Philo is a new streaming service for your cord cutting toolbox

NEWS – I received an email a few days ago informing me that my DirecTV monthly service is going to have a price increase in January. To say that I was annoyed by this email is an understatement given the fact that I’ve been with DirecTV for at least 20 years and they continually raise their prices. If that’s not bad enough, since their big firmware update this past spring or summer, the DVR’s electronic programming guide is buggy as heck. Half the time the shows and movies that were previously recorded don’t show up on my list unless I reboot the DVR. Add that to the fact that there’s a line item on my monthly bill for HD content when 99% of all content has been HD for years, I’m just ready to cut the cord.

I already stream some movies and shows with the big guys like Netflix and Hulu, but I haven’t been able to cut the DirecTV cord because Jeanne, my significant other, has several favorite programs on stations that aren’t on either of those streaming platforms. Or if they are, they don’t have the latest episodes.

Philo is a new streaming TV service that focuses on entertainment, knowledge, and lifestyle channels, the exact kind of programming that Jeanne likes and they are running a special holiday deal of $99 for six months of top entertainment programming, including channels like the Hallmark Channel, A&E, AMC, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, Food Network, HGTV, Lifetime, Logo, MTV Live, History Channel, Nickelodeon, TLC, Travel Channel, VH1, Viceland, and more.

You can stream through your computer’s browser, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, iOS, Android, and more to come.

Philo stands out from the streaming service crowd because it features 43 popular channels for only $16.50 a month, plus an additional 12 channels for a $4 add-on. Compare that to the $125 a MONTH that I pay for DirecTV programming which does not include any premium movie channels, and it’s almost a no-brainer to sign up at that price. Visit Philo.com for more info.

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20 thoughts on “Philo is a new streaming service for your cord cutting toolbox”




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  2. I’ll be curious what you think if you end up trying it!

    It doesn’t look like they have local channels. Would you just switch to an OTA antenna for ABC, CBS, NBC, etc? But then what about recording?

    1. Aaron, I’ve been trying Philo off and on for a week or so and it does work well. You’re right, it does not include local channels and yes, if I do end up truly cutting the cord, I’ll need an OTA antenna and some sort of DVR. I’m still in the planning stages at this point.

      1. PS Vue has a pretty good lineup and local channels for most areas (they just picked up a bunch more). Outside of that, for regular content and on demand check out Pluto TV. Doesn’t require an account and is free.

        1. Hi Tommy21toes (wow, your shoes must be very unique!). Thanks for the other ideas for content. Pluto TV looks good but generic. No “real” channels that I see. I can easily live with just the main network channels CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, FOX, along with AMC, HGTV, FOOD Network, History channel, Travel Channel, Spike TV, and one or two others.

          1. Yeah, it’s isn’t the greatest for TV, but it’s another nice movie on demand for variety over Crackle and whatever other free movie sites that are out there. I do like watching the old episodes of Man vs Wild and River Monsters on it though. Pretty sure the news is live at least. The rest seem to just be recordings that are hidden behind a TV layout.

            PS Vue was our cord cutter. Wifey wanted Travel Channel and Destination America and I wasn’t able to find them on any basic plans with other services. Cable wouldn’t let us keep those channels with a bronze package so we left.

          2. Was just looking at that. It’s $45 for the basic (up from $35 when I started). Looks like I could get all the channels I want for the upgraded $20 plan with Philo. Going to consider switching.

      2. Philo has unlimited DVR. If you click the (+) button it goes directly to your “Saved” tab and it’s made available for 30 days.

    2. OTAs are great if you live close enough and no obstacles to block sgbal unless you put a full blown antennae on your house!

  3. Michael O'Donnell

    ” …line item on my monthly bill for HD content when 99% of all content has been HD for years, I’m just ready to cut the cord.”

    They are raising the rates as customers leave in droves. Go figure. I’m done with them… I also have been with them for 20+ years, and the ‘nickle and dime-ing’ is over the top (I’m being charged for ‘whole house DVR’ and I only have 1 DVR (no additional receivers to even use recordings elsewhere). And HD service charge? Don’t get me started. We are officially moving off ATT/DTV come February.

    I’ve been experimenting this last year and settled on Nvidia Shields with outdoor antenna and Plex/HD service. I’ll have a look at Philo (albeit the total cost of all these services: Amazon Prime, Hulu, Plex is adding up). But I like being in control.

    1. Hi Michael. Oh yeah, I forgot about the bogus whole house DVR charge. I only have one DVR in my house too. What outdoor antenna did you get? I could kick myself for getting rid of the 30ft TV tower almost 20 years ago when we moved into this house. We got rid of it after a few years. Who knew that we’d ever need it again. Just goes to show that what’s old becomes new again.

      1. Michael O'Donnell

        My setup is fairly simple (and with your technical skills shouldn’t be a challenge)
        I use this antenna (RCA Compact Outdoor Yagi HDTV Antenna with 70 Mile Range (ANT751E):
        https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0024R4B5C/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

        I have it tied into an HD HomeRun box (which is basically a receiver that transmits it over ethernet in my house). The entire setup is all controlled by a set top box (the Nvidia Shield). Works great.

      1. Honesty, no. We’ve never been a big organized sports family, and the news is so depressing, so we don’t miss that at all.
        The biggest reason we switched is because my wife and daughter are huge Hallmark fans, and Philo has all three. Add the UPtv network and it was a no brainier.
        It’s half the cost of DirecTV Now (we were grandfathered into the original price), and it doesn’t buffer at all. DirecTV Now still buffered no matter what I did to try and fix it.

  4. The only thing that makes me nervous about cutting the cord is the 1TB data cap from Comcast. I routinely hit 450-500GB in my family from normal streaming and working from home.

    Does anyone have any data showing what cutting the cord costs in bandwidth?

    1. Michael O'Donnell

      Everyone’s usage is going to be different (and vary by number of devices in the home). I just checked ours and we average 250GB / month (and I do small amount of business/work from home). According to the Comcast site they indicate:

      “A terabyte of data is equal to streaming between 600 and 700 hours of HD video in a month – that’s close to 21 hours of streaming each day.”

      That’s measured coming into the home meaning two devices would be 11 hours each day, etc. And doesn’t include heavy non-streaming usage. Of course they do offer an unlimited plan (for us, if I’m streaming that much TV, we have a different issue than cost;) And lastly, remember… Over The Air (OTA) is…. free.

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