Philo, one of the most affordable streaming TV services thanks to their $16/mo 44 Channel plan, has just updated their Fire TV app to integrate into the Fire TV’s default program guide and home screen. This means that all of Philo’s channels can now show up in the “On now” row on the home screen, in the “Recent” row when viewed, and in the channel guide along side other content sources, such as over-the-air channels from a Fire TV Recast or the built-in tuner of a Fire TV Edition television.
First reported by CordCuttersNews, the new capability was spotted by a user on Reddit and confirmed by Philo via Twitter. Having Philo subscription channels appear in the Fire TV’s default live channel interface provides a nice level of convenience because multiple content sources can be viewed together in one location. For example, local channels through a Fire TV Recast, premium channels like HBO or Showtime through a Prime Video Channel subscription, free streaming channels from Pluto TV, and cable networks through Philo can all be listed side-by-side in a single interface.
The addition of live TV integration on the Fire TV means that Philo channels can now be requested using Alexa. Saying “Alexa, tune to [channel name]” into the Fire TV voice remote, hands-free to a paired Echo, or hands-free to a Fire TV Cube, will bring up the Philo channel requested. Of course, the Philo app still works the same way as it always has, so you can still use it directly to view channels if you prefer. You’ll still need to use the Philo app to save programs through Philo’s DVR service, since the Fire TV program guide does not yet allow you to record content through 3rd-parties. Recording from the Fire TV program guide is currently only supported for Fire TV Recast channels.
PlayStation Vue was the first streaming TV subscription service to integrate into the Fire TV’s live channel interfaces. Those interfaces, which include a channel guide and home screen “On Now” row, debuted with the first generation Fire TV Edition television as the primary way to access channels through the TV’s built-in OTA tuner. Prime Video Channels that offer live feeds integrated into the live TV interfaces shortly after the Fire TV Edition televisions hit the market. Pluto TV was the first free service to integrate into the Fire TV’s live TV interface, first bringing their 12 news channels and later expanding to include several other channels. Now Philo is the latest service to adopt Amazon’s unifying interface for live content and we’ll likely see more services add support in the near future.
To add or remove channels from the Fire TV’s default program guide, including Philo channels, visit the “Live TV” area of the Fire TV’s Settings section. From there you can choose to hide specific channels from specific services and mark channels as favorites so that they appear at the top of the channel guide.