Philo TV Review [July 2019]
Philo TV is a popular online streaming service. More and more people cutting the cord are joining the Philo boat. The main reasons you can hear are affordability, compatibility with all major platforms, and Philo’s no-contract policy.
But is this service really that good? How well does it deliver? Let’s dive into the world of Philo TV and investigate.
What Is Philo TV?
Philo TV, named for the inventor of TV Philo T. Farnsworth, is an internet TV streaming service. It is an over-the-top service that was launched back in 2009 by Tuan Ho and Nicholas Krasney who were Harvard seniors at the time.
The service was initially available almost exclusively to university students. However, since November 2017 and the launch of the new service, Philo TV became widely available.
In a nutshell, Philo is a monthly subscription service. There are no contracts like with many other cable providers. This makes it possible to cancel subscription at any time. Philo also has a free 7-day trial period for new users to test the service.
What Does It Offer?
First and foremost, Philo TV is affordable. The subscription is $20 a month which is far less than a standard cable TV subscription. For the sake of comparison, average TV bills were around $100 in 2017.
Online TV streaming services, including Philo, give their viewers more freedom than a standard cable provider. With a cable provider, you’re forced to pay for big packages only to get access to several channels that you really want to watch. Standard cable providers also charge an arm and a leg for sports packages. Philo, for example, doesn’t offer sports packages at all, keeping the bills low and manageable.
Also, you can watch Philo TV anywhere in the country. You only need a mobile device or a computer that has access to internet and you’re good to go. On the other side, you’d probably need a Sling Box if you wanted to watch your cable on the go.
Philo TV offers a mix of live streaming and on-demand content. Unlike Netflix, Philo doesn’t offer original content, nor are there any current plans for Philo to expand into that territory.
Finally, you can record an unlimited number of shows and movies and save them to the Cloud DVR. The recorded items stay on the cloud for one month.
How Much Does It Cost?
As already mentioned, the subscription costs only $20 a month, being among the most affordable streaming TV subscription services. It includes 58 channels, sports channels excluded. You also won’t get programs like Fox, NBC Sports, Fox Sports, or ESPN. Live local channels are out of the picture, too.
Instead, you get a combination of basic cable channels from Viacom, Discovery, and AMC. These cover a broad range of genres including music, movies, documentaries, motorsports, as well as children and lifestyle programming. The package includes MTV, BET, Hallmark Channel, VH1, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Logo, Comedy Central, BBC America, AMC, Sundance, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Food Network, Lifetime, A&E, and more than 40 other popular channels.
What Is the Performance Like?
Philo TV offers a streamlined UI on web browsers. It is simple and easy to use. The Settings and Account tabs dominate the user section. Both are very functional, though featuring a bit frugal design. One of the highlights is the powerful search function that includes results from TV shows and episodes, movies, channels, and even movie and show descriptions. Playback is smooth and there are no hiccups as long as your connection is stable.
You will see several highlighted shows or movies in the upper reel, while the available categories are listed in the side-scrolling reels below it. Another neat feature is that you can track the movie or episode’s progress with the Play button. If the episode is halfway through, half of the Play button’s circle will be bolder.
On mobile devices, Philo TV runs smoothly and has the same black/blue/white theme found on the web version. This goes for both iOS and Android devices. Have in mind that, on Android, you’ll have to use Chrome to access Philo TV as there’s no native app. Like with the web version, playback is smooth and glitch-free on mobile devices, too.
Philo TV menu is easy to navigate on mobile devices, and a search bar opens up when you tap on the magnifying glass icon in the top-right corner of the screen. However, there’s no Guide feature on the mobile app. The mobile app also allows you to select between several playback point thumbnails to continue watching should you stop an episode.
Like all serious streaming services, Philo TV offers its users Closed Captioning. The web version of the service doesn’t allow you to change the font, size, color, or any other setting regarding the captions. Also, Philo TV lacks parental control options.
What Devices Is It Compatible With?
Philo TV is compatible with a wide range of popular hardware and OS platforms, making the switch a lot easier. Philo is also available via browser if you’re on a computer. Here’s the list of all currently supported devices and systems:
- Windows PC (through a supported browser)
- Mac (through a supported browser)
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- Roku (all devices)
- Android OS (through Chrome)
- iOS (mobile app)
- Amazon Fire TV
Supported browsers include Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari.
What Are the Pros and Cons?
Philo TV, like any other online streaming service, comes with its set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a closer look at them.
- Philo is cheap. The subscription is only $20 a month.
- Philo also has a great selection of channels, even in the basic package.
- You don’t have to sign a contract, as it is a month-to-month subscription service.
- There’s a one-week free trial. You can activate it with just your phone number and use it for two days. After that, you’ll need to provide your billing info to use the rest of the free trial.
- Your recorded episodes stay on the cloud for 30 days. There’s no limit to the number of shows you can record.
- Philo TV is compatible with the majority of popular hardware and operating systems.
- Philo is not a good option for sports fans, as there are no sports channels on the roster.
- Philo also doesn’t offer any live local channels.
To Stream or Not to Stream
With affordable online streaming options becoming more and more accessible and available, the standard cable TV might soon lose a lot of viewers. Philo TV is among the strongest competitors at the moment, offering a stable and smooth service, unlimited cloud storage, no-contract policy, and a superbly tailored channel roster.
Do you have Philo TV? If you do, do you think it’s a good alternative to cable TV? If you’re not a subscriber, would you give Philo TV a chance? Let us know in the comments section below.