Cheap Live TV Service Philo Finally Gets Chromecast Support

Image: Philo
Image: Philo

Philo today announced that Android users can soon cast to their Chromecast-enabled TVs with their phones, a move that the company says was one of its most-requested features.

Philo, the over-the-top service for live TV with premium add-ons, said Friday that the support for Chromecast from Android devices was the first iteration of what it now calls Philo Connect, which the company said will expand to allow users to connect their Philo apps to their TV-watching devices. The feature will roll out in the coming weeks, a spokesperson said.

Editor’s Note: Australian readers will not have access to Philo.

Down the line, Philo Connect will include web, iOS, FireTV, and Roku. Philo’s head of product Devon Ray Williams told Gizmodo that the company is “actively working” on the expanded offering and that Philo hopes to get additional support for more devices by the end of 2020.

Philo Connect is different from the Philo apps currently available on some platforms. Those are full apps, while Connect allows you to cast Philo from your phone to your cast-ready device. There is currently a wide variety of casting options available, for phones, including AirPlay, Miracast, and dedicated protocols for Roku and LG webOS. However, Philo elected to focus specifically on Chromecasting at launch.

“We prioritised Chromecast as the first “Philo Connect” receiver because doing so allows users to watch Philo on a Chromecast for the first time. We already have apps on other platforms, and Chromecast only works with a corresponding Sender app to control playback, so we took that opportunity to add a new platform while expanding the potential for our other app experiences,” Williams told Gizmodo by email.

He added that Philo will continue to support all other platforms that Philo is on concurrently, which includes Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, browser, iOS, Android, and Fire tablets. Philo is “continuing to prioritise Philo Connect on other platforms because it allows users to have a consistent, seamless casting experience,” he said.

Philo currently offers 61 channels for $US20 ($28) per month, making it one of the cheapest options for live TV on the market. It’s not the service for sports lovers (that’s FuboTV) and doesn’t have a ton of customisation that comes with say, Sling TV, but it does offer add-ons for Epix and Starz for $US6 ($8) and $US9 ($13) per month, respectively, after 7-day free trials.

Updated to clarify the feature is forthcoming.