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Philo TV: Everything you need to know about the budget live TV service
There are plenty of internet-based live TV streaming services on the market in 2022. Unfortunately, most of these services are rather pricey. One of the few exceptions to this rule is Philo, which costs a fraction of some of its competitors while still offering tons of live channels, cloud DVR, and more. So, what is Philo TV? How does it work? And is it right for you?
Here’s all you need to know about Philo TV and whether it may be worth it for your live TV needs. You can sign up for the service at the link below:
What is Philo TV?
The service, which was originally called Tivli, was created by two Harvard University students in 2010. They created a way to stream TV signals to laptops on campus. The service later expanded its service to many other universities. After raising money from several sources, the company changed its name to Philo TV and launched its nationwide internet-based live TV service in 2017. As of November 2020, the service had around 800,000 customers.
Read more: Best live TV streaming services
Plans and channels
Philo TV currently has over 60 channels that are available for just $25 a month.
Current channel list
- AccuWeather Network
- American Heroes Channel
- Animal Planet
- AXS TV
- BBC America
- BBC World News
- BET Her
- CLEO TV
- Comedy Central
- Cooking Channel
- Crime + Investigation
- Destination America
- Discovery Channel
- Discovery Family
- Discovery Life
- DIY Network
- Food Network
- GAC Family
- GAC Living
- Game Show Network
- Hallmark Channel
- Hallmark Drama
- Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
- Investigation Discovery
- Motor Trend
- MTV Classic
- MTV Live
- Nick Jr.
- Oprah Winfrey Network
- Paramount Network
- Science Channel
- Sundance TV
- Travel Channel
- TV Land
- TV One
- WE tv
Can I get Philo TV for free?
Yes! The service offers a seven-day free trial for new subscribers. In addition, you can get your first month free if you purchase qualified items from Best Buy.
Add-on movie channels
Philo TV also offers three add-on movie channel packages. One is for the Epix plan for $6 a month (with a seven-day free trial), which adds the Epix, Epix 2, and Epix Hits channels. Another is Starz, which costs $9 a month (again with a seven-day free trial). It ads the Starz, Starz Encore, and Starz Kids and Family channels. Finally, there’s the Movies and More package for $3 a month. It adds the Sony Movies, Reelz, HDnetMovies, MGM HD, and Cinemoi channels.
Platforms and availability
Philo TV is available for the following platforms:
- Amazon Fire tablets
- PC and Mac via supported web browsers
- Roku devices and smart TVs
- Amazon Fire TV devices and smart TVs
- Android TV devices and smart TVs
- Apple TV set-top boxes
Currently, the service is not available on any game consoles, nor is it available for Samsung, LG, or Vizio smart TVs.
At the moment, the service is only available in the United States. However, that does include all of the country’s territories.
Is Philo TV worth it?
For $25, the fact that you get over 60 live TV channels is a terrific bargain compared to many other internet-based TV services. However, the service has some limitations. It does not have any live sports channels. It also only has a few live news channels and none of the major ones like CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC. Major entertainment channels like TNT, TBS, Disney Channel, and Cartoon Network are also not available. HBO, Cinemax, and Showtime are not available as add-ons. Finally, local channels are not a part of the lineup.
If you are not interested in live sports and can live without watching some of the major news and entertainment channels, Philo TV offers a lot of live television for very little money. However, if you want more channels, you should look into alternative live TV streaming services.
Other Philo TV features
One of the nice things about Philo TV is its Cloud DVR feature. You can record live TV shows and movies from the service, and you can save them via a cloud server for up to one year. There is currently no limit on the number of shows or movies you can save on the Cloud DVR feature. You can also replay anything that’s shown on the live TV channels for the past 72 hours.
You can stream on up t0 three devices at once on one account. Also, each account supports up to 10 profiles, so you can have your family and friends share your account. Each profile can have its own saved shows and viewing history. In addition to all the live TV channels, Philo TV customers can also watch over 60,000 hours of on-demand movies and TV shows.
The Philo Android app can also be used as a remote control for the service on Chromecast, Android TV, and Philo TV devices. This support is being added to the iOS app in the future.
There are plenty of live TV streaming services, but with one exception, none of them are as cheap as Philo TV. Here’s a look at some of them
Like Philo, FuboTV is remarkably close to a cable TV provider, primarily due to its focus on live, linear TV schedules, though with the ability to record live content to a cloud-based library, it also offers the convenience of other traditional streamers. FuboTV brands itself a sports service, but its starting package (which costs $64.99 per month) comes with 109 channels, many of which barely even touch on sports and overlap with Philo TV.
This service offers over 20 family-friendly live TV channels, including the Hallmark Channel lineup, starting at just $5.99 a month. For a bit more money, you can add HD video quality and Cloud DVR features. While it’s cheaper, it also offers a much smaller channel lineup than Philo TV and no options to add movie channels.
Google’s YouTube TV starts at $72.99 a month. It offers over 85 live TV channels, including local, sports, and major news channels. It also offers unlimited cloud DVR services and support for playing up to three devices at once. There’s also support for adding movie channels and 4K viewing and recording for additional fees. It’s certainly more expensive than Philo TV, but it does offer a lot for the money.
Hulu Plus Live TV
Hulu Plus Live TV also starts at $69.99 a month. You can not only access over 75 channels, including local channels, but you can also watch all of the on-demand TV shows and movies on the Hulu, Disney Plus, and ESPN Plus streaming services as well. You also get 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage. You can add features like movie channels, up to 200 hours of DVR storage, and unlimited device streams while at home for additional fees.
No, the service does not have parental features at this time.
No, there is no content available in 4K resolution. Live TV shows are limited to 720p resolution, and the on-demand video content goes up to 1080p resolution.
Live TV channels have the same commercials as they have on their cable, satellite, and internet services.
The speed requirements are as follows:
- 3Mbps – SD quality video
- 7Mbps – One HD quality video
- 13Mbps – Multiple HD quality videos