Family Enjoying Movie Night At Home Together

The Ultimate Guide to Philo – The Sports Free Live TV Streaming Service

Family Enjoying Movie Night At Home TogetherTwo of the most important factors when choosing the right cord cutting services are the content being offered and how much each service will cost you each month. Philo is attempting to change things up by offering an alternative to overstuffed content packages and offering more affordable pricing.

The Basics

If you’re interested in watching sports and still having access to local channels after cutting cable, Philo isn’t the streaming service for you. The company has positioned itself as an affordable alternative to more expensive services. The lower prices are possible because Philo doesn’t include sports, most news, or local stations to its content lineup.

Philo has less channels than some competitors, but still has plenty to offer for the whole family. You’ll find live programming on the grid style guide, along with on demand content. Most channels allow users to catch up on programming for days after airing.

The service certainly isn’t the right option for every cord cutter. But, for those who want an affordable option and aren’t interested in having hundreds of channels to choose from, it’s an option that shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s also worth mentioning that the service is relatively new, and additional content could always be added, if there’s a way to make it fit with the vision of the company.

Plans and Pricing

Budget is a major consideration for Philo. The company has been focused on keeping costs down, while still offering options that users will appreciate.

Currently, there are two plans available. The basic plan has 37 channels available, for $16/month. An extended plan has an additional 9 channels and costs $20/month.

Like most other services, you can get a 7 day free trial before signing up for a monthly subscription. Unlike most other services, Philo will not ask you for credit card information when you sign up for a free trial. Instead, you’ll use your mobile number to confirm your identity and get started.

Supported Devices

As with most other streaming services, you can watch Philo content on your computer, tablet, smartphone, and some streaming devices. Here’s the full list of compatible devices:

  • Mac or PC with updated web browsers
  • iPhones and Android devices
  • iPads and Android tablets (5.0 and newer)
  • Roku

The company says more compatible devices will be added to that list soon.

Features and Content

Philo focuses on simplicity, both with content and with design. A grid style makes it easy to browse content and choose from channels and programming available to stream. After selecting the show you want to watch, you’ll see whether the show is airing live at that time, when it will be on live again, and previous episodes to catch up on.

With your Philo account, you can watch on up to 3 devices simultaneously. Each account also comes with cloud storage, allowing users to save unlimited content for up to 30 days.

While you won’t get to watch sports, local channels, or much news with Philo, you’ll still get a good amount of channels and plenty of great content. Those who aren’t interested in sports, along with cord cutters who can get local channels with an antenna, might be happy with the slimmed down selection. Both the basic and extended packages include entertainment, lifestyle, movies, and cartoons.

Here’s what you’ll get for $16/month with the basic plan:

  • A&E
  • AMC
  • Animal Planet
  • BBC America
  • BBC World News
  • BET
  • Cheddar
  • CMT
  • Comedy Central
  • Discovery
  • DIY
  • Food Network
  • FYI
  • GSN
  • HGTV
  • IFC
  • ID
  • Lifetime
  • Lifetime Movies
  • MTV
  • MTV2
  • Nick
  • OWN
  • Sci
  • Spike
  • Sundance TV
  • Nick Jr.
  • Teen Nick
  • History
  • TLC
  • Travel
  • TV Land
  • Velocity
  • VH1
  • Viceland
  • We

With the extended package at $20/month, you’ll get all of the basic channels, along with the following:

  • AHC
  • BET Her
  • Cooking
  • Destination America
  • Family
  • Life
  • Logo
  • MTV Live
  • Nick Toons

Philo has more exciting updates lined up. Representatives for the company have discussed plans to add a social element to the service. The idea is to connect users with friends and family, making it easy to share their favorite shows and give recommendations. There’s even talk of syncing your content streaming with another user, so you can watch together from your own homes.

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26 Responses to The Ultimate Guide to Philo – The Sports Free Live TV Streaming Service

  1. Malignar January 16, 2018 at 8:17 am #

    I see it more as a supplement for Youtube TV than an actual stand alone service.

    • Fred Koot January 16, 2018 at 9:07 am #

      If you are not into sports. Philo + Hulu +Pluto tv for news will work

      • SS January 16, 2018 at 10:39 am #

        I’m not into sports but I watch a lot of other shows from networks owned by Disney, NBCUniversal, CBS and Fox. And I can’t deal with Hulu’s ads, interface and the fact that I would have to wait a day. And Hulu doesn’t even have all the shows from those networks. And they only keep the latest 4-5 episodes per show. YouTube TV lets me keep all the airings for 9 months. So, I have plenty of time to watch and rewatch my stuff.

      • Sam Iamee January 16, 2018 at 2:28 pm #

        Philo and YouTube TV both have BBC News.

    • SS January 16, 2018 at 10:36 am #

      Exactly. That’s how I’ve been using it. They work perfectly together. I just wish one of them would add Turner (TNT, TBS, CNN).

  2. stumpy579 January 16, 2018 at 8:20 am #

    It would make a nice add for Vue subscribers who must have A&E and can’t live without the Viacom nonsense.

    • cyn January 16, 2018 at 9:17 am #

      Vue doesn’t have these channels, but they are on Philo (as well as others, that didn’t make my list)

      TV Land
      Comedy Central

      • stumpy579 January 16, 2018 at 10:03 am #

        That’s what I said. If you have Vue and must have those channels you can add Philo for $16 a month and have it all. For most people who watch sports Philo alone is not an option. Vue does have hallmark.

      • bellsfolly January 16, 2018 at 1:55 pm #

        Actually, Hallmark isn’t on Philo. We’ve been Vue (access pkg) subscribers for nearly 2 years now…but seriously looking at replacing with Sling Orange & Philo, right after the Olympics. This would save $4/month, give us the A&E channels we have been missing. We don’t watch anything on Hallmark anyway, so that’s not a problem.

    • Dean G January 16, 2018 at 11:22 am #

      That’s exactly what I do as well, Philo is a great addon to another OTT. Gets me all the channels I would want and then some and I’m paying about 40% of what I did with cable.

      Cyn: Vue has Hallmark, I have all 3 Hallmark on Vue.

      • Mark D January 19, 2018 at 5:53 pm #

        When 3.0 OTA comes out we might see a shift.

  3. Fangsfriend January 16, 2018 at 8:45 am #

    Looking into this for a family/vacation home that has sporadic occupants. Priorities changing as the young adults not interested in sports.

  4. Fred Koot January 16, 2018 at 9:05 am #

    Works Fine on the Fire tv browser, just no guide and set Dvr from phone. Must be a big fan of Reality tv.

  5. Sam Iamee January 16, 2018 at 9:07 am #

    Something to know: They don’t actually have an iPad app. You have to download the iPhone app on your iPad.

    It works, but it is not quite the same. The part of the app that displays the show is a bit smaller, there is no full screen option, and the menus are not optimized to take advantage of all the iPad’s screen space.

  6. Sam Iamee January 16, 2018 at 9:10 am #

    I really enjoy Philo and feel like it is a good value for the price.

    It is the cheapest way to get Nick/Teennick/Nick Jr.

    The DVR works well and is unlimited. It saves everything for 30 days.

  7. cyn January 16, 2018 at 9:11 am #

    We’ve settled on Sling Blue package but I think instead of adding the 4 extra package for $10, we’ll add this. That way for only $6 more a month we’ll get to almost double our DVR capabilities – Sling only allows 50hrs but it can be kept “forever” & Philo allows unlimited but can only be kept 30 days. Sling also doesn’t have profiles – this way we can each have our own favorite channels.

  8. jack pollard January 16, 2018 at 9:20 am #

    Based on the initial review from here, thanks for that, we ditched Vue and have been very happy with Philo. We have OTA and Tablo, so sports and main-stream are covered. We wanted DIY and HGTV and for $16 a month Philo has met our needs very well. Plenty of other streaming services give locales, sports, etc. I only hope they don’t start adding crap and of course increasing fees.

    • Jess January 20, 2018 at 3:59 pm #

      So glad to hear it’s working for you! I’m with – I hope they keep it simple and keep costs down.

  9. Fred Koot January 16, 2018 at 9:48 am #

    The best thing is there are no contracts. Right now I am on Sling Orange for The Australian open. Can go to Philo to get Dr Who and Animal planet next month Good to Have options

  10. James Reyome January 16, 2018 at 9:56 am #

    Best service for the money, bar none. Philo’s DVR should be the standard by which all other streaming services are judged. It just works.

  11. icwhatudidthere January 16, 2018 at 12:33 pm #

    With no locals, does that mean there’s also no ridiculous regional blocks and no need to first verify your “home” region?

  12. Iphart January 16, 2018 at 12:41 pm #

    Just improve your UI/guide.

  13. bellsfolly January 16, 2018 at 1:58 pm #

    Philo is impressive…for what you get for that little money. Agree that parts of the UI need improvement…and a grid-like guide would help. Since this service is actually owned by the big networks that are on it, why didn’t they have app logins right from the start? Hopefully they add those soon.

  14. Chris K. January 16, 2018 at 2:12 pm #

    Started a trial on Sunday, and it’s almost entirely useless to us so far.

    The main thing we’re looking for is Nick Jr shows – we have pretty much everything else we need through Vue or through Comedy Central’s free app. For Nick Jr. shows, Philo has only one or two on-demand episodes of each available. No more than we can get from their app without using login credentials – which doesn’t change since Philo offers no login credentials for the Nick Jr. TV Anywhere app.

    The DVR would help with that after a month (especially at the rate Nick Jr. runs shows), but the miniscule amount of content readily available and lack of login credentials isn’t worth $16/month. So we’ll let the trial expire on Friday.

    • cpkidwell January 17, 2018 at 1:44 am #

      I hope they get the app logins also. Our boys love watching shows through the Nick app. I just wish there was a cheaper option to watch Fox Sports Regional in addition to Philo than Sling

  15. Tony February 1, 2018 at 3:47 pm #

    Philo is great for the price! It needs some polishing but overall very good. Was previously a Vue subscriber but the $10 increase pushed me to Philo, and it fits my needs with an antenna for locals.