AT&T WatchTV vs. Philo: Which is the very best low cost live-TV streaming service?



Erica Argueta 

If you happen to’ve been occupied with reducing the cable-TV wire, you is likely to be in for a impolite awakening: Dwell-TV streaming companies, which intention to take cable’s place, are usually not cheap — and costs are on the rise.

Certainly, in latest months, DirecTV Now, Hulu with Dwell TV and YouTube TV have all seen value will increase. With uncommon exception, a live-TV service will now price you $45-$50 per 30 days. That is fairly near what many cable suppliers cost for a basic-TV addition to your web service. 

Fortunately, you’ve got two choices that price significantly much less: AT&T WatchTV and Philo. For as little as $15 per 30 days, you possibly can stream dozens of dwell stations.

AT&T WatchTV vs. Philo

service month-to-month price variety of channels on-demand titles how to enroll
AT&T WatchTV $15; free for AT&T Limitless & Extra prospects 40 15,000 See it at AT&T
Philo $20 58 25,000 See it at Philo

OK, however how do these two examine with one another? Is there a transparent winner within the battle for affordable live-TV streaming? Let’s check out the options and advantages — and whether or not both of those companies stands as much as these costing 2-Three instances extra.

Learn extra: Greatest dwell TV streaming companies for wire cutters



AT&T WatchTV could also be a bit restricted in some respects, however it’s a steal at $15 per 30 days.


At $15 per 30 days, AT&T WatchTV is at present the only least expensive live-TV streaming service available on the market. Sweeter nonetheless, if you happen to occur to be an AT&T Limitless & Extra buyer, the service is included at no further cost.

Till just lately, Philo supplied two packages: $16 and $20 per 30 days, the latter providing extra channels (see beneath). Nevertheless, beginning Could 6, the $16 plan goes away, leaving you with solely the $20 possibility. That undoubtedly makes Philo the pricier of the 2 companies — although if you happen to hurry, you possibly can nonetheless grandfather into the $16 plan.

Winner: AT&T WatchTV

Channel choice

To guage these two companies, we have to have a look at not solely the variety of channels supplied, however which channels.

Philo has a better depend: 58 whole (as a part of the aforementioned $20 package deal) to AT&T’s 40. Even if in case you have the $16 Philo plan, you get 45 channels.


For $20 per 30 days, Philo offers you 58 dwell channels and 25,000 on-demand titles. However there are a couple of key networks lacking, together with TBS and TNT.


As for content material, each companies supply many of the main cable networks: A&E, AMC, Comedy Central, Meals Community, HGTV, Historical past, IFC, Sundance and so forth. However Philo is lacking CNN, TBS, TCM and TNT, all of that are supplied by AT&T. As a substitute, Philo will get a little bit extra area of interest with channels like Aspire, BET Her, Cooking and Discovery Household.

Learn extra: DirecTV Now vs. Sling TV vs. YouTube TV vs. Hulu and extra: Dwell TV channels in contrast

In the end, I feel AT&T wins the standard award whereas Philo wins on amount. However neither service offers you native stations or sports activities channels, which can be dealbreakers for some cord-cutters. Pricier companies like Hulu with Dwell TV and YouTube TV do offer you locals and sports activities — for a a lot increased month-to-month price, in fact.

Winner: Tie.

DVR and on-demand content material

The entire notion of dwell TV is beginning to really feel somewhat old style. As of late, once we need to watch one thing, we simply stream it on-demand. Nevertheless, whereas AT&T WatchTV and Philo each have giant libraries of on-demand content material (15,000 and 25,000 titles, respectively), you possibly can’t depend on that for the whole lot.

Certainly, suppose you need to catch each episode of The Historical past Channel’s Cast in Hearth proper after it airs. For that you’re going to want a DVR possibility, which principally data chosen reveals so that you can view later (identical to a cable-TV or TiVo DVR).

Fortunately, there is no further {hardware} required; streaming companies’ DVRs make use of cloud storage.

Sadly, AT&T does not supply a DVR possibility for WatchTV. However Philo does, and it is included at no further cost. It is also limitless, which means you possibly can report all of the reveals you need — although recordings do expire after 30 days.

Winner: Philo

Variety of simultaneous streams

How many individuals can watch directly? This may occasionally not matter if it is simply you and your TV, however if you happen to dwell in a multiperson and/or multiscreen family, it is one thing to contemplate.

AT&T WatchTV limits you to only one stream at a time. Philo helps three at a time. That is a giant distinction, and one other level in Philo’s favor.

Winner: Philo

Apps and availability

An enormous query to ask your self earlier than selecting any streaming service: The place do you need to watch? Cellphone and/or pill? On the sofa in entrance of the TV? At your laptop throughout the workday?

You may anticipate AT&T WatchTV and Philo to have all these bases lined, however one in every of them falls quick.

Philo works in any internet browser and has apps for Apple TV, Android, Android TV, Hearth TV, iOS and Roku. However AT&T inexplicably has no Roku app, and Home windows customers can watch solely within the Chrome browser. (On Macs, the service works in Chrome or Safari.) I am unable to think about any Roku consumer selecting WatchTV at this level. 

It is also price noting that if you happen to’re watching on cell, it’s essential to have a dwell web connection; neither of the apps, for both service, helps offline viewing.

Winner: Philo


Though AT&T WatchTV has a lower cost and a barely higher number of channels, Philo is my choose for the very best low cost live-TV streaming service. Its key benefits: three simultaneous streams (versus AT&T’s one) and limitless DVR (versus AT&T’s none). And as a Roku consumer, WatchTV merely is not a service I would select.

Alternatively, cord-cutters who need no-frills dwell TV and the most cost effective potential value might discover WatchTV a wonderfully sensible choice. For simply $15 you get loads of nice channels and substantial library of on-demand content material. And, clearly, if you happen to’re an AT&T wi-fi subscriber, double-check to see if you happen to’re eligible to obtain AT&T WatchTV without cost.

It is price noting that Sling TV has live-TV streaming packages that begin at $25 per 30 days (truly, $15 per 30 days for the primary three months), although you are confronted with selecting between Sling Orange (34 channels) and Sling Blue (49 channels). Every one has some sports activities within the combine and may also stream to gadgets like sport consoles and Oculus VR headsets. If you would like Orange and Blue, your price rises to $40 month-to-month. And DVR is non-obligatory; it provides one other $5 per 30 days.

Now that you realize the professionals and cons of those two super-cheap live-TV companies, which one do you suppose you’d select?

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