Philo, originally known as Tivli, had an interesting start to life in 2009 when two Harvard University students launched an experiment to pick up satellite TV signals and transfer them wirelessly to their laptops.
Their experiment started to attract investors, many being major TV networks, and a niche streaming service for students was established serving 42 universities across the US.
Philo made the leap to full TV streaming service and launched to the general public in 2017. Philo doesn’t disclose its subscriber numbers, but estimates put them between 50,000 - 100,000. This would put them a long way off the big players in live TV streaming, such as Hulu’s 3.2 million users and Sling’s 2.59 million. However, the CEO claims 11% growth month on month so we may see more from them in the future.
- Unlimited 30-day DVR - Record as much live TV as your heart desires and Philo will store it in the cloud for 30 days
- 61 live TV channels for only $20 - Philo is one of the cheapest live TV streaming services on the block
- Seven-day free trial - Philo lets you sign up in seconds and you’re under no obligation to continue the service if you’re not 100% happy
- Streamlined interface - Philo has a clean, modern and easy to use interface making it easy to find the shows you want
Whilst Philo offers 61 channels for only $20, its catalog is unfortunately a little limited. Philo doesn't have access to any of the broadcast network’s programming. This means no ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox. It doesn’t have access to any live sports either.
Philo’s content is instead focused on documentary, lifestyle and reality TV and they claim to have more than 50,000 titles available, including some popular shows and classic movies. Its catalog includes:
- Killing Eve
- American Pickers
- Married at First Sight
- Super 8
Philo is currently only available in the US and you’ll need a virtual private network if you’d like to access it overseas.
- Stream on up to three devices simultaneously - You can also create up to 10 personalized profiles with one account meaning the whole family can have shown tailored to their preference
- Full control over live channels - Pause, fast forward, rewind and start shows from the beginning when watching live TV
- Share your favorite shows with friends - You can link your favorite shows to friends and other non-Philo users. They can then watch via your profile by entering their phone number
Philo keeps its pricing simple with one tier only - $20 per month for access to 61 live TV channels and the on-demand library. There are no hidden costs and Philo doesn’t offer optional extras.
You can contact Philo directly via email or telephone. You can also reach out via its social media channels on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Account cancelation & money back
Philo operates on a rolling monthly basis and you won’t be locked into a long-term contract. If you cancel, you’ll only be charged until the end of that month’s billing period.
If you’re looking for a no-frills, cheap alternative to get your live TV fix then Philo is for you. With a sizable catalog of shows and extra features like unlimited DVR storage and an intuitive interface, Philo definitely has a lot to offer for the price.
However, if you’re a sports fan or want shows from the major broadcast networks then you’re out of luck. Hulu Live TV or Sling TV may be the ones for you instead.