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.
I just tried the 7 day trial and it was OK, but no major sports or news networks and lots of empty holes where the most desirable networks would be. Of course, no locals. I found lots of channels, such as MTV and Nickelodeon, that I would never watch. On the other hand, you do get quite few stations. It’s just not for me.
The integration into the guide would be a plus.
Did you check their line-up before signing up for their service?
I think he wrote that he tried the 7 day trial, probably to demo it.
It seems odd to complain about a service that fully advertises what the service offers. If Charlie needs ESPN, and the service does not offer ESPN, then it’s her fault for signing up for the wrong service.
No one complained… He gave feedback.
He wasn’t complaining, it’s called a review, calm down!
News and sports missing and a very basic DVR you and “Save” a show but its not granular, you cannot choose entire seasons, or early starts late ends etc just simply save individual shows – deal killer? For me yes, but at 20 bucks its a very good deal
Actually I think you’ll find that it works well but you need to change your mindset on the concept of DVR and On-Demand. Philo looks like it blends the two. They record ALL shows at ALL times.. so technically all seasons are already being recorded and are available on-demand. The only difference that I can see between Ondemand and “saved” is that “Saved on-demand” shows allow you to fast forward commercials and non-saved on-demand shows do not.
My wife needs CNN. AT&T Watch TV or Sling TV similarly integrated??
Nope, just PlayStation Vue, Philo, and Pluto TV for now. I imagine more services will be doing it soon.
Not Hulu live? I know it has Alexa control
Right, Hulu Live channels do not appear in the program guide. An app can add Alexa integration without program guide support.
Do you know if LOCAST.org will be integrating LOCAL channels for the cities they provide for?
This is great news. Glad it’s integrated into the Recast guide that’s a good way to augment OTA feeds.
Love it needs a little more tweakingbut it’s great I’d replace a few channels but it’s great.
With the Firestick
Do you need internet?
Did you just ask if you need internet to use a streaming device…
I think so…
It’s a good step,want network tuners intergraded. Right now I’m using sideloaded Live Channels. Like the idea of Philo, but it’s mostly reality TV channels.
Wish they would get it so you can use Chromecast, I don’t like watching from tablet, phone or computer, unless there is something I don’t know about I can’t watch it on TV using Chromecast so I will be cancelling it sighs!!
Integrating with the fire TV guide was my only suggestion to Philo when I tried it for a couple of months. Back to free Pluto tv and basic cable for local stations as my ota reception is spotty. Philo, if your reading comments, get more locals, I’d come back if you did and could under cut basic cable price $40.
What OS level is required to get this? I’m still on original Fire TV 2 code rooted.
Version 126.96.36.199 added the channel guide and “On Now” row.
Version 188.8.131.52 added the “Live TV” settings menu.
I wish they had it for Smart TV.They only have it for ROKU TV.I havea a L G Smart TV and as soon as it becomes available I will get it
Media player platforms, like Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, and Android TV, will almost always get supported before smart TV platforms, like LG and Smasung TVs. You’re better off using something like the Fire TV Stick 4K than the smart TV apps built into your TV. It’s something you’re probably going to have to do inevitably because software support will probably end for your TV at some point.
Ummmmmmm. The TV makers just showed off their 8K sets at CES in January. I don’t think there is a single retailer on the planet that has them for sale yet. And even if you choose to spend the insane amount of money right now for one of those sets, there is pretty much zero content available in 8K. Furthermore, there is no streaming device or blu ray player on the planet that supports 8K resolution. So what exactly is this pixie dust you are trying to peddle????
MyWiFi tv is the best 20$ a month and get 7,800+ channel
Awesome news. I’ve never heard of Philo TV until just now after reading your blog post