Cord cutting is becoming more popular as the cost of cable continues to skyrocket. The average cost of a cable bill is over $100, and more Americans than ever are deciding to cancel their pay TV service, instead of paying high monthly fees.
But while canceling cable is a great way to save some money, you risk missing out on some of your favorite live TV shows. That’s where internet TV providers like Philo and AT&T TV Now come in.
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An Overview Of Philo & AT&T TV Now
Both Philo and AT&T TV Now are internet TV services that let you subscribe to channels such as ESPN, Fox Sports and TNT without a cable or satellite subscription. Rather than requiring you to use any special equipment or hardware, you can simply subscribe to either package, and watch your content on any supported, internet-connected device – such as a phone, computer, or Roku.
Internet TV is popular with “cord-cutters,” because it’s free of the contracts, fees, and confusing pricing structure of traditional pay TV services from cable companies and satellite TV companies. You can always cancel your subscription at any time, and try out any service you want.
Now that you know the basics about both Philo and AT&T TV Now, let’s dive into some of the specifics about each service. Then, we’ll compare a few different aspects of each service, and help you understand which one is right for you.
Philo got its start on college campuses, and focuses on providing entertainment, lifestyle and educational channels at a very low price. As of writing, it’s one of the cheapest internet TV services out there, at just $20/month for about 56 channels. got its start on college campuses. It’s a skinny bundle service that focuses on providing the most possible channels for the lowest possible price.
7-day free trial
3 simultaneous streams
The biggest selling point of Philo is its price. Besides AT&T WatchTV, which may not be available for much longer due to AT&T’s shifting business model, Philo is the cheapest internet TV service on the market.
Its nearest competitor is Sling TV, which costs $30/month for the the Blue package (45+ channels) and the Orange package (30+ channels). When it comes to pure value for your dollar, it’s hard to beat Philo.
It also has pretty good features. You can save unlimited shows with its DVR, and watch on up to 3 devices at once. And while device support used to be pretty bad for Philo when it launched, it has improved dramatically in recent years.
The biggest weakness of Philo is that it lacks much channel variety. You won’t get much news programming, and you do not get any sports coverage. Unless you like cooking shows, documentaries, comedy, and some cable dramas, Philo is probably not for you.
You also won’t be able to watch any local channels on Philo. However, this is not a huge deal, as you can always use a cable antenna to get OTA TV, and watch networks like ABC, FOX, CBS, NBC and The CW, among others.
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AT&T TV Now
AT&T TV Now is AT&T’s attempt to reclaim some of the cord-cutters who are leaving pay TV in droves. Unfortunately, while it started out as a competitive product, some recent price changes have brought its cost up significantly, making it a bit less attractive compared to the competitions.
AT&T TV Now offers six different channel packages, so you can choose the number of channels you want. The base-tier packages are relatively affordable, but some of the more expensive packages cost more than most traditional satellite and cable packages.
7-day free trial
2 simultaneous streams
20 hours of DVR space
7-day free trial
2 simultaneous streams
20 hours of DVR space
HBO + Cinemax
AT&T TV Now does have some standout features. It has a pretty good on-demand library, for example, with recently-aired shows, past seasons and some movies from most of the cable channels included in your package.
It also gives you 500 hours of DVR storage, and lets you stream on up to 3 devices at once, which is better than some competitors like fuboTV and Hulu With Live TV.
You’ll also get plenty of top cable channels. This includes sports networks like ESPN, VH1, Viceland, and BET for reality TV, cable networks like FX, AMC, and A&E, and even news coverage from CNN. With multiple package upgrades available, you can get all the channels you need.
It also has good device support, and supports lots of “TV Everywhere” logins that lets you log into cable network websites and watch live and on-demand TV. Learn more here.
The biggest downside of AT&T TV Now is its price. When this service started its life as DirecTV Now in 2016, the cheapest package cost $35/month for 60+ channels.
Today, the cheapest package starts at $65/month for 45+ channels, and the most expensive “Ultimate” package tops out at $135/month for 125+ channels. AT&T TV Now is the most expensive internet TV service on the market today, bar none.
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Fact 1: Philo Doesn’t Have Any Sports Coverage
Philo’s low price is due to two primary factors. The first is that it eschews any kind of sports coverage. You won’t get any kind of sports programming on Philo at all – no ESPN, Fox Sports, NBCSN, or any other sports channels.
As a cost-cutting move, this makes sense. ESPN is one of the most expensive channels for cable companies to carry, due to the cost of licensing major league games. If you don’t like sports and want a cheap cable bundle, Philo may be right for you.
AT&T TV Now is a much better choice for sports fans. You get ESPN, and ESPN2 with the cheapest $65/month subscription, as well as Fox Sports 1, NBCSN, and some other networks like TNT and TBS which often show MLB and NBA games.
Fact 2: Philo Doesn’t Have Any “Big Four” Local Broadcast Channels
The “Big Four” channels refer to ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC. This is the second factor that makes Philo so inexpensive. Licensing and running broadcast networks on an internet TV service can be quite expensive and difficult, so Philo has opted to avoid doing this altogether.
To get around this, you can set up an OTA antenna and a TV tuner to get all four of these networks – and many more – without cable, for free. Take a look at this guide to learn how.
AT&T TV Now does offer FOX, ABC, CBS, and NBC to viewers. However, not all of these channels are available in every geographic location, due to the difficulty of licensing with individual network providers.
Fact 3: AT&T TV Now Offers Many More Channels
Even the cheapest “Plus” package for AT&T TV Now offers 45+ channels. You can upgrade all the way to the “Ultimate” package which gives you 125+ channels for $135/ month.
If you watch a lot of TV, and you tend to watch more than just a few different channels, AT&T TV Now is almost certainly going to be a better choice for you.
Fact 4: You Can’t Get Premium Channels With Philo
Most internet TV services let you add premium channels – like STARZ, Showtime, Cinemax, and HBO – for an additional fee. However, you can’t do this with Philo. That means you won’t be able to watch shows like Game of Thrones if you have a Philo subscription.
In contrast, AT&T TV Now offers a number of premium channels, including Cinemax, HBO, Showtime, and STARZ, so you can watch all of your favorite shows in one place.
Fact 5: Philo Has A Great DVR, But AT&T TV Now’s Is Better
Despite its low cost, Philo gives you a pretty good DVR. You can record and watch as many shows as you want for up to 28 days, after which your oldest recordings will be automatically deleted. If you record a lot of TV, Philo’s DVR won’t disappoint.
However, the AT&T TV Now DVR is even better. You’ll be able to record up to 500 hours of content, and your oldest recordings won’t be deleted until they’re 90 days old. If you can’t always watch all your shows within a month of airing, you’ll find this DVR to be superior to that of Philo.
Fact 6: Both Services Offer 3 Simultaneous Streams
Now, Philo and AT&T TV Now are tied when it comes to support for streaming simultaneously on multiple devices.
Fact 7: AT&T TV Now Has More TV Everywhere Support
Since its packages are available with more channels and it’s a well-known service, AT&T TV Now lets you log into more than 100+ cable networks and watch live and on-demand TV with TV Everywhere. You can see a full list here.
Fact 8: Device Support For Both Services Is Similar
In the past, AT&T TV Now had Philo beat when it came to device support. However, Philo has made great strides in implementing support for new streaming devices, so they’re quite similar in 2020. Both services support:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Apple TV
- iOS and Android
- Web browsers
Philo supports Roku, while AT&T TV Now recently dropped Roku support. However, AT&T TV Now has Chromecast support, which Philo currently lacks.
Fact 9: Philo And AT&T TV Now Are Offering Free 7 Day Trials
AT&T TV Now also offers a free 7-day trial. Click here to get started. If you’re not ready to commit to long-term service, remember to cancel your subscription to Philo or AT&T TV Now before your 7 day trial is up to avoid charges on your credit card.
Philo Vs. AT&T TV Now: Which Is Better?
Well, it all comes down to the kind of content you want to watch. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself in order to decide which service may be right for you.
Do you need sports, news, and local coverage?
If you need local coverage of live events, news coverage, and sports programming, Philo won’t be right for you. You can augment Philo with an OTA TV antenna for local networks, but you’ll still miss out on prime sports networks like ESPN and Fox Sports, and cable news networks like CNN.
AT&T TV Now is a much better choice if sports, local shows, and news coverage are very important to you.
Are you looking to save money?
Philo is definitely the cheapest way to watch live TV. No other streaming service even comes close. If Philo offers most of the channels you want, it may be worth subscribing just to save money.
Still, though, even AT&T TV Now is cheaper than cable. Whichever option you choose, you’ll still save quite a bit of money compared to a traditional cable subscription.
What devices will you stream TV on?
Philo is a good choice if you primarily use a Roku device or an iOS device like an iPad or iPhone to watch internet TV, or if you like to watch TV on your laptop. However, it lacks Chromecast support.
In contrast, AT&T TV Now has Chromecast support, but lacks Roku support. It’s a good idea to consider the devices you’ll stream on before you choose one service over the other.