Interested in joining the ever-increasing legion of cord cutters? That's all well and good - and in fact can save you a significant amount of money each month - but first, you'll need to decide on the best way to replace cable.
Philo TV was started by a couple of Harvard seniors in 2009 as a way to provide streaming services to students on college campuses. Over time the company gained investors like HBO and Facebook co-founder Andrew McCollum, turning the tiny venture into a skinny bundle ideal for a very specific niche of viewer.
Compare Now: Philo TV Plans & Packages
So what, exactly is Philo TV all about, and why should you consider a streaming service in the first place? We'll get into that in the following Philo TV review - so stay tuned!
Table of Contents
Key Considerations When Choosing a Streaming Service
There are some things to think about before deciding which service is right for you.
- Content type: Each provider has a different focus. Netflix is strong on original content and movie selection while DIRECTV Now offers more of a cable-type experience.
- Price: Most streaming TV service prices are super affordable. What you need to watch for is if you're going to subscribe to several of the pricier options, you might be better off shopping the best cable TV deals.
- Internet speed: Keep in mind you'll need to have a high-speed internet connection to handle streaming, particularly for HD content or multiple users. Go for a minimum of 3 Mbps for one person, and 5 Mbps or higher for HD or multiple simultaneous streams.
- Free trials/discounts: Watch for promotional offers if you want to try before you buy. The majority of the best streaming TV providers offer a free trial.
Philo has a great setup for their trial - you get a total of seven days free, but you don't even have to enter your credit card information for the first two days, just your phone number.
Philo TV Plans
As I mentioned, Philo offers more of a skinny bundle than a full-fledged entertainment package. Its focus is lifestyle channels, so you won't find any news or sports channels here.
You might think this is odd but it's actually rather genius. Consumers have long wanted a la carte options for television content and Philo is about as close as it gets.
TV without any sports? It's a thing now. Surveys show that over 32% of viewers don't consider sports to be important in their choice of TV provider. This means Philo fills a significant gap in consumer demand.
Philo packages are delightfully simple, including the names:
43 Channel Package
Just like it sounds, the base plan comes with 43 channels, including:
- Comedy Central
- Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Drama, and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
- HGTV and Food Network
- Nickelodeon and Nick Jr.
- Travel Channel
56 Channel Package
The upper tier includes all of the above plus 13 extras, like:
- Discovery Family and Discovery Life
- Law & Crime
- MTV Live
The Philo TV channel list offers a wide variety of entertaining networks without the useless channels you don't want.
You've probably noticed that with Philo TV local channels are also missing from the channel lineup. The workaround for that issue is an HD antenna, although that doesn't help if you're viewing on the go.
While there aren't any specialized packages available as add-ons like there are with services like Sling TV, Philo does provide you with unlimited cloud DVR storage. The catch is that your recorded content erases after 30 days.
Philo TV Prices
When it comes to pricing, you can really see the lack of sports coverage reflected in the rates. Airing sports events is an expensive business. That's great news for you if all you want is your Chopped or House Hunters.
The two Philo plans are simply designed and simply priced. There are no extra add-ons available like premium movie channels or kids' packages. What you see is what you get - and you get it for a very affordable price.
Philo TV Compatible Devices
The Philo TV app works with most typical streaming devices:
- Apple TV (4th gen and later)
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android phones and tablets
- Apple iPhone and iPad
- Mac and PC
The most significant limitation in terms of devices is that Philo does not work on gaming consoles.
Philo TV User Experience
What about user friendliness?
- The web browser version gives the best user experience.
- A channel guide is not available on all devices, which makes it difficult to see what's coming on next.
- You cannot view content offline.
- Overall, the Philo interface is simple and streamlined.
The lack of a channel guide on mobile is a bit of a pain, in our opinion. The good news is that Philo seems to be on a consistent mission to improve and upgrade its service and features, which means it probably won't be long before they address specific issues.
Benefits of Streaming TV
If you're not already taking advantage of this great entertainment option, here's why you should:
- Cost: The average cable and satellite TV bills run over $100 a month. On top of that, you're probably already paying for internet. That means even if you subscribe to multiple streaming services, cord cutting can still slash your bill by a significant amount.
- Flexibility: You're in total control of your viewing choices. Love sports? Choose a service like fuboTV. Want all your favorite TV shows? Hulu has plenty.
- Freedom: Since you pay for streaming month-to-month you won't be stuck in a long and expensive contract. Cancel any time you want.
Virtually anything you watch on cable is also available via streaming TV. Plus you'll get your favorite features like live TV, on-demand content, DVR recording functionality, and mobile viewing.
Philo is, perhaps, what cable should have been all along, at least for lifestyle content fans. It delivers a specific genre of viewing - with a wide enough selection to make it worth the effort - in the form of a cheap streaming service.
This may be just the thing to add a little variety to your viewing life without breaking the bank or having to scroll through hundreds of shows in which you have no interest.
Still deciding on the best TV option?
- See what others have to say in our Philo customer reviews.
- Compare streaming TV plans side-by-side.
- See all available options near you - find TV providers in your area.
Finally, if you're unhappy with your internet provider, check out the best internet deals now!
Compare Now: Philo TV Plans & Packages