walking-dead

First Look: Philo The $16 Sports Free Live TV Streaming Service


Today Viacom, Scrips, AMC, A+E, and Discovery announced a new sports free streaming service. Subscribers to this new service will get access to 35 networks for $16 a month called Philo.

Channels on the new service include A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, AXS TV, BBC America, Cheddar, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, Food Network, GSN, HGTV, HISTORY, Investigation Discovery (ID), IFC, Lifetime, MTV, Nickelodeon, TLC, Travel Channel.

For an extra $4 more channels can be added to the service. These channels include MTV Live, Nicktoons, Cooking Channel, AHC, Destination America, Family Channel, Life, and Lego. New subscribers will also get a 7 day free trial.

Here is your first look at the new service:

Update a few readers have told Cord Cutters News that the Roku version does NOT offer a guide.

The service includes an unlimited 30-day DVR, plus on-demand programming. You will be able to pause live programming and watch programs from the beginning if they’ve aired within the last three days. You will also be able to watch on up to three devices at the same time.

At launch, this new service will support web browser, Roku devices, an iOS app, and Android via Chrome.

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  • Jj

    Does the dvr let you fast forward through commercials?

    • MVO

      yes… it seems that it does.

  • jsward12

    Any idea if Philo is supported in apps like Nick Jr?

    • Fred Koot

      check yourself

    • Mike Stambaugh

      No sure on app permissions. But you’d think it would since viacom is involved in the Philo.

      • Unique_Username99

        I’m sure the OP was referring to individual apps

    • Joseph Blow

      no they do not support the app logins yet.

  • Fred Koot

    this plus basic Hulu and Pluto for news is great if you don’t care about sports.

  • Ottis DA Da aD

    Hmmm… How many streams? I’ll assume one…

    • Garry

      Three

      • Ottis DA Da aD

        WOW… I might just sign up

  • Cooper McChester

    Great idea for a sports free option. I like sports but someone who does not, should not have to pay for my sports

  • JoeRaiderXX

    How is it that this service can launch with a DVR but DTVN can’t manage to launch one for over a year?

    • filmex

      It’s called AT&T.

    • Unique_Username99

      The people running this service OWN the content.

    • JGaLaXY

      DTVN sucks with their software

  • Tyson Treasure

    No way to limit bandwidth….still stuck with Sling

    • Unique_Username99

      how’s the video quality of Science Channel on Sling?

    • CordCutting2017

      There’s always the no data cap option through Toast.net

      • Tyson Treasure

        Not for me. I live on the edge of town. Cable only. Max DSL speed here is 768k

  • Garry

    Looks good, nice UI for a day one start up. It has no Disney, Hallmark, News or Locals. News I can get free, If DIRECTV NOW would use their line up with NO SPORTS at a reduced price, it would be CORD CUTTERS HEAVEN. That way if you want sports, just pay extra. That would be a WINNER for everyone.

    • NashGuy

      I saw a rumor on Reddit that DTVN is going to do that: a $20 package without sports or locals. If it’s true, maybe that will roll out with their new redesigned app with cloud DVR early next year.

      • Garry

        That would be great. I do want locals because I live in heavily wooded area with no antenna reception. If they went ala carte with it all, that would be the option we have been expecting forever. Pay for what we want. The provider that does that, gets it all. Sling ala carte a JOKE!

      • Unique_Username99

        I’m not sure why these companies think sports, news and locals are somehow tied together. Just because I want MSNBC doesn’t mean I care about ESPN.

        • Jj

          The companies that own the sports channels largely also own the local & news channels. They usually won’t let you get one of their channels without getting others.

          • CordCutting2017

            My locals are own by Tegna (CBS), Graham Media Group (NBC), ABC, FOX…. So, 2/4 of them aren’t nationally owned or tied to other channels that would need to be bundled.

            Tegna in another market runs an ABC station. So, there’s some variety even within a single ownership. Not all franchises are run by the national syndicates.

            http://www.stationindex.com/tv/

        • Mike Thaler

          What pushed us to cut cable – Comcast put MSNBC into a tier that cost $15 extra because it included ESPN. Fox and CNN were in a lower tier. BBC World was in a very high tier. We want all views on the news – even Murdoch’s.

  • Chris Miller

    Any mention of TV everywhere app support?

    • Joseph Blow

      i talked to their chat support and they don’t offer that yet.

      • Chris Miller

        Thanks Joseph. If they get that this would be a great option for me.

  • Unique_Username99

    Wish it had a more traditional guide.

  • Dean G

    Added it on my Roku, signed up for the 7 day trial but no guide on the Roku????? Am I missing something? Clear picture, haven’t experienced any buffering either.

    • Unique_Username99

      Yeah I didn’t see a guide either

      • Dean G

        I contacted them through the chat function. Was told there is no guide on Roku yet, she said she’ll put it in as a request. Right now only way to see a guide is online and that is how you do the dvr function. It’s a bit weird, but since new service I would assume they are going to make improvements.

        • Nathan John Ganiere

          DVR is on the ROKU too it’s just a PITA to use it on there, easiest to just add your shows on the website

          • Nathan John Ganiere

            simply gotta hold the OK button on the Roku just not press it quickly, to get to the shows listing and add it to DVR by selecting SAVE from there

          • Dean G

            Thanks, I never held it down. I started using the search function to find shows that way. Have to say the stream is excellent, hasn’t buffered not once.

          • Nathan John Ganiere

            no problem, still easier just to add them on the website but if you should be watching and a show is on and it’s one you want to add to the DVR that’s the best way………..

          • Nathan John Ganiere

            and yeah no buffering here either

  • Rob H.

    This has the channels I want. I think I’m going to try it out tonight. $16/month you can’t go wrong. I like the Roku support right out of the gate too. I get sports(NHL) via other means.

  • Jon Schumacher

    What’s great about the way things are going is choice. The more companies that put out their product the more choices you will have to consume it. When there are 8 ways to get a station one of them will be best for you. No one solution will have everything.

  • For $4 more, I could get Sling TV with most of these channels and the sports content. So far, I don’t believe the price point works.

    • Fred Koot

      looks good if you want Discovery which Sling is missing

    • Unique_Username99

      the $20 Sling package sucks and you don’t get ALL the sports content on the $20 Sling package anyway. and no Discovery channels

      • If it’s supposed to be a discounted service for not getting sports, it’s not very much of a discount.

        • Unique_Username99

          If it has the channels I want more than a $20 Sling package it’s more of value to me than Sling wouldn’t you say? Obviously if someone just HAS to have Disney and ESPN well plenty of options already.

        • Dean G

          Depends on what you want, for me it’s an excellent value. Vue does not have A&E or any Viacom , and to get the other channels is $10 more, you do the math. So yes, it’s a good deal.

      • halflifecrysis

        And no DVR at $20

    • MVO

      Philo’s unlimited DVR is nice. I am constantly erasing DVR’d shows on Sling to accommodate new recordings.

    • Huey

      You pay $5 extra for DVR with sling. Something to keep in mind.

  • Lyntill

    I don’t want sports anymore but I do want news. More accurately, I do want some news channels. I don’t need all of them.

    This is still not the way I want TV. I want to be able to choose the networks I want, one by one, I don’t want any packages, I want individual networks. Until then, I will do the best I can but this is definitely not it, at least not yet.

    • Malignar

      I think everyone wants no packages. I have no use for news shows but love sports, finding a perfect package of channels will likely not happen at this time. The networks are going to fight going 100% a la carte, though. This is a good step in the right direction. Things are happening quickly in this area now, kinda exciting to see where it goes.

      • Lyntill

        It probably is a good step in the right direction for some but not for me. I’ll stick with DTVN which thankfully has the dozen or so channels I want in addition to my OTA channels.

    • MVO

      BBC World News is one of the channels offered. Pluto TV (free) has a several news channels on offer.

      • Lyntill

        I’ve never really watched BBC World. I do watch some content on BBC America but it’s not news. I can only watch so much. Most of my news comes from a wide variety of Internet sources but it’s good to have a few networks when something big is going on. I guess that’s all the time recently.

    • HeyRadar

      I want to be able to chose individual networks as well. However, I don’t mind bundles that would let you get a better price per channel. e.g. Individual channel is $1.99. 10 channel bundle is $15 ($1.50/channel).

      • Unique_Username99

        That price point would never happen. Channels like TNT for example get $1.50 NOW and that’s with EVERYONE paying for it. now way under al a carte do they still only charge $1.50 when far fewer than half are wiling to pay for it. If you agree to get 25 channels they might only charge $1.50 per channel.

    • Reuters has a good free news app. You tell it how much time you have and it compiles enough news to fit that amount. You can skip a story easily too. In 30 minutes you’ll get one commercial. It seems non-partisan & very well done. However, its volume does jump up and down a bit as it goes from story to story.

      • Lyntill

        I’m going to check into that, Thanks for the tip, Bob.

    • Unique_Username99

      Just be prepared, al a carte if it ever came is not going to be some $1 per channel utopia. At best you have a basic fee( say $10 )then you choose a minimum number of channels( say 6 ) and each channel would be at least $2-$3 each possibly more depending on popularity.

      • Lyntill

        That’s right. It could get very expensive, very quickly, for someone who watches a wide variety of networks. I only watch about 10 besides the OTA networks. However, a couple of those are Hallmark which would probably never go along with something like this. True a la carte TV may be something that will never happen but it’s fun to think about.

        Also, those who watch a lot of sports could find their bills going up a lot if they were no longer subsidized by those of us who don’t watch sports.

    • Mike Thaler

      One by one would be ideal. That will take a MAJOR in thinking by the companies that own groups of channels – major example, Disney/ESPN.

  • MVO

    I don’t like that the channel programming is buried in sub-menus. In order to see the ‘other’ programs on that same channel, you have to first click on a channel. Then press down twice. Then click on ‘More On This Channel’. Then, you can see a list of programming for that day and other ‘Top Shows’ on that channel. The list isn’t comprehensive and many of the shows listed are there in title only… A very slow way to browse programming…. It is also missing the ‘global’ tv program guide, shown horizontally, by time for all channels in one view.

  • Ryan Ot

    This is tempting. I have $20 Sling blue and I would like Science and Animal Planet but no Fire TV support yet. Also does anyone know if this is any three devices anywhere or do they have to be on the same network?

    • Fred Koot

      Yep, one of the reasons I don’t have blue is Discovery. I doubt they have to be on the same network because there is no home location needed. Need Fire tv support as well.

  • Robert Anthony Hartzell

    No Fox, Disney, Hallmark or Turner is a lot. I get why some of them are not there (no sports), but I can’t see this thing getting subscription numbers like Sling or DTVN, even with the attractive price.

    • MVO

      or ElRey… 🙁

    • Dean G

      I have playstation vue and DTVN. The reason I have DTVN is because of Hallmark. But I’m willing to forgo that, keep my playstation vue getting locals plus some other channels, add this in and get way more channels for still less than I would with cable. The only thing this is missing is Hallmark. I don’t have kids so could careless about Disney. IMO, this service is great to combine with the lowest tier of any service. You get more channels than they are going to offer you through any of the services. I won’t even get into the fact that DTVN has some serious buffering issues and their support is abysmal.

      • Malignar

        I’m thinking of going Youtube TV for the sports mostly and this service all non sports. We will see how it goes.

    • Unique_Username99

      Disney like they always do is going to do their own thing. Most Turner channels have nothing to do with sports. Honestly when I think TNT or TBS even I do not think “Oh yeah the same as ESPN” Um no. I think re-runs of NCIS. I certainly do not sports when I think of Cartoon Network or Adult Swim.

    • CordCutting2017

      You might be surprised by the numbers as they start advertising the bulk of channels people do watch in their preferred package that costs a household about $100/mo currently to achieve these ~40 channels. Once the word gets out this + netflix/hulu/etc. would be a significant savings.

      This doesn’t work for sports nuts, news junkies, or those needing touchy feely networks.

  • Hal Grimley

    Um, that’s the Logo channel, not Lego, though a Lego channel would be pretty cool!

    • Unique_Username99

      So would an Eggo channel

      • SS

        EGGOS!!!!

  • SS

    Does anyone know if the Android version works on NVIDIA SHIELD version of Chrome?

  • NapMan

    Does anyone know if we can use the Philo credentials to sign into the various network apps?

    • Unique_Username99

      Nope not yet

    • James Reyome

      You really shouldn’t need the apps unless you’re really bingeing…they’ve already got a lot on demand.

      • NapMan

        I signed up with the free trial (I recently cancelled my PS Vue account). I checked out the on demand for Walking Dead. It shows the episodes to be available on Thursdays, when TWD airs on Sundays. Is that correct? I’d have to wait 4 days??

  • JGaLaXY

    very interesting but im stuck with antenna problems and local problems, i need streaming locals only service lol

    • Fred Koot

      Did you try your local cable company. When I had Brighthouse, they had locals for $10 + $4 broadcast fee.

      • Nathan John Ganiere

        pretty much what I’m paying cable company, Mediacom is $10 + $8 broadcast fee for tv + what I pay for internet, only real reason being is to avoid a $15 surcharge for being an internet only customer and having $15 thrown away for nothing really……

        • Nathan John Ganiere

          surprisingly there is no cable box equipment fee either

  • tweech1999

    This is so close to what I’m looking for. If I could swap some of those channels with a few others, and it would be PERFECT!

  • Fred Koot

    Works on FIre tablet through the silk browser

  • John

    Over-all so far I’m pleased with it. Nice line up of channels, even tho thee’s a small handful I’d really love on there. Would really like to see USA, Cartoon Network, Disney (Maybe one day but I figure Disney will only show up if Philo agrees to take ESPN channels also.). Wouldn’t mind local channels even if only on-demand, but I’m fine for now without them.

    Love the fact it has a good Cloud DVR that is FREE. Plus, you can fast forward through commercials.

    So far everything has been great. The picture looks good, sound is good, no buffering, etc. Just wonder how it all will be once more and more people jump on.

    So, $16 for around 35 channels, $4 more for some extra channels, I do feel is very well worth it!

    • Vegas Steve

      Yeah, kinda surprised there’s no USA.

      • CordCutting2017

        USA is owned by NBC/Comcast.

        • Vegas Steve

          Ah, I see, thanks.

  • Garry

    I have a list with network usage cost for each channel. ESPN is $7.86. Most other sports around $1.40. Get rid of ESPN, problem solved. They think they are so valuable and important, let them go it alone.

    • Mike Thaler

      Where can we find that list of cost per channel?

  • John Burgess

    this may work. sling blue (NFL network) and Philo ( discovery and Animal Planet). For $45/month. Have PSvue and paying $55 and not getting ANY locals. Only one i miss is chiller, though.

    • James Reyome

      This is right along my way of thinking. $39.99 for Hulu Live and $16 for Philo to fill in the blanks (ie, Discovery.) Antenna for locals. And Philo is SLICK, fast, and well implemented. All it really lacks is a grid and at this speed it can do without.

  • George Sunday

    It’s great from what I can see so far, but it doesn’t have a guide on Roku so I’m not switching from Sling until that happens. It’s really that important to have. I prefer text based guides. Large graphic images of what’s available live may work for the younger set, but I find them annoying and difficult to read quickly, not to mention you can’t see what’s coming up.

  • Peggy

    Sling does have a guide & a what’s on now screen