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Discovery Plus Review 2021

With 55,000 hours of shows from TLC, HGTV, Food Network, and more, Discovery+ gives you almost everything. Almost.

Price: $4.99–$6.99/mo

Standout Features: Low pricing, 55,000+ hours of content

What is Discovery+?

Discovery+ is a new streaming service hosting over 55,000 hours of classic and exclusive content from the Discovery collective of cable TV channels. Besides Discovery Channel, those include (deep breath) HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery (ID), Animal Planet, OWN, A&E, Lifetime, History, Travel Channel, and Science Channel.

Is Discovery+ good?

At first glance, Discovery+ looks like a cable killer: “90 Day Fiancé, Property Brothers, Home Town, and more all on one service for under $10 a month? Consider that cord Chopped!” But, like a widower’s alibi on Fatal Vows, Discovery+ seems too good to be true. . . (dun-dun!) because it is.

While it does have enough background reality TV to fold your laundry to for days, most of the Discovery+ catalog is previously aired content. The latest episodes and seasons of your favorite shows aren’t on Discovery+; they’re still on cable. Discovery+ doesn’t do next-day cable-to-streaming drops as you might expect. You’ll have to wait for the season to conclude, and maybe months after that.

Also, several of those beloved series aren’t even on Discovery+—more on that later.

But Discovery+ does have several exclusive shows to reel in fans of the Discovery Cinematic Universe, including three new 90 Day Fiancé spinoffs, and the monthly subscription rate ($4.99 with ads; $6.99 without ads) won’t eat much out of your deconstructed crudité budget.

Discovery+ pros and cons

Pros

  • Low pricing
  • 55,000+ hours of content

Cons

  • No latest seasons of hit shows
  • Several popular shows missing

Discovery+ free trials and deals

Discovery+ offers a seven-day free trial to sample the service.

Verizon Unlimited mobile customers, new and current, are eligible for a free year of Discovery+.

Discovery+ plans and pricing

Price Streams Video Details
$4.99/mo. 4 1080p, 4K View plans
$6.99/mo. 4 1080p, 4K View plans

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

While viewing Discovery+, we counted an average of three short blocks of ads per hour-long episode—not too annoying, and less than what you get with cable or satellite TV. But, if your tolerance for commercials is lower than Guy Fieri’s cargo shorts, spend the extra $2 on the Ad-Free plan.

Discovery+ vs. the competition

Price Editorial rating Streams Video Compatible devices Details
$4.99–$6.99/mo. 4.00/5 4 1080p, 4K 12+ View plans
$8.99–$15.99/mo. 4.33/5 1–4 1080p, 4K 14+ View plans
$5.99–11.99/mo. 4.22/5 2 1080p, 4K 13+ View plans
$8.99–$12.99/mo. 4.19/5 3 1080p, 4K 13+ View plans
$7.99/mo. 4.61/5 4 1080p, 4K 13+ View plans
$14.99/mo. 4.5/5 3 1080p, 4K 10+ View plans
$4.99/mo. 3.93/5 6 1080p, 4K 7+ View plans
$5.99–$9.99/mo. 4.07/5 2 1080p 12+ View plans
Free–$9.99/mo. 4.33/5 3 1080p, 4K 12+ View plans

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Discovery+ skews lower on the price scale than most other on-demand streaming services, and it’s also one of the few to offer a cheaper, ad-supported tier (along with Hulu, Paramount+, and Peacock). Even one of those House Hunters couples who can’t properly valuate a penthouse loft in the boho district could probably budget for a Discovery+ subscription.

Shows on Discovery+

Discovery+ on-demand shows

The Discovery+ library includes past seasons of over 2,500 shows from Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery (ID), Animal Planet, OWN, Travel Channel, and Science Channel. Outside of Discovery’s networks, there’s also licensed content from A&E, Lifetime, History, and animal-centric digital media brand The Dodo.

With all those shows, it’s easy to miss some crucial holes in the Discovery+ lineup. Discovery networks hits 90 Day Fiancé, Property Brothers, House Hunters, House Hunters International, Chopped, Chopped Jr., Deadliest Catch, Say Yes to the Dress, Naked and Afraid, Gold Rush, Street Outlaws, Fixer Upper, and MythBusters are all currently exclusive to Hulu and absent from Discovery+.

Until the Hulu deal expires, some of these glaring omissions will be available on Discovery+ through “channels,” 24/7 loops similar to those found on Pluto TV and Peacock. Downside: You can’t choose episodes. Upside: No need to think, just let the episodes flow (which is what most of these shows are best for, really).

Also, Discovery+ has plenty of spinoffs featuring your favorite Discovery networks stars. Hint: they’re usually the ones with a colon in the title.

Shows on Discovery+ (partial list):

  • Dr. Pimple Popper
  • Property Brothers: Forever Home
  • Ghost Adventures
  • Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives
  • Love It or List It
  • Home Town
  • On the Case with Paula Zahn
  • Celebrity IOU
  • Iron Chef
  • Food Star: Kids
  • Worst Cooks in America
  • Chopped Challenge: At Home
  • Fixer Upper: Welcome Home
  • Buddy vs. Duff
  • Beat Bobby Flay
  • Planet Earth II
  • Say Yes to The Dress: In Sickness and In Health
  • Expedition Unknown
  • Diesel Brothers
  • Dirty Jobs

Discovery+ original shows

Discovery+ launched with several exclusive original series, a mix of spinoffs, talk shows, and new shows from Chip and Joanna Gaines’ soon-to-launch Magnolia Network.

One even addresses the national pastime of mocking House Hunters: Dan Levy (Schitt’s Creek) and Natasha Leggero (Another Period) host House Hunters: Comedians on Couches Unfiltered, bringing those catty internet memes to life.

There are also exclusive new—of course—murder shows (including one starring Investigation Discovery vet Joe Kenda), bolstering Discovery+’s claim of having “the biggest library of true crime content on any streaming service,” and four 90 Day Fiancé spinoffs.

If Discovery+’s main library is the entree, then its originals are the fan-service dessert.

Original shows on Discovery+ (partial list)

  • 90 Days Bares All
  • 90 Day Diaries
  • 90 Day Journey
  • 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way Strikes Back!
  • Amy Schumer Learns to Cook: Uncensored
  • Cakealikes
  • Chopped Challenge
  • Lovely Bites with Chef Lovely
  • Tregaye’s Way in the Kitchen
  • American Detective with Lt. Joe Kenda
  • Onison: In Real Life
  • Frozen in Time
  • House Hunters: Comedians on Couches Unfiltered
  • Home Town: Ben’s Workshop
  • HGTV’s House Party
  • Tarek’s Flip Side
  • Bobby & Giada in Rome
  • Fixer Upper: Welcome Home
  • Tarek’s Flip Side
  • Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines

Combine Discovery+ with another streaming service

Swipe Left to See All →
Philo
$25.00/mo.
Hulu + Live TV
$60.99–$74.99/mo.
HBO Max
$14.99/mo.
Watch current seasons of your favorite shows from TLC, HGTV, Discovery, Travel, ID, and more live for just $25.00 a month.Hulu + Live TV offers over 60 live TV channels and the Hulu catalog of favorite shows and original series in one package.Get everything from HBO, as well as HBO Max Originals like The Flight Attendant and Search Party, for $14.99 a month.
View Philo plans View Hulu plans View HBO Max plans

Discovery+ specs and features

Anyone who’s ever used Discovery networks apps like HGTV Go and TLC Go will notice that Discovery+ is a major step up, both in functionality and aesthetics. It works well and it looks cool—good on Discovery+, because not every company gets an app right even after several tries (right, Prime Video and Disney+?).

Discovery+ number of streams vs. the competition

Service
Discovery+
Netflix
Hulu
Prime Video
Disney+
HBO Max
Apple TV+
CBS All Access
Peacock
Included streams Upgrades Offline downloads
4 None No
1–4 Varies by plan Yes
2 None Yes (Hulu No Ads, $11.99/mo.)
3 None Yes
4 None Yes
3 None Yes
6 None Yes
2 None Yes
3 None Yes

Four streams—not bad, Discovery+. You can also create up to five separate user profiles and choose from nine channel-related avatars (donut, alien, shark, astronaut, classic car, crime scene, hot air balloon, or—yup—sasquatch). This is great for identifying your profile quickly, but Discovery+ doesn’t allow for uploading your own avatar photo like most other services.

Discovery+ doesn’t currently support offline downloads for later viewing, but the company says this is “in the works.” You’ll still need an internet connection to stream Discovery+ content.

Discovery+ supported devices vs. the competition

Device
Amazon Fire Cube
Amazon Fire TV
Amazon Fire TV Stick
Android phones and tablets
Android TV
Apple TV (4th gen.)
Apple TV 4K
Chromecast
Echo Show
iPhone and iPad
LG TVs
Nintendo Switch
NVIDIA SHIELD
PC and Mac Web browsers
PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4
Roku
Roku Express
Samsung TVs
Wii
Xbox 360
Xbox One
Discovery+ Netflix Hulu Prime Video Disney+ HBO Max Apple TV+ CBS All Access Peacock

See how easy that was, Disney+ and HBO Max? Discovery+ is available on all the major streaming platforms right out of the gate. Well, except for PlayStation and Nintendo—sorry, gamers.

Discovery+ video and audio quality

Discovery+ streams at 1080p resolution, with some shows (like Planet Earth) in 4K. Likewise, the audio is standard stereo 2.0 with select content streaming in Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound. You’ll be able to see and hear every spectral movement on Ghost Adventures—or not, depending on your skepticism level.

The Discovery+ home screen features a top menu of topics: “Relationships,” “Food,” “Paranormal & Unexplained,” and more “Home” could be confusing because it refers to house shows, not the home screen. You can also collect your favorites in “My List” for quick access, or browse by network.

Final take: Is Discovery+ worth it?

The lack of heavyweight Discovery hits like 90 Day Fiancé and Property Brothers is almost as hard to overlook as a cracked foundation on a cute bungalow, but Discovery+ still gives a lot for a little. For five or seven bucks a month, 55,000 hours of content ain’t bad (that’s about six years of continuous viewing, BTW).

But if you thought Discovery+ would completely replace your cable or satellite subscription, no such luck. Because of licensing agreements, the latest Discovery networks seasons are still embedded deep in old-school TV; not even Dr. Pimple Popper could extract them.

But, even without the most popular shows and newest seasons, Discovery+ could still be essential to Discovery superfans who want to keep up on the exclusive spinoffs or newbies looking to discover all 55,000 hours of content.

Discovery+ FAQ

What’s included with Discovery+?

With a Discovery+ subscription, you get access to past seasons of shows from the Discovery networks HGTV, Discovery Channel, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery (ID), Animal Planet, OWN, Travel Channel, and Science Channel. You also get licensed content from A&E, Lifetime, History, and The Dodo. You’ll also get over 20 new Discovery+ original series.

What’s not included with Discovery+ are past or current seasons of 90 Day Fiancé, Property Brothers, House Hunters, House Hunters International, Chopped, Chopped Jr., Deadliest Catch, Say Yes to the Dress, Naked and Afraid, Gold Rush, Street Outlaws, Fixer Upper, MythBusters, and some other popular Discovery network shows (they can be found on Hulu).

How much does Discovery+ cost?

Discovery+ has two pricing tiers: an ad-supported $4.99 a month option and an ad-free $6.99 a month version. Both tiers include the same access to Discovery+’s 55,000 hours of content.

How do I get Discovery+ for free?

If you’re a new or current Verizon Unlimited mobile customer, you may be eligible for a free year of Discovery+. You can also try out Discovery+ at no cost for seven days (credit card or PayPal payment info required).

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