Discovery Inc already owns and operates a ton of popular nonscripted cable TV channels. Now, the company is breaking into the already crowded streaming space with the recent launch of Discovery Plus.
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For fans of shows like 90 Day Fiance, Property Brothers, and more, this service may be heaven-sent. Not only will subscribers be able to watch tens of thousands of TV episodes from the many Discovery cable TV networks, but Discovery Plus will also be the exclusive home to originals, many of which are spin-offs of popular Discovery shows.
In this guide to the new streaming service, we will tell you everything you need to know about Discovery Plus. You can sign up for the service at the link below and receive a 7-day free trial.
What is Discovery Plus?
The new streaming service, (branded officially as “discovery +”) launched on January 4 in the US. It comes from Discovery Inc, the cable TV company that owns and operates a variety of networks that mostly show nonscripted TV series. The streaming service includes shows, both old and more recent, from a number of networks. Those include the Discovery mothership, along with TLC, HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Animal Planet, ID, Trvl Channel, OWN, and more. It also includes shows from non-Discovery Inc cable networks, including A&E, Lifetime, and History. In addition, the services offer many shows from the UK’s BBC network.
While Discovery previously released some of its shows on other streaming services, including Netflix, the company has now decided to become a direct competitor. As of this writing, Discovery says its service has over 2,500 older and recent shows, which total over 55,000 episodes.
Discovery Plus vs Discovery Go
The company still operates its older Discovery Go streaming service. However, it requires an active cable or satellite TV subscription to access, while Discovery Plus does not. Discovery Go will not have any exclusive content that will be available on Discovery Plus either. Finally, Discovery Go includes ads, which can be done away with if you get the $6.99 a month Discovery Plus subscription.
Is Discovery Plus worth it?
If you are a fan of nonscripted TV programming, it’s easy to recommend this service. You can watch home improvement shows, food shows, nature and science programming, and even popular reality series all in one place, with new programming to come.
Discovery Plus is also available from the jump on nearly all the major streaming platforms. Some of its programming is available in 4K streaming resolution as well. The price is also reasonable, from $5 a month for an ad-based subscription to just $7 a month for an ad-free experience.
Where is Discovery Plus available?
At the moment, the service is only available in the US. However, later in 2021, Vodafone will offer the service to its mobile customers in the UK, Germany, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Romania, Portugal, Greece, Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland, and Iceland. It will also make its content available to Vodafone TV customers in those same countries, except the UK and Turkey. The service will launch in other parts of the world later this year as well. It’s expected in the Nordics, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the Latin American markets, and in parts of Asia.
In Europe, Discovery Plus will expand its content to include sports programming via Eurosport. It will include the tennis Grand Slams, cycling Grand Tours, motorsport, football, and winter sports. Also, Discovery Plus will become the streaming service for the Olympic Games in most European markets, starting with the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
How much is Discovery Plus?
Discovery Plus in the US has two subscription tiers. Both offer the same content and features, but the tier that costs $4.99 a month includes ads. You can do away with all commercials if you pay a bit more money. The ad-free tier costs $6.99.
Can I get it for free?
The service comes with a seven-day free trial, which means you can sign up and stream all you want for a week. You can cancel your subscription before the trial period ends and not be charged.
Verizon’s free Discovery Plus offers
If you are or will become a Verizon unlimited wireless customer, you will be able to get Discovery Plus for free for a much longer period. New and current subscribers to Verizon’s Play More Unlimited and Get More Unlimited plans can get 12 months of the ad-free version of Discovery Plus (an $83.88 value). Verizon’s Start Unlimited and Do More Unlimited subscribers will get six months of ad-free Discovery Plus access (a $41.94 value).
What devices does Discovery Plus support?
Unlike the launches of some recent major streaming services like HBO Max and Peacock, Discovery Plus is available on nearly all the major streaming platforms from the start. Here’s a look at what devices and platforms are currently supported.
- Android (smartphones and tablets)
- Android TV (sticks, set-top boxes, and smart TVs)
- Amazon Fire TV (sticks, Fire TV cubs, and smart TVs)
- Apple TV set-top boxes, generation 4 and newer, tvOS 12 and newer
- iPad, 3rd generation and newer, iOS 12 and newer
- iPhone 6 and newer, iOS 12 and newer
- Roku (sticks, set-top boxes, and smart TVs)
- Samsung Smart TVs, model year 2017 and newer
- Xbox One, Xbox Series S, and Xbox Series X game consoles
- Web browsers
- Safari 10 and newer
- Chrome Blink 51 and newer
- Android WebView 70.0.3 operating system and newer
At the moment, there’s no support for LG’s WebOS-based smart TVs, nor for Vizio’s smart TV interface. There’s also no app available for Sony’s Playstation 4 and 5 consoles. Microsoft’s Edge PC browser is not officially supported either.
The Android and iOS apps support Chromecast and Airplay, respectively. That means that Chromecast and Airplay enabled TVs can cast the mobile Discovery Plus apps to their screens.
Once you sign onto the service, you can browse through its selection of shows by a couple of methods. One is to click on which network of shows you want to browse through, like the Discovery Channel, HGTV, A&E, and so on. You can also browse through more general show categories, such as Food, Nature & Animals, and others. If you know exactly which show you want to stream, you can just type it in the search bar.
The service also has My List, which lets you save the shows you want to watch, so you don’t have to hunt for them every time you launch Discovery Plus.
Discovery Plus supports up to five user profiles per account. Each account also supports up to four concurrent streams. Some of the service’s content will be available to stream in 4K resolution for 4K-enabled Amazon Fire TV devices, along with the 4K Apple TV set-top box. More devices will add 4K support in the coming months. The higher resolution content is mostly nature and animal-related programming. You can find that content if you use the search terms “UHD”, “Ultra HD”, and “4K”.
Starting on January 29, the service will add Virtual Channels. These will let you channel surf through 24/7 streams of shows like 90 Day Fiancé, House Hunters, Chopped, Fixer Upper, and others.
At the time of writing, the service does not have any parental controls. Also, Discovery Plus’ mobile apps don’t offer any way to download shows for offline viewing.
Best Discovery Plus TV shows
Let’s get this out of the way. Making a “Best Of” list of shows on Discovery Plus is an almost impossible task. Everyone will have their own ideas of what the best series on the service might be, based on their interests in the subject categories. Having said that, these are just a few of our picks for shows you should check out on Discovery Plus.
- Home Town — The husband and wife team of Erin and Ben Napier fix up old homes in their small town of Laurel, Mississippi.
- Flip or Flop — The couple of Tarek El Moussa and Christina Anstead go through a lot, including a divorce, during the run of this series. However, they stay together to try to make a profit by flipping houses in Orange County, California.
- Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives — Guy Fieri gives us an always entertaining look at great places to eat that most people have never heard of.
- Deadliest Catch — Watch the extremely dangerous act of trying to fish in the wild waters off the coast of Alaska.
- Ghost Adventures — Whether you believe in ghosts or not, it’s always entertaining to watch these paranormal investigators try to find evidence of the supernatural in various locations.
- Planet Earth — The BBC’s extensive mini-series documenting animals in various locations on the planet is a must-watch.
Best exclusive shows
Discovery Plus already has a bunch of exclusive shows that are only available (at least for now) on the service. Here are just a few of them:
- American Detective — Joe Kenda, who you might know from Homicide Hunter, hosts this new series. It takes a look at some true-crime events with lots of twists.
- Ghost Adventures: Cecil Hotel — This Ghost Adventures spin-off has the team checking out the landmark Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles.
- Race Across the World — Teams compete in a global race with one big twist: they have to travel without flying.
- Frozen in Time — The Brady Bunch’s Maureen McCormick teams up with designer Dan Vickery to try to update homes that are stuck decades in the past.
In addition, Discovery Plus is previewing shows from the upcoming Magnolia Network, which will take the place of the DIY Network later this year. This is the network that will center on Fixer Upper’s Chip and Joanna Gaines.
Discovery Plus may have launched recently, but it is entering an already crowded field of streaming services, some of which offer similar programming. Here’s a look at some of the other services that you might want to consider signing up for.
Netflix is the biggest player in the streaming world, with an unbeatable catalog of both original and syndicated content. As we mentioned before, Discovery did have a number of its shows available on Netflix at one time. However, the service has been busy adding its own non-scripted programming. Some of it will likely appeal to Discovery Plus watchers, such as Tiger King, Our Planet, Somebody Feed Phil, and Making a Murderer.
Discovery Plus is a lot cheaper than Netflix, however. Netflix’s cheapest plan, which supports one stream at a time and is SD only, costs $8.99 a month.
This service was actually created by John Hendricks, who previously founded the Discovery Channel cable TV network. As you might imagine, Curiosity Stream has lots of shows and movies that will appeal to Discovery Plus subscribers. We will say that Curiosity Stream is a bit more serious, however. It doesn’t offer much in the way of “reality” shows compared to Discovery Plus.
Read more: Curiosity Stream review
If you are happy with just HD resolution for streaming, the price of Curiosity Stream is also cheaper, at $2.99 a month. However, 4K streaming is a bit more expensive at $9.99 a month.
The Smithsonian Channel content on CBS All Access
The content from The Smithsonian Channel can be accessed via the CBS All Access streaming service. It offers up a ton of great documentary features from the Smithsonian Institution.
Read more: What is CBS All Access?
You can watch all of the Smithsonian Channel shows, along with everything else on CBS All Access, for $5.99 a month with ads, or $9.99 a month without ads.
National Geographic content on Disney Plus
Disney Plus is not only home to Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars. It’s also the place to watch tons of movies and TV series from the National Geographic channel. It even has several exclusive NatGeo series like The World According to Jeff Goldblum, Meet the Chimps, and much more.
Read More: What is Disney Plus?
Disney Plus currently costs just $6.99 a month, but that price will be going up to $7.99 in March 2021.
Q: How many people can stream on Discovery Plus at one time?
A: The service supports up to four concurrent streams per account.
Q: Is Discovery Plus available in 4K?
A: Some content on the service is available in 4K, and can be streamed on compatible Fire TV and Apple TV devices.
Q: Does Discovery Plus have ads?
A: The service offers a $4.99 a month plan with ads, but you can get rid of them by paying for the $6.99 a month plan.
Q: Can you share a Discovery Plus account with friends and family?
A: Yes, Discovery Plus supports up to five user profiles per account.
Q: Does Discovery Plus work offline?
A: Unfortunately, the service’s mobile apps do not currently support downloads of its shows. However, it’s possible that feature could be added later.