John's Musings

Yeah, Me Neither

For Cord Cutters - Philo Shmilo

I'm a cord cutter. I have high speed internet and refuse to pay for the high cost of cable, especially since I don't watch TV much. So years ago I got Netflix, Hulu and an app called Sling which is basically cable TV streamed over high speed internet. Sling is pretty okay however they just recently dumped their Mac app and now you view Sling through Chrome browser. That in itself is okay but I liked the app however it had a propensity to crash a lot whether it was on Mac, or IOS on the iPad.

I do like that Sling also has an app on Apple TV. So for better or worse I've been a Sling user for several years and fairly happy. To be honest though I only watch a few TV shows. And those shows are on A&E, Discovery, History and Travel and sometimes I catch myself watching Nat Geo. That's it. Period. End of story. Here's the kicker. I LOVE the show Gold Rush but Sling dumped Discovery a while back. Philo has it so in reality while Sling has way more content, Philo has the stuff I really want.

So when Philo came along I was really, really happy because number one it has the stuff I want and almost none of the stuff I don't's cheaper. $16 a month. So I gave the 48 hour trial period a spin. And my first impression of it is that YOU MUST complete the 48 hour trial before you can buy it. You can't just sign up. I actually appreciate that because you can't just buy in and then complain about what you don't like.

Philo works about like Sling does, as far as I'm concerned there isn't a nickels worth of difference. Sling maybe has the more polished program guide though however to save money its not worth the extra money especially if you know the things you want to watch already. Here's Philo's guide below.

Ok. Here's my problem. I have an Apple TV with a Sling app. It's easy to navigate around in but Philo does NOT have an Apple TV app. Rats.

BUT, BUT, BUT......Philo works in a browser and I do have a Mac Mini hooked to the TV via HDMI. Hurray!

Wait, not so fast. The Mac Mini has no keyboard or mouse. I control it remotely from a Mac program called Remote Desktop. It's a VNC program basically. Sooooooo I log into the Mac Mini and open Philo in a browser and hit play on some show and ....................Wait for it................Rats.

It thinks I'm trying to take streaming video and stream it again within a VNC program and it just doesn't want to play. Rat farts.

Now what? Philo has a Roku app. I don't own a Roku..........I do now. $30 later I now have a Roku hooked to the TV. And the Philo app works. Great. But wait........


However, I am undeterred. All this is worth the effort. You can use your iPhone with a Roku app which acts as a remote to use a keyboard so you can easily pull searches in lieu of the missing guide.

Conclusion: While Philo has some limitations and you may need a Roku or Computer hooked directly to your TV unless you view on iPad or iPhone it is worth it due to the lower cost.

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