How to Watch Discovery Channel Without Cable: Top 4 Options

Discovery Channel

Discovery Channel is a must-have for science and nature enthusiasts. If you want to watch the Discovery channel live without cable, some of the best options to stream this network include TVision, Philo and Sling TV. However, while you do get Discovery channel, there are major and very important differences between the plans you should know, which we discuss below. Keep reading to find out.

Cable TV is not the only way to watch shows and movies from the best networks. If you want to watch Discovery Channel without paying high monthly cable bills, subscribing to a streaming service is increasingly a popular option.

What Channels Come With TVision Vibe

  • $10 a month
  • 30+ Channels
  • No Free Trial

TVision Vibe costs less than T-Mobile’s other TV plan, TVision Live, but you’ll have to dig through the website to access it. It is not shown directly on the service’s homepage. To check out TVision Vibe’s offerings, you have to scroll down and click “Get Started.” After which, you enter your zip code and select the “TVision Vibe” tab.

Only then can you view the service’s low cost and 30+ channel lineup. With Vibe, you gain access to Discovery-owned networks like Animal Planet, TLC, Food Network, HGTV and Discovery. There are also plenty of shows to watch with TVision’s Video-On-Demand library.

A major drawback for some people is there are no sports channels available. Moreover, the service also doesn’t carry any local networks, unlike TVision Live. But if you only care about networks similar to Discovery, you’ll be delighted to learn TVision Vibe mostly has entertainment and educational channels.

TVision Vibe’s low price allows subscribers to get creative. You can couple it with other streaming services or a good antenna to make up for missing content. If you want to know more about streaming services and antennas, we have plenty of articles on our website discussing those topics, here.

You can also add premium networks for an extra cost. The networks are:

  1. STARZ – $8.99/mo
  2. SHOWTIME – $10.99/mo
  3. EPIX – $5.99/mo

Unfortunately, TVision Vibe is only available to T-Mobile and legacy Sprint postpaid customers. It is worth noting, the service is relatively new. Over time, T-Mobile plans to make the service accessible to all, nationwide.

You can access TVision on most streaming devices—iOS, Android, Google TV, Amazon Fire TV and more. Some streaming devices don’t support TVision Vibe like Roku, Samsung TV and web browsers, but this might change as the service grows.

The service allows for one account to have ten user-profiles and two simultaneous streaming.

If you want to record shows, you will have to pay an additional $5 a month for the 100-hour cloud DVR storage. To ensure you get the most out of your favorite shows, you can extend recordings by 5, 10, 30 or 60 minutes.

TVision doesn’t offer any free trials, so you have to sign-up for a month to try it out. But since there are no additional fees or contracts, you can cancel at any time.

Is Discovery Channel On Philo

  • $20 a month
  • 60+ Channels
  • 7-Day Free Trial

Philo costs more than TVision Vibe, but it also comes with 30+ more channels. The service offers a very similar channel lineup featuring entertainment and educational networks like AMC, Food Network, HGTV, Hallmark, TLC, Nickelodeon and Discovery Channel.

However, it doesn’t carry any local stations, major cable news networks and live sports. This might be a problem for those who want Discovery Channel alongside other networks.

Unfortunately, Philo’s customization options are limited. You can purchase premium networks like EPIX ($6/mo) and STARZ($9/mo), but nothing else. Like TVision Vibe, you can fix this by pairing Philo with other streaming services. Doing this means you have to pay more, but it also makes sure you get the content you want.

Thankfully, Philo generously offers unlimited cloud DVR storage. This feature allows you to save and record your favorite shows.

However, there are a few caveats. The service automatically deletes your recordings after 30 days.  You also can’t use DVR on some shows and channels.

Despite these limitations, you can pause, rewind and fast-forward shows and advertisements from your recordings.

Philo also has Video On Demand content. It is not free from advertisements, but the feature lets you watch plenty of past episodes and movies from Philo’s lineup.

Like the DVR function, some shows and channels are not available for on-demand viewing. Fortunately, Philo offers a 72-hour playback feature, so you can catch up on any content you missed.

Philo allows you to stream the service on three screens at the same time. You can enjoy the service on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android V, Apple TV and Google Chromecast. If a family member is streaming Philo on the TV in your living room, you can still access the service through your mobile device or PC.

If you are worried about unauthorized people accessing your account data, it is worth noting Philo uses a secure verification process. Instead of a traditional password, the service requires you to input a six-digit code. The service sends the code to your email address or phone number. This process ensures no one else can open your account other than you.

Philo offers a 7-day free trial. If you are unhappy with the service, you can cancel before the trial expires without paying extra fees.

Is the Discovery Channel On Sling

  • $30 a month
  • 45+ Channels
  • 3-Day Free Trial

Sling TV offers Discovery Channel on Sling Blue.

Sling Blue’s price is the same as TVision Vibe and Philo’s price combined while offering fewer channels in the basic lineup. However, you do get entertainment and educational channels not included in Philo and TVision Vibe.

National Geographic, SyFy and CNN are included in the plan. It also has on-demand TV shows and movies. There is even an option to rent movies—$3.99 to $6.99 per rental.

Unlike TVision Vibe and Philo, Sling Blue is customizable. You can purchase various add-on channels with prices ranging from $5 to $10 a month. For instance, if you want more networks similar to Discovery, you can pay $5 a month for the Heartland Extra. The add-on includes Nat Geo Wild, Pursuit, Sportsman Channel and more.

Alternatively, you can gain access to NFL RedZone, NBA TV, MLB Network and more with the Sports Extra add-on for $10 a month.

There are more extras available. Check below:

Sling Blue ExtrasPriceChannels Offered
Sports Extra$11/MonthNFL Redzone, Big Ten Network, NBA TV, MLB Network, etc
Comedy Extra$6/MonthMTV, Paramount Network, FETV, MTV 2, etc
KIds Extra$6/MonthNickToons, TeenNick, Boomerang, Baby TV, etc
News Extra$6/MonthFox Business Network, CNBC, BBC World News, Law & Crime, etc
Lifestyle Extra$6/MonthVH1, Oxygen, Cooking Channel, DIY Network, etc
Hollywood Extra$6/MonthFXX, FX Movies, REELZ, Heroes & Icons, etc
Heartland Extra$6/MonthNat Geo Wild, World Fishing Network, Pursuit, Sportsman Channel, etc
Sling Blue Extra

For local channels, Sling Blue only gives you access to NBC and Fox-affiliated networks. If you want to get the full complement of channels available in your area, we recommend using a quality antenna for your local TV viewing. Doing so allows you to watch shows from CBS, ABC, PBS, Telemundo and more.

When it comes to cloud DVR, Sling Blue falls short of TVision Vibe and Philo. The service only offers 10 hours of DVR for free. Even if you upgrade this with Cloud DVR Plus for $5 a month, the storage only increases to 50 hours. Some viewers might find this troubling, especially when compared to TVision’s 100 hours and Philo’s unlimited storage.

Sling TV is available on streaming devices like Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, mobile devices, web browsers and even Xbox One. With three simultaneous streams and a long list of compatible devices, there are plenty of options to stream Sling networks.

If you are still unsure about Sling TV, you can check out Sling Free.

Sling Free gives everyone access to some of Sling TV’s content without committing to the service. There are 5,000+ TV shows, movies and pre-programmed content on the service.

There are multiple shows from Discovery-owned networks available on Sling’s free tier. Some notable series included are the full first season of Crikey! It’s the Irwins, ten episodes of Little People, Big World, eight episodes of Man vs. Bear and six episodes of MythBusters Jr.

Even if most of the movies and shows are old and limited, they cover different genres. Most people will find something they can watch on Sling Free.

You can access Sling Free by going to Sling’s website and clicking “Watch Free Now.” The free content is also available on the Sling app—open the app and press “Explore Free Shows.”

After making the most out of Sling Free, you can test drive Sling Blue with its 3-day free trial.

TVision Live

  • $40 a month
  • 30+ Channels (+ TVision Vibe Channels for a limited time)
  • No Free Trial

If you subscribe to TVision Live, you gain access to Vibe’s lineup and 30+ additional channels. Live subscribers can watch Discovery networks alongside top channels like Disney Channel, ESPN, CNN and more. However, this is a limited time offer and is subject to change. It is not clear when the offer expires. But even if the promo ends, TVision Vibe is inexpensive enough for many subscribers to couple it with the Live plan.

TVision Live currently has ABC, NBC and Fox-affiliated networks under its belt. Unfortunately, some areas only have ABC and NBC national broadcasts instead of local ones. 

Additionally, if you are on a trip outside your area, you can’t watch regional sports. If you do, the service sends you a notification— “You’ll be able to watch again when you’re back in the home area”.

The service shares the same premium networks as TVision Vibe.

TVision Live is more expensive than Vibe, but it has improved features. Live subscribers can watch on up to three devices at the same time, as opposed to Vibe’s two simultaneous streams. Furthermore, while Vibe requires a $5-per-month payment to access its 100-hour DVR storage, Live gets it for free.

Like TVision Vibe, you can only get the Live plan by becoming a T-Mobile or legacy Sprint postpaid customer. Once subscribed, you can watch TVision Live networks on many platforms including Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV and mobile devices.

Can I Watch Discovery Channel Online for Free?

Unfortunately, there are no legal ways to watch Discovery Channel online for free. You can try the Discovery Go app, but the content is limited.

The free content on the app revolves mostly around short clips from select episodes. There are full episodes unlocked for free, but those episodes are usually older. To unlock all the episodes available in Discovery Go, you need to sign in with a TV provider.   

After signing in, you can watch Go Exclusives, which are extras not available elsewhere. You also get early access to some episodes before they air on TV.

All content on the app is subject to commercials. Since the app is free, the service needs to sustain itself by streaming with ads.

TVision Vibe PhiloSling BlueTVision Live
Live Channels30+60+45+30+(30+more for a limited time)
On-DemandYesYesYesYes
Streams2333
DVR100 Hours ($5/mth)Unlimited 10 Hours (50 Hours with Cloud DVR Plus)100 Hours
Trial PeriodNo7 Days3 DaysNo
Standard Price $10$20$30$40

Conclusion

There has never been a better time to cut the cord. As the pandemic continues, the lower cost of streaming services allows many to assign the monthly savings to other things.

If you are a T-Mobile or Sprint customer, consider subscribing to TVision Vibe and TVision Live. The two are relatively inexpensive choices, offering Discovery Channel, 100 hours of DVR and more.

Philo doesn’t need other subscriptions for you to sign up. While it is not customizable, the service only costs $20 a month.

Sling Blue is the opposite of Philo. You can customize your streaming experience with extras, but each add-on has a price.

The Discovery Go app allows anyone to watch free content. However, the unlocked shows are mostly limited to short clips and old episodes. 

Each service possesses pros and cons. Regardless of which service you use, you can find one that meets your needs from the streaming options featured above.

Lloyd Rano Opalec

How do you stream Discovery Channel? Have you tried any of the streaming services we mentioned? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments below.

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