Philo vs DIRECTV NOW: What You Need to Know (2019)

There are a lot of different live streaming options nowadays – so many that it can become difficult to choose just one! Two very popular options are Philo and DIRECTV NOW. But how do these services stack up? Find out in our Philo vs DIRECTV NOW comparison!

Both of these services are online live streaming platforms that provide alternatives to expensive cable TV. We’ll go over the similarities and differences between Philo vs DIRECTV NOW in the guide below.


Similarities Between DIRECTV NOW and Philo

To start with, what ARE these services – and what kind of features do they share?

  • Both are online live streaming services available over the internet
  • Both let you watch live television from popular channels, without cable
  • Both are contract-free, meaning you can cancel any time
  • Both offer packages of channels of 50+ different networks
  • Both also offer some on-demand content
  • Both work on most devices, like streaming players (Roku, Apple TV) and mobile devices
  • Both are way cheaper than cable or satellite TV, and provide a similar experience

Also, both Philo and DIRECTV NOW offer free trials! So, you can test either out for free.

Since they both have free trials available, you could potentially test out both and do your OWN Philo vs DIRECTV NOW comparison!

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, let’s move on to the specific differences between DIRECTV NOW and Philo.


Philo vs DIRECTV NOW: At a Glance

Philo is a very budget-friendly service (just $20/mo) that focuses on entertainment channels. There are 55+ channels included, most of which are lifestyle/entertainment networks. You won’t find sports, local channels or many news networks on Philo, however. It offers a free 7 day trial.

DIRECTV NOW is a more full-fledged service, but it’s more expensive ($50/mo or more). It offers a wider variety of channels, covering everything from sports to entertainment and news. It offers a free 7 day trial.

So, to sum up –

If you want to save money and get a great selection of entertainment channels, go with Philo. It’s the cheapest option by far, and offers a pretty incredible selection of non-sports networks. See our Philo review for details.

If you want sports or mainstream news channels, go with DIRECTV NOW (or another of the best streaming services). It will cost significantly more, but you’ll get a broader lineup of channels to watch. See our DIRECTV NOW review for details.


DIRECTV NOW vs Philo Pricing

When it comes to the price, DIRECTV NOW and Philo could not be much more different.

Philo has only one plan, a super-affordable $20 per month for 55+ channels.

DIRECTV NOW has many different plans. Their cheapest plan is $50 a month and covers 45+ channels.

DIRECTV NOW has plans spanning all the way up to $135 per month, so you can definitely drop a pretty penny on this service. That said, their larger plans do cover tons of channels, and many plans include premium channels like HBO.

At first glance, it seems like Philo is a much better deal. But then again, these are very different services with a huge difference in channel offerings – so it’s not that simple.


Philo vs DIRECTV NOW Channels

Perhaps the most important part of the Philo vs DIRECTV NOW comparison is taking a close look at the channels offered by both of these services. We’ll start with an overview and then dive deeper into specific categories of channels.

For a full look at the selections, check out our Philo channel list and DIRECTV NOW channel list.

Channel Overview

Philo has just one package, which has 55+ channels ($20/mo) mostly focused on entertainment and lifestyle. It has an excellent selection of this type of channel – but, there’s not much in terms of sports and news.

DIRECTV NOW has 6+ packages, offering from 45 to 100+ channels. Prices range from $50 to $135 a month. It has channels covering everything from news to sports and entertainment.

Entertainment Channels

Entertainment channels

When it comes to entertainment networks, Philo wins out. Philo is almost exclusively focused on entertainment and lifestyle channels, and it offers a very impressive lineup of 55+ of them. And considering it’s only $20 a month, you get a LOT of bang for your buck with this service.

To be fair, DIRECTV NOW offers most of the channels that Philo does – but at a much higher price. To get a similar selection of entertainment networks on DIRECTV NOW, you’d want one of the bigger packages which can easily run $100 a month or more.

Sports Channels

watch sports online

For sports, there’s really no competition – DIRECTV NOW wins. Philo doesn’t actually carry any sports-specific networks, while DIRECTV NOW has many. The base package from DIRECTV NOW covers ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 and others, while larger packages offer everything from FS2 to NBCSN and more. DIRECTV NOW also has local networks like FOX and NBC, which carry lots of sports.

For more information, check out our guide on how to watch sports online.

Local Channels

stream local channels

Local channels are covered fairly well by DIRECTV NOW; networks like CBS, FOX, NBC and others are all offered in most areas. Philo, on the other hand, does not carry local networks at all.

Our guide on how to watch local channels without cable has a lot more information!

News Channels

newsBoth services offer some news channels, but DIRECTV NOW has a better selection. On it you’ll find networks like FOX News and CNN – while Philo only has Cheddar News and BBC World News. So, both services will cover news – but DIRECTV NOW has more mainstream channels.

More info can be found in our article on how to watch news online.

Premium Channels

Premium channels

Premium channels (HBO, Showtime, Cinemax) etc. are another area where DIRECTV NOW shines. HBO is actually included for free in the $50/mo base package, while HBO & Cinemax are included in the $70/mo package. Philo does not offer premium channels.

With that said, most of these channels are available on their own – so there’s nothing stopping you for signing up for Philo and then separately for HBO NOW. This would be a cheaper way to go.

Also note that DIRECTV NOW recently made major changes to their channel packages, so some other sources of information may be out of date.


Device Compatibility

Both of these services will require some sort of device in order to watch.

Philo devices include:

  • Streaming players, including Android TV, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV
  • Mobile devices, including iOS and Android phones/tablets
  • Computers & laptops

DIRECTV NOW devices include:

  • Streaming devices, including Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast
  • Mobile devices, including iOS and Android phones/tablets
  • Computers & laptops
  • Samsung smart TVs

So overall, device compatibility on these two services are fairly similar. Both cover the most popular devices. Philo has Android TV coverage, while DIRECTV NOW has Chromecast & Samsung Smart TVs. Other than that, compatibility is the same.



We’ve covered the channel lineups and the other basics – are there any special features that set these two apart?

DVR Recording

Both services have DVR recording. DIRECTV NOW has 20 hours of storage, and recordings are deleted after 30 days. Philo has unlimited storage, so it wins out in this round.

On-Demand Streaming

Both services have on-demand streaming that’s similar to what you’d get from a cable TV provider. There’s a limited rotating selection of on-demand shows and movies. Selection will vary depending on the channel – but overall, these two services have similar on-demand offerings.

Simultaneous Streaming

Simultaneous streaming refers to the number of devices that can be watching at once on the same login. DIRECTV NOW allows 2 streams, while Philo offers 3.


Which Service is Right for Me?

To wrap up this DIRECTV NOW vs Philo guide, here’s a recap:

Philo is great because it’s super affordable and offers an impressive lineup of entertainment and lifestyle channels. If you want a cheap option, sign up for Philo’s free 7 day trial.

DIRECTV NOW is great because it covers more channels, and a greater variety. If you want sports, news, etc. and are willing to pay for it, sign up for DIRECTV NOW’s free 7 day trial.


Didn’t quite find what you were looking for? Check out our overall comparison of all the best streaming services.