How to watch the Discovery Channel(s) without cable

You Can Watch Discovery Channels (Discovery, HGTV, Food Network, etc) without a Cable Subscription

There are a lot of fans of the popular cable channels Animal Planet, Discovery, and HGTV. In fact, the Discovery Networks’ 20 U.S. channels are the most popular channels on cable for unscripted content, excluding sports. Unfortunately, you can’t get them over the air with an antenna, but you can stream Shark Week and your favorite episodes of Deadliest Catch. Live and on-demand access is easy with skinny bundle streaming services and the DiscoveryGO app. You can also enjoy the Discovery Channel without cable on your computer or laptop’s web browser. Here’s what you need to know.

With an App

Viewers can watch live and on-demand content on the DiscoveryGO app. It’s available to those with pay TV authentication or with a subscription. Viewers can access a selection of episodes and a Discovery Channel livestream after signing in with the username and password used for your streaming provider.

Discovery channels have a whole fleet of TV everywhere apps for their channels. Like DiscoveryGO, they’re named with the channel + GO. Check out the AnimalPlanetGO, TLCGO, SCIGO and Investigation DiscoveryGO apps. HGTV and Food Network apps are also available.


Philo’s streaming service is focused on the niche of affordable entertainment, education, and lifestyle programming. What makes this live TV streaming solution unique is the price point and channel lineup. Philo is the least expensive option on the market for streaming live TV. The service costs $16/month, but you can try it free for a week.

There are more than 40 channels in the lineup including Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Food Network, HGTV, the History Channel, and the DIY channel. The second tier $20/month package unlocks more channels like The Cooking Channel, and Destination America. Your credentials will also activate the DiscoveryGO app, giving you access to live and on-demand programming.

Philo is somewhat limited in its platform support. You can only use Philo on iOS devices, your web browser, Roku devices, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV. Philo doesn’t support Chromecast or have a native Android app. The service also includes an unlimited cloud DVR.

Sling TV

Another streaming option for Discovery Channel’s immersive, inspiring programming is Sling TV. The Blue and Orange packages each cost $25 per month after a three-month introductory rate of $15. The service has the most subscribers in the skinny bundle world, most likely due to the aggressive introductory pricing. There’s no long-term contract nor are there any hidden fees. Sling TV works with all of the most common streaming devices, and the Air TV player allows users to connect a USB key for use as a free DVR.

Sling TV includes access to nine Discovery networks, including Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery (ID), and more. You can choose the channels most important to you in Orange, Blue, and various Extra offerings. The network plans to add Discovery titles to its on-demand library in the future.

Sling Blue subscribers can watch shows like Gold Rush on Discovery Channel, The Little Couple on TLC, and Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda on Investigation Discovery. Subscribers to Sling’s Orange package can watch Wheeler Dealers on MotorTrend, and People Magazine Investigates on Investigation Discovery. The Heartland Extra gives viewers access to the American Heroes and Destination America channels for only $5 per month. The same price subscription to the News Extra gives viewers access to the Science Channel.

Hulu + Live TV

The skinny bundle live TV service boasted more than 2 million US subscribers at the end of 2018. Hulu + Live TV includes access to Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC, Investigation Discovery, and more. You can watch more than 4,000 episodes of shows from Discovery channels including Deadliest Catch, Say Yes to the Dress and MythBusters.

Hulu + Live TV works with all of the most common streaming devices, like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV. Viewers can download shows and movies to watch without an internet connection. The service includes a cloud-based DVR with 50 hours of storage and unlimited access to Hulu’s extensive on-demand library for $49.99/month.

Pro tip: Subscribers to Hulu’s regular on-demand service can watch previous seasons of 29 Discovery Channel shows, but won’t have a livestream for new content. If you don’t mind giving up the livestream, you can watch a lot of Discovery channel past episodes for only $5.99/month.


Subscribers of DirecTV Now can watch Discovery Channel and 45+ other channels in the base level package which costs $50 a month. Watch Discovery Channel live or recently aired shows on-demand. All DirecTV Now packages include a DVR with up to 20-hours of cloud storage that expire after 30-days and get automatically deleted. Platform support includes browsers, iOS/Android devices, Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV, but no gaming consoles.

YouTube TV

Just last month YouTube TV became widely available to television markets across the country for $49.99 per month. YouTube TV just closed a deal this month with Discovery channels to add their lineup to the service. They added Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Travel Channel and MotorTrend.

Don’t miss out on shark week

Discovery Channels provide more than 8,000 hours of real-life entertainment each year, and the channels are a fan favorite. Cordcutting has completely transformed the way we watch TV, with a wide variety of options for watching traditional cable networks without a cable subscription. People can now watch shows that used to require an expensive cable subscription on reasonably priced streaming services like Sling TV, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, and DirectTV Now as well as on Hulu and the DiscoveryGO app.

Megan Southard


Article Author

Megan Southard is a writer, mom, technology enthusiast, and movie junkie. She dreads the day her kids have to explain gadgets to her and is old enough to say, "I was the remote for our TV growing up.

Disclaimer: This article may have had additional images, links or data that was added by this site's editor.

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