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Philo TV: Everything You Need To Know – Updated June 2021

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Philo TV is currently the cheapest Live TV Streaming service available. Priced at just $20 per month, it even undercuts Sling TV. Despite its cheap price, Philo is still one of the relative “unknowns” in the streaming world. But it is one that cord-cutters will love. Seeing as $20 is a whole lot less than what cable companies charge for the same channels.

The biggest reason why Philo TV is not as popular as say YouTube TV or Hulu with Live TV (besides the fact it isn’t baked by a popular brand in the streaming industry like YouTube or Hulu) is the fact that it does not offer all of the channels of its competitors. It offers around 63 channels – though it is quickly adding more and more to its service. And it also doesn’t have any local or OTA channels included. Which helps them keep the cost down.

Philo reported some pretty rapid growth in 2019, and we’re expecting the same in 2020. As more and more people were forced to stay home most of the year. And looking for something to watch, Philo came in as a great option. Since it was cheap and had plenty of channels to watch content on.

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Is Philo a great option for cord cutters out there? We’ll try to answer that question, and tell you everything you need to know.

What is Philo TV?

Philo TV is what many would call a “skinny” Live TV Streaming service. Since it does not offer all of the channels that you’d expect a streaming Live TV service to offer. But it does offer quite a few channels that competitors do not.

Discovery owns Philo TV, and it is actually still fairly new. It was pretty recent that you could only watch Philo on your smartphone. But now it is available on a lot more platforms, and the free trial has been extended to seven days from three.

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Philo is able to stay pretty cheap, because it does not carry any local channels, nor sports channels. And those are usually what drives up the cost on streaming Live TV services. Just look at YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV. As they add more sports, they end up raising prices rather significantly.

Philo TV has channels from A&E, AMC, Discovery, Scripps, and Viacom (distributors of Comedy Central, BET, MTV and others). Which are not usually available on other streaming services. Making it a bit more unique. Though these companies are all part owners of Philo too, so this makes plenty of sense from a competition standpoint.

Sign Up For Philo TV

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How much does Philo TV cost?

Update: On May 25, 2021, Philo announced that prices will be increasing to $25 per month for the service. And this starts on June 8. The price is only for new customers, so if you sign up before June 8, you will be locked into the $20 per month price.

Philo TV, much like YouTube TV, aims to keep things simple. Offering a single plan that includes all of its channels. That plan will cost you $20 per month.

Philo TV users do have the ability to add STARZ for $9 per month. And EPIX is available for $6 per month. Philo TV does routinely offer some great discounts on these add ons. In fact earlier this year, you could sign up and get either one for half price for the first three months. So keep a look out for some special on STARZ and EPIX through Philo TV.

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At launch, Philo TV was just $16 per month for 45 channels. And offered a second plan that was $20 for 58 channels. It eliminated the cheaper plan in May 2019. Sticking with just one plan, and continuing to add more channels to that plan.

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Philo TV: STARZ & EPIX

Is there a free trial available?

Philo TV does offer a seven-day free trial for its service. As well as a seven-day free trial for STARZ and EPIX when you add those to your account.

To get started, you can click here and then enter your phone number or email address. This will get the process started for you. Philo TV’s free trial sign up process is a bit unique. You initially sign up with your phone number or email. And then a couple days later you’ll be asked to add your credit card information. And of course you’ll be billed after the seven days are up, unless you cancel.

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Sign Up For Philo TV

What device can I watch Philo TV on?

Over the past couple of years, Philo TV has greatly expanded its list of supported devices. It is now available on just about every platform.

Here’s every platform that supports Philo TV as of December 2020:

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  • Web browser (Chrome, Edge, Firefox and Safari)
  • iPhone and iPad
  • Android smartphones and tablets
  • Android TV
  • Chromecast via Android
  • Apple TV
  • Roku
  • Amazon Fire TV

Currently, the gaming consoles do not support Philo TV. But given how quickly Philo TV is expanding support, that is likely to come very soon.

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Philo TV: Supported Devices

Some have mentioned that the video quality on Philo TV is a bit softer than what you might find on other streaming TV services that cost nearly three times more. This could be due to Philo TV really compressing the content to deliver it for less, and keep their prices down. If that’s a big deal for you, then you may want to look elsewhere.

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How many concurrent streams can I have?

With Philo TV, you can stream on up to three devices concurrently. That’s right on par with the competition. Most other streaming Live TV services also offer up to three screens at once in their base package.

You also have the ability to create up to ten profiles. So everyone in your home can have their own profile for watching Philo TV.

What internet speed is recommended for streaming Philo TV?

There are recommended Internet speeds for Philo TV. You can stream Philo TV on internet as slow as 3Mbps. And to take full advantage of HD quality, you only need about 13Mbps for reliable streaming. Here’s how Philo lays it out:

  • 13Mbps – Recommended for reliable HD streaming, with multiple streams or other devices on the same network
  • 7Mbps – Stream one HD Video
  • 3Mbps – Stream SD quality Video
  • Lower than 3Mbps – you may notice Philo load slowly and/or rebuffer constantly. Video quality is also reduced.

What channels are available?

As mentioned already, there are 63 channels available on Philo TV. Which is also up quite a bit from just a year ago. The following is a list of Philo TV channels available as of December 2020.

  • A&E
  • AMC
  • American Heroes Channel
  • Animal Planet
  • aspireTV
  • AXS TV
  • BBC America
  • BBC World News
  • BET
  • BET Her
  • Cheddar
  • CLEO TV
  • CMT
  • Comedy Central
  • Cooking Channel
  • Crime + Investigation
  • DECADES (Added June 22, 2022)
  • Destination America
  • Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Family
  • Discovery Life
  • DIY Network
  • Food Network
  • FYI
  • Game Show Network
  • getTV
  • Great American Country
  • Hallmark Channel
  • Hallmark Drama
  • Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
  • HGTV
  • History
  • IFC
  • INSP
  • Investigation Discovery
  • Law&Crime
  • Lifetime
  • LMN
  • Logo
  • Motor Trend
  • MTV
  • MTV Classic
  • MTV Live
  • MTV2
  • Newsy
  • Nick Jr.
  • Nickelodeon
  • Nicktoons
  • Oprah Winfrey Network
  • Paramount Network
  • PeopleTV
  • REVOLT
  • Science Channel
  • Start TV (Added June 22, 2022)
  • Sundance TV
  • Tastemade
  • TeenNick
  • TLC
  • Travel Channel
  • TV Land
  • TV One
  • UPtv
  • VH1
  • Vice
  • WE tv

As mentioned before, Philo TV does not include any local channels like ABC, CBS, NBC, or FOX. Nor does it have any sports like ESPN, or Fox Sports. You can of course, get your locals from using an Antenna. And as long as you don’t watch any sports, then Philo TV is a really great option.

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Do any channels stream in 4K?

Unfortunately, none of these channels stream in 4K. However, if you are watching through a device like the NVIDIA SHIELD TV, you can get 4K upscaling on this content. Not quite the same, but it will look better on your 4K TV.

All of these channels will stream in HD though. This depends largely on your internet connection and speed though. As mentioned earlier in this post. If you have very slow internet, you’ll be stuck in SD, which is essentially 480p.

Live streaming content is available in 720p, and on-demand content will be available in 1080p.

What features are available?

Most Live TV Streaming services offer up some added features to help set its own service apart from the competition. And Philo does as well. Here’s all of the features that are included with Philo TV.

DVR

Much like YouTube TV, Philo also offers up DVR included in its regular price. Other services offer DVR, but as an added fee on top of the monthly fee. Philo is the only other Live TV Streaming Service that offers up unlimited DVR storage too. However, unlike YouTube TV, they are not available for nine months. In fact, it’s a much shorter amount of time. Just 30 days.

Allowing you to record your favorite shows and movies, but you won’t be able to keep them forever. Unless, they air quite often. As Philo will continue to record every episode, even if it is a rerun. So you’ll be able to keep popular favorites like Family Guy, The Simpsons, Two and a Half Men, and The Big Bang Theory in your DVR. Since they do air on multiple channels daily.

You’ll never need to worry about deleting movies and shows on your DVR, as Philo will do that automatically after 30 days. And it’s unlimited storage.

Fast-forward through commercials

Like any other streaming TV service, there are commercials on Philo TV. You’re going to – for the most part – see the same commercials as those watching the same channel on YouTube TV, cable, or Sling TV. Now based on the channel, you may be able to fast-forward through commercials. This mostly depends on whether or not you are recording that show or not. And if you are already at the “Live” part of the show, then you won’t be able to fast-forward, of course.

On-demand content

Philo also offers plenty of on-demand content from the channels it offers. Channels like AMC, BBC America and IFC have classic films as well as new blockbuster movies available to stream on-demand. There are additional on-demand movies available for rental fees. These range from $2.99 to $4.99.

Philo TV also has over 40,000 shows that are available to watch on-demand. Unfortunately, there is not an easy way to browse the video on-demand content. You’ll have to just look for the “VOD” tag on the show profile pages, to see that it is available on demand.

Sign Up For Philo TV

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Philo TV: Live TV Guide

Philo TV Interface

The Philo TV interface is actually quite nice. So there are three tabs at the top of the interface. These are Home, Guide and Search. Which are pretty much self-explanatory. Basically, Home is showing you content that Philo thinks you’ll want to watch. The Guide is the typical live guide that most TV services have. And Search is where you can search for something to watch. The Home screen does also show you trending content that is currently live, so you can see what everyone is so interested in right now.

It’s a very simple to use interface, and the guide looks really slick.

Is Philo TV worth the price?

Philo doesn’t have a lot of features, but it does have a lot of channels for not a lot of money. There are definitely some things missing here. Like local and sports channels. But if you aren’t a big watcher of sports, then $20 per month for 63 channels is not to bad. And by keeping their list of features down, they are able to keep the price down too.

YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV both offer a lot more features, however, they are also more than three times as much per month, as Philo TV. So the saying “you get what you pay for” is definitely valid here.

Since Philo TV has a lot of channels from ViacomCBS and Discovery, which are not available on a lot of other services, it can also be a good addition to your streaming TV set up. Use Sling TV and Philo TV together. It will get a bit confusing as to which channel is on which service, but doable. And a lot less than Comcast, Verizon, or AT&T would charge for cable TV.

If you’re thinking of checking out Philo TV, you can sign up for a seven-day free trial of the service by clicking here. It’s definitely worth trying, even if you ultimately end up not keeping it.

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