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Philo vs. DIRECTV Stream

Weigh the pros and cons of two of the most well-known streaming services.
by Margaret Smith — 
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Simpson33 / iStock / via Getty Images

For people who want to cut the cord on cable, there are a large number of streaming services that offer live TV. Two of these options are Philo and DIRECTV Stream (formerly AT&T TV). When comparing Philo vs. DIRECTV Stream, what should you consider in making your decision?

Philo vs. DIRECTV Stream Highlights

If you want the best value: Philo If you want the most cable-like experience: DIRECTV Stream
Its lone package is $25/mo. Includes more than 65 channels in the basic package
Includes unlimited DVR storage Local channels are included
Add-ons start as low as $3/mo. Includes parental controls

At more than 800,000 subscribers, Philo is struggling to compete against larger streamers like DIRECTV Stream, which has close to 1.9 million subscribers. There are also significant differences with channels included, cloud DVR storage, user profiles, offline viewing, and parental controls.

Read on to learn more about the differences between the two services and the factors you should consider as you decide between Philo vs. DIRECTV Stream.

Compare Philo vs. DIRECTV Stream plans

Philo vs. DIRECTV Stream Comparison


PhiloDIRECTV Stream
Starting monthly price $25/mo.$70/mo.
Free trial length Seven daysNone
Number of titles/channels 60+65+
Number of simultaneous streams ThreeUp to 23
Cloud DVR storage Unlimited20 hours
Offline viewing NoYes
Ad-free option NoNo

Which streaming service is right for you?

Philo is one of the most affordable and simple streaming services available. It only offers one plan -- $25/mo. for more than 60 channels. It comes with unlimited cloud DVR storage and you can keep the shows for 12 months before it gets deleted. It has a lot of drama, sitcom, reality, discovery, cooking, home, and kids' channels, but does not have local, news, or sports channels.

Meanwhile, DIRECTV stream is one of the most expensive streaming services and is the most like cable. It has four plans, with its basic package -- Entertainment -- starting at $70/mo. for more than 65 channels. DIRECTV offers a 20-hour cloud DVR that can be upgraded to unlimited storage for an additional $10/mo. 

In addition, DIRECTV Stream's three other packages -- which include Choice, with more than 90 channels, for $90/mo.; Ultimate, with 130-plus channels, for $105/mo.; and its top-of-the-line package, Premier, with more than 140 channels, for $150/mo. The Premier package has every channel DIRECTV Stream offers, including the premium networks, such as HBO Max, Showtime, and more.

When choosing between Philo vs. DIRECTV Stream, you'll want to consider your budget compared to the channels that are included in the packages.

User experience

Philo

The only way to watch local channels with Philo is to get an HD antenna as the service doesn't come with your local networks. In addition, you can't download shows from Philo to watch offline, but you can have three simultaneous streams. You can watch Philo on most devices, including:

  • iPhones and iPads

  • Apple TV

  • Android phones and tablets

  • Android TV/Google TV

  • Roku

  • Amazon Fire TV

  • Chromecast

Meanwhile, the service is not available on popular gaming consoles like Nintendo, Playstation, or Xbox.

DIRECTV Stream

Unlike Philo, with DIRECTV Stream, you get access to your local channels like ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and PBS, and can also download content to watch offline. DIRECTV Stream allows you to stream to three devices simultaneously when away from home, as well as up to a whopping 20 screens at the same time in your home network. You can use DIRECTV Stream's player or your own device, including:

  • Amazon Fire TV

  • Apple TV

  • Android phones, tablets, and TV/Google TV

  • Chromecast

  • iPhones and iPads

  • Microsoft Edge

  • Apple Safari

  • Google Chrome

  • Mozilla Firefox

  • Roku

  • Samsung TVs

And like Philo, DIRECTV Stream is not available on Xbox, Playstation, or Nintendo.

Personalization

Philo

Philo offers more user profiles (up to 10) than most other streaming providers. This makes it easy for each family member to personalize their experience and get show recommendations based on their own specific viewing habits. Philo doesn't offer parental controls, but each user profile has its own credentials -- which can keep kids from signing into their parents' accounts.

DIRECTV Stream

With only two user profiles available, DIRECTV Stream makes it harder to personalize the viewing experience for your family. However, it does offer parental controls so you can restrict access to channels through the use of a four-digit PIN.

Extras

Philo

Philo offers seven channel add-ons to choose from:

  • Starz -- $9/mo.

  • Epix -- $6/mo.

  • Cinémoi -- $3/mo.

  • HDNet Movies -- $3/mo.

  • MGM HD -- $3/mo.

  • Reelz -- $3/mo.

  • Sony Movies -- $3/mo.

DIRECTV Stream

With DIRECTV Stream, you can add both services and channels:

  • Unlimited cloud DVR -- $10/mo.

  • HBO Max -- $15/mo.

  • Cinemax -- $11/mo.

  • Showtime -- $11/mo.

  • Starz -- $11/mo.

  • Epix -- $6/mo.

  • Movies Extra Pack -- $7/mo. -- 10 additional movie channels -- AMC+, Hallmark Movies Now, Lifetime Movie Club, A&E Crime Central, History Vault, Pantaya, UP Faith & Family, and more.

  • Deportes -- $5/mo. -- four additional Spanish-language sports channels, including Univision Deportes, ESPN Deportes, Fox Deportes, and more.

  • Espanol -- $15/mo. -- eight additional Spanish-language entertainment and sports channels, including the four channels in the Deportes package above, along with Univision, Discovery Channel en Espanol, Cinelatino, and more

  • Korean -- $30/mo. -- 11 additional channels, including SBS, MBC, KBS World, EBS, and more

  • Vietnamese -- $20/mo. -- nine additional channels, including SBTN, Vietface TV, VGN, VIETV, and more

  • Brazilian -- $30/mo. -- two additional channels, TV Globo and SporTV

Individual channel add-ons include:

  • AMC+ -- $7/mo.

  • LGBTQ TV -- $7/mo.

  • Hallmark Movies Now -- $6/mo.

  • Pantaya -- $6/mo.

  • UP Faith & Family -- $6/mo.

  • A&E Crime Central -- $5/mo.

  • DOGTV -- $5/mo.

  • History Vault -- $5/mo.

  • Lifetime Movie Club -- $4/mo.

While unlimited DVR comes standard with Philo, it's an additional $10/mo. with DIRECTV Stream. Epix and Starz are available from both services, but only DIRECTV Stream offers HBO Max and Showtime.

Disadvantages

Philo

Unlike more expensive streaming services Philo does not offer local channels. It also does not have news or sports channels, while the other drawbacks are the lack of parental controls and being unable to download content to watch later offline. Read our Philo review to get more details around more pros and cons of the streaming service.

DIRECTV Stream

The biggest drawback to DIRECTV Stream is its price. Its basic package is $70/mo., making it one of the most expensive live streaming services. By only allowing two user profiles, it's harder for families to personalize their viewing lists. In addition, the inclusion of only a 20-hour cloud DVR is considerably small compared to other services.

Our final take

While there are pros and cons to each service, when comparing Philo vs. DIRECTV Stream, the two main factors to consider are your budget and the channels you want. For wallet-conscious viewers, it's hard to beat Philo's $25/mo. price. However, if you're looking for local channels, along with news and sports channels, DIRECTV Stream is the way to go.

Philo offers a seven-day free trial and while DIRECTV Stream does not offer a free trial, you can cancel it at any time.