There are many options for watching Animal Planet without cable. If you’re an animal lover and you’re thinking about cutting the cord, you don’t have to worry about missing Animal Planet shows like River Monsters, Tanked, and Treehouse Masters.
Read on to find out the 8 best options you have for watching Animal Planet live and learn how to watch on-demand episodes of your favorite Animal Planet shows.
Watching Animal Planet Live Without Cable
The best way to watch Animal Planet live without cable is a “skinny bundle.” Skinny bundles such as Sling TV and DirecTV Now allow you to subscribe to a customized set of cable channels for a low monthly fee.
Usually, skinny bundles don’t have as many channels as cable. But they are much cheaper and do not require a long-term service contract or subscription.
Here are your options for watching Animal Planet live on skinny bundle services.
Philo officially launched in early November of last year and offers cord-cutters a low-cost, sports-free alternative to other skinny bundles.
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With Philo, you can get Animal Planet, as well as 40+ other channels including Discovery, DIY Network, History, and the Science channel for just $16/month.
If you’d like, you can add a dozen more channels including Destination America and the Cooking Channel for an additional $4/month fee. Philo recently boosted both channel packages by adding a handful more channels to each, thankfully without raising its prices. This makes it an increasingly good deal for entertainment TV fans.
Most notably, there is absolutely no sports coverage included with Philo, and you won’t get access to local NBC/CBS/NBC/ABC programming. This is one of the main reasons Philo is available at such a low cost.
However, Philo does pack some great features into a low-cost package. You can stream on 3 devices at once, which is better than DirecTV Now, and you get a 30-day DVR for no extra cost. You can save as many shows as you want for 30 days, with no other recording limitations or restrictions.
Another drawback of Philo is that it is currently not supported on most streaming platforms. Since the company is only really a few months old, that’s not too surprising, though. You can stream Philo on iOS and Android devices, as well as some Roku devices and your web browser. Philo is in the process of developing more applications for other streaming platforms.
Philo is the cheapest way to watch Animal Planet live without cable. If you are mainly looking for entertainment channels and don’t care about local or sports coverage, it’s definitely your best choice, especially if you are on a budget.
Give the service a try now on their website. You can sign up with no credit card for a 7-day free trial.
DirecTV Now includes Animal Planet in their lowest-cost, $35/month “Live A Little” package. Live a Little also has a number of other great cable networks such as Discovery, History, TLC, and National Geographic, which are sure to interest cord-cutters who enjoy Animal Planet content.
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For the price, DirecTV offers the best overall package of channels. You get 60+ channels, and this includes sports, news, and entertainment coverage from top networks.
One of the other benefits of DirecTV Now is that DirecTV will give you a “TV Everywhere” login with your subscription. TV Everywhere is a service that lets you log into dozens of apps and websites with your DirecTV Now credentials, and stream live TV and archived episodes.
You can log in to Animal Planet GO with DirecTV Now through TV Everywhere. Currently, TV Everywhere supports 70+ cable channels, so you can use your login for most of the channels you’ll get with DirecTV Now, like AMC, Discovery, FX, and Comedy Central.
However, DirecTV does have some limitations. Currently, you can only stream on 2 devices at once while using the service. This is not great for larger families, or those who plan on sharing their subscription with housemates.
DirecTV Now plans to raise this to 3 simultaneous streams sometime this spring, but has still not made a definitive announcement about when the upgraded service will be released.
You also don’t get any kind of recording functionality with DirecTV Now, unlike the other picks on our list. If you can’t always watch your favorite shows live, this can be a problem.
Though a beta TV recording program is being tested with a limited number of customers and DirecTV plans to launch recording features free of charge, it is unclear when all this will happen.
On a more positive note, DirecTV Now does have solid platform support. You can watch DirecTV Now on Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Chromecast, as well as on mobile iOS and Android devices, and your web browser.
DirecTV Now offers a fantastic selection of cable channels for $35/month.
Though there is no DVR, you can catch up on episodes of your shows both on-demand with DirecTV Now and through the Animal Planet GO app, using your TV Everywhere login.
The 2-device limit may be restrictive for families but is acceptable if you don’t plan on sharing your login information with many people.
See for yourself if you like DirecTV Now by getting started with a free 7-day trial at their website.
PlayStation Vue offers Animal Planet in their cheapest, $44.99/month “Access” package. This makes it the most expensive option on our list for watching Animal Planet live. In terms of pricing vs. channels offered, this puts PlayStation Vue a bit closer to fuboTV, although with fewer channels offered through PS Vue for that price.
If you want, you can upgrade to the 70+ channel “Core” package for an extra $5/month, or shell out $55/month for the 90+ channel “Elite” package.
Even the base-tier $44.99/month subscription offers you a lot for your money, though.
First, you will get a really good lineup of channels. Vue includes top networks such as ESPN, CNN, National Geographic, The Science Channel, and Discovery. PlayStation Vue also includes local ABC/NBC/CBS/FOX stations in most areas. You will get a total of up to 45 channels in the “Access” package, depending on your location.
PlayStation Vue also has the best simultaneous streaming policy of any skinny bundle. You can stream on 5 devices at once own your home Wi-Fi network with PlayStation Vue. This makes it a great choice if you have a large family, and you want to cut the cord. You don’t have to worry about missing your favorite shows because too many people are streaming at once.
The DVR is also great for families. You can save unlimited recordings for up to 28 days, with no hourly limits or show “slot” limits.
You also get good platform support from PlayStation Vue. You can watch Vue on mobile devices that use iOS or Android, as well as on your web browser. TV streaming platforms supported include the Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Apple TV. You can also use your PlayStation 3 or 4 console to stream PlayStation Vue.
PlayStation Vue combines a good channel lineup, a best-in-class streaming policy, and a good DVR into a single package.
Despite its $40/month price tag, it’s absolutely the best choice for larger families who are cutting the cord. Try it out for yourself with a free 5-day trial at PlayStation Vue.
Streaming Animal Planet Shows On-Demand Without Cable
Not ready to shell out for a monthly subscription to a skinny bundle, and get live Animal Planet coverage? No problem. Here are a few ways you can stream Animal Planet on-demand without cable.
You won’t find every Animal Planet show on Hulu, but the streaming service does offer quite a few of the most popular shows. For just $8/month for a basic Hulu membership, that’s not a bad deal.
Right now, Hulu has the following Animal Planet shows:
- River Monsters
- Wild West Alaska
- Curse Of The Frozen Gold
- Life After: Chernobyl
With your Hulu subscription, you’ll also be able to watch a lot of content from Discovery, which will likely interest you if you’re an animal lover. Hulu has full archives of more than 2 dozen Discovery shows like Deadliest Catch and Man Vs. Wild with Bear Grylls.
The official Animal Planet website offers a few select, free episodes on-demand of shows like Treehouse Masters and The Vet Life, though the lineup is always changing.
You won’t be able to access the full archive of content or watch live TV unless you have a cable login or TV Everywhere credentials from DirecTV Now.
It’s free, though, and you can also watch clips, trailers, and special online-only content without a cable login.
The Animal Planet GO app offers the same basic functionality as the Animal Planet website, and has a similar lineup of content. With a cable login or TV Everywhere credentials, you can unlock all of the content on Animal Planet GO.
If you don’t have a login, you can watch a few unlocked episodes of shows, as well as web-only content and clips. The app is streamlined and easy to use, and available on quite a few platforms including:
- Apple TV
- Amazon Fire TV
Interestingly, streaming Animal Planet GO, or content from Animalplanet.com with your DirecTV Now login will not count towards your simultaneous streaming limit.
For example, your kids could be watching 2 different channels on DirecTV Now, but you could still watch Animal Planet on the app or the website with no restrictions.
This bypass for simultaneous streams also applies to other streaming services. So if you decide to go with Philo or PlayStation Vue, you can stream Animal Planet live on the mobile app without restrictions.
Animal Planet has a lot of YouTube videos, and more than 2.3 million subscribers. Mostly, you’ll find clips from full episodes of Animal Planet shows like Treehouse Masters and Mission Adoptable.
You can also watch some highlight videos from past shows, and some web-exclusive content. There’s enough content to keep you entertained for quite a while, and all at the low, low price of $0.
Amazon Prime Video has a pretty good selection of Animal Planet shows, free for no cost with an Amazon Prime subscription.
With an Amazon Prime subscription ($99 per year or $13/month), you will be able to watch some of the most popular Animal Planet shows. Currently, Amazon Prime Video includes:
- I Shouldn’t Be Alive
- It’s Me Or The Dog
- River Monsters
- Confessions: Animal Hoarding
- Fatal Attractions
- Gator Boys
You also have the option of buying individual episodes or full seasons of shows that are not included with your Prime subscription. Episodes usually cost $3 apiece, but you can save by purchasing entire seasons, which usually cost about $20.
Shows available for purchase include:
- Finding Bigfoot
- Lone Star Law
- The Last Alaskans
- Pit Bulls & Parolees
- Treehouse Masters
- Too Cute!
- Dude, You’re Screwed
- Last American Cowboy
- Call of the Wildman
This is just a partial list. You can head to Amazon now to see the full lineup of options.
The Best Way to Watch Animal Planet Live Without Cable – Our Verdict
Best on a budget
Philo is the unquestionable winner in this category. For $16/month, you get Animal Planet and some other great channels, as well as a DVR and a 3-device simultaneous streaming policy.
You’ll miss out on sports and some essential cable channels, but if you’re on a budget, there is no better choice.
DirecTV Now is the best pick here. For $35/month, you get a fantastic selection of channels. While you don’t get a DVR, you can usually watch past episodes of your favorite shows on-demand with DirecTV Now.
You can also watch past episodes on Animalplanet.com or the Animal Planet GO app with your TV Everywhere credentials.
The 2-device streaming limit is a bit disappointing but manageable, especially since you can still stream on the Animal Planet app or website without using up one of your simultaneous streams.
The family-friendly option
If you are cutting the cord and you have a large family, PlayStation Vue is your best choice. For $40/month, you get a good selection of channels, an unbeatable 5-device simultaneous streaming policy, and a 28-day unlimited DVR.
PlayStation Vue is expensive, but worth it if you don’t want to worry about simultaneous streaming limits.