo offer?

Philo offers three channel add-ons to further enrich your content collection with movies and shows alike. Movies & More includes Cinemoi, HDNet Movies, MHM HD, Reelz, and Sony movies for $3 per month, EPIX offers access to blockbuster movies, original series, documentaries, comedy and music specials for $6 per month, and STARZ is a movie-heavy channel for $9 per month.

Does Philo offer sports content?

Philo channels

Philo doesn’t offer any live sports channels, which is one of the leading reasons it is able to provide such a low-cost service. On rare occasions, there may be a sporting event covered by a channel in Philo’s Rolodex, but it shouldn’t be relied on as a consistent source of sports content.

How does Philo compare to other streaming services? 

Streaming ServiceCost Per MonthUnique FeaturesNumber of ChannelsAds?Free Trial?
Philo$25Philo DVR comes with unlimited storage which saves shows for up to one year
Three simultaneous streams
Sling TV$35+Sling Orange offers Disney and ESPN
Sling Blue offers Fox and NBC local channels
Sling Blue + Orange is the bundle deal that combines both plans
50 hours of Cloud DVR storage
ESPN Plus$6.99Watch ESPN Plus Originals
Game replays
Live sporting events
3 simultaneous streams
Disney Plus $6.99Wide catalog of popular TV and movies, including Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, National Geographic
Low monthly cost
4K HDR available for some titles
Hulu + Live TV$69.99Local channels
Regional sports networks
Disney Bundle
Unlimited screens
FuboTV$69.99Streaming on up to ten devices with a $9.99 add-on
Many customization options
Wide range of Spanish-language content
1,000 hours of cloud DVR storage
On-demand content
YouTube TV$64.99Includes local channels
Regional sports networks
Optional 4K add-on
Three simultaneous streams
Unlimited Cloud DVR storage

Philo’s channel lineup provides a more focused range of content than most other major streaming services. With a concerted aim at entertainment content, Philo caters to a more specific audience, whereas other services may be more appealing to a broader audience. While other services offer ad-free options, Philo has ads and there is no ad-free option. But, Philo does offer unlimited DVR and live TV channels to put your content at your beck and call. 

Despite its lack of sports and local channels, Philo provides a cost-effective way to stream live TV and entertainment content.

What are the downsides of Philo?

Overall, if you’re looking to have access to local or sports channels, other live TV streaming services may be a more worthwhile use of your time and money. And it can be expensive to subscribe to multiple streaming platforms, so you may want to consider one more expensive and comprehensive service that can cover all of your needs. But, if you’re looking for a live TV streaming plan that includes live TV channels for a low cost, Philo is one of the most affordable options on the market. 

In terms of streaming quality, Philo comes in short compared to some its competitors, as it does not currently support 4K or HDR. The live TV channels are limited to 720p and video on-demand content is limited to 1080p. 

Philo TV reviews share that some of the most popular cable channels are missing, like FX, NBC, TNT, and USA. Philo also doesn’t produce any original content, so there’s nothing on its platform that you can’t find elsewhere. But because of its abundant collection of channels, classic shows like The Office, Parks and Rec, Gilmore Girls, South Park, Sponge Bob Square Pants, plus more entertainment, comedy, and lifestyle shows are easy to watch on Philo. There is no shortage of classic movies either – users can enjoy fan-favorites like Moneyball, Forest Gump, The Breakfast Club, and The Devil Wears Prada.

What makes Philo stand out?

Philo has one of the most extensive cloud DVR storage features of any of the live TV streaming services. So, for viewers who aren’t inclined to be on their couch at the same time each night for a live broadcast, Philo’s unlimited storage has the infinite capacity to record and save your shows for whenever you’re ready to watch. Many other services offer unlimited cloud DVR, but that feature is rarely included in the cost of the base plan. 

There are also fast-forward and rewind functions on Philo’s cloud DVR, so the ads won’t be interrupting your content nearly as much if you’re watching something after it’s aired.

Philo also makes it easy for the whole family to share a plan without interfering with each other’s personalized content recommendations or viewing experience. With up to 10 customized profiles allowed on a single subscription, Philo outdoes many of its competitors in this department, with Netflix offering five profiles, and Hulu, Amazon Prime, and FuboTV all offering six. So for a big house of content consumers, this will keep everyone’s account individualized and untouched. As long as there are no more than three people simultaneously streaming, there won’t be any issues sharing an account.

As far as live tv streaming services go, Philo offers a significantly cheaper alternative to the typical prices of other services, like Hulu + Live TV or FuboTV at $69.99. If you don’t want to pay for TV services anymore, Philo channels cover a lot of the content that you’d be looking for on cable anyway. 

Below, see the full list of Philo channels:

  • A&E
  • AccuWeather
  • AMC
  • American Heroes
  • Animal Planet
  • AXS TV
  • BBC America
  • BBC World News
  • BET
  • BET Her
  • Bloomberg TV
  • Cheddar
  • Cheddar Big News
  • CMT
  • Comedy Central
  • Cooking Channel
  • Crime & Investigation
  • Destination America
  • Discovery
  • Discovery Family
  • Discovery Life
  • DIY
  • Food Network
  • FYI
  • G4
  • GAC Family
  • GetTV
  • Great American Country
  • GSN
  • Hallmark Channel
  • Hallmark Drama
  • Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
  • HGTV
  • History
  • IFC
  • INSP
  • Investigation Discovery
  • Law&Crime
  • Lifetime
  • Lifetime Movie Network
  • LOGO
  • Magnolia Network
  • MotorTrend Network
  • MTV
  • MTV Classic
  • MTV Live
  • MTV2
  • Nick Jr.
  • Nickelodeon
  • Nicktoons
  • OWN
  • Paramount Network
  • PeopleTV
  • Revolt
  • Science
  • SundanceTV
  • Tastemade
  • TeenNick
  • TLC
  • Travel Channel
  • TV Land
  • TV One
  • upTV
  • VH1
  • Vice TV
  • WE tv

How to subscribe to Philo?

Here’s how to subscribe to Philo:

  1. Go to Philo.com
  2. On the right side of the page, you’ll see an offer to start your free trial 
  3. Enter your email address or phone number and payment information
  4. You’ll then receive a text or email to confirm your subscription
  5. Upon clicking the link in the text or email, you’ll be ready to start streaming 

After entering your payment information, your card will be charged for the subsequent month, and you will receive access to the service for the full billing cycle. This will be a recurring charge unless you cancel your service.

Once you’re subscribed, there are many supported streaming devices to watch Philo on, including Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Apple TV, and select smart TVs. Once you’re logged in and have the Philo app on any supported device, it’s easy to stream Philo. 

Can you prepay for Philo?

Users can prepay for six months of service after the seven-day trial period ends. There is no discounted price by doing so, but prepaying reduces your recurring bills by one each month. 

How to cancel my Philo subscription?

If you want to cancel your Philo TV subscription, you can easily do so through your Philo account. Since there are no contracts, you’ll be able to cancel your account immediately, but you’ll still have access to your subscription until the end of the billing cycle.

  1. Log into your Philo TV account page on the Philo TV website
  2. Click “Cancel my account” at the bottom of the page
  3. Click “Submit cancelation” to confirm

Does Philo have a program guide?

Philo Guide

Flipping through channels to find something to watch is not exactly time-efficient, which is why Philo has a program guide that you can use to see exactly what will be streaming and at what time. Access the guide through a user-friendly search bar, where you can browse and search by name or channel. You can also select your favorite channels, which will appear at the top of the screen, an easy way to further customize your profile. 

Is Philo TV worth it?

Philo is not a one-size-fits-all kind of platform. But this Philo review proves that for those looking for inexpensive and entertaining content, Philo TV is absolutely worth the cost. For $25 per month, Philo subscribers get access to a long list of channels like Discovery, Food, HGTV, Network, MTV, and many more.

In addition to the 60 channels that subscribers pay for, Philo also offers access to eight bonus channels, free of charge. These channels include Boomerang Television, Cheddar News, Crackle, Gusto TV, Players TV, Pocket.Watch, and Revry and Ryan and Friends. So, as long as you’re not looking for local or sports channels, there’s no shortage of content to explore and record. 

One area where Philo surpasses the rest is its unlimited capacity to record and store content. For those who are busy and can’t commit to watching something live, this is a game-changing feature. And for a big household where all members may be sharing the same account, up to 10 users can store and watch their own content on their own profiles. In sum, Philo TV subscribers can enjoy a wide range of content at a low cost.

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