We are going to be on TV!
But… we’ve been full time travelers for over 13 years now, and “cord cutters” even before then.
Just what IS this TV thing?!
A lot of RVers have also long ago given up on traditional cable TV. If you are on the road for much of the year, old school cable just doesn’t make sense.
So then – how can people who ARE actually RVers watch a show about their lifestyle that is being broadcast on a cable network?
Never fear – watching may be easier than you think!
As we’ll be wanting to watch this ourselves – we’ve been researching the options for this old school technology. In this post we’ll share how you can watch the show when it premieres live, and also how you can watch it later at your leisure if you aren’t eager to wake up early.
If all you want to do is catch the premiere live – you can do it with just a few clicks of a mouse, without even needing to set up an account or provide a credit card.
So if you want it quick and easy, skip down to Philo.
But there are plenty of other options to dive in to as well, and some of them might fit your needs even better…
Old School Cable & Satellite TV
Some RV parks have cable hookups, and some of those even carry the Discovery Channel.
So if you happen to be stopped someplace with cable available – you might be all set.
Keep in mind that an over-the-air antenna only works for local stations, not cable channels like Discovery.
Satellite TV is usually a better option for RVers wanting traditional broadcast content regularly in their travels.
Dish Network includes the Discovery Channel in every (current) channel lineup, as does DirecTV in all of its (current) satellite packages as well. Edit: We are receiving reports that the show is slotted for 3am on Channel 278 on DirecTV in some markets.
But if you don’t already have mobile satellite TV, it probably isn’t an option worth pursuing just for watching this one show.
This is 2019, not 1999. Isn’t there an app for that?
Discovery Go: The Discovery Channel App
Indeed – there IS an app from the Discovery Channel – called Discovery Go.
The Discovery Go app actually lets you stream Discovery Channel live, and access most past episodes of all shows on demand.
However, the app doesn’t have a schedule of future shows – so you won’t find ‘The RVers’ there until it premieres.
It is a really nifty app – available for iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, FireTV, and more. You can even watch Discovery Go via a web browser on any modern computer.
But there is a catch – as an old-school cable TV network, Discovery contractually can not bypass the TV providers that have paid for rights to carry Discovery Channel.
So to get full features and live streaming from the Discovery Go app, you actually need to log into a qualifying TV provider first – meaning typically having a satellite or cable account of some sort is still required.
If you have access to a shared account via friends or family, you might be good.
If not, there are even better options for live TV over the internet.
And accounts from some of these internet TV providers actually work to unlock the Discovery Go app too!
NOTE: The Discovery Go app does not list upcoming shows, so you will not be able to search for ‘The RVers’ until after the show has aired. But the app does make it easy to watch Discovery live, and to replay episodes that have already aired live.
Streaming TV – Quick & Easy?
Many streaming TV services have set out to recreate the cable TV experience of watching channels “live” – with no cable required.
Unfortunately – this usually means confusing and complicated bundles, cryptic pricing, and often geo-locks to prevent you from watching “local” channels or certain sporting events outside of the designated authorized area.
It can be a headache indeed – but there are plenty of options out there, and most (but not all!) include the Discovery Channel live feed, and often unlock access to the Discovery Go app too.
Here are a few of the more popular options:
- YouTube TV – YouTube’s live offering costs $50/mo, and includes Discovery.
- Hulu Live TV – The $45/mo Hulu Live TV service (which is different than regular on-demand Hulu) includes Discovery Channel, and access to Discovery Go too. But Hulu Live warns of issues working over cellular mobile hotspots, so be on guard that you might run into issues while mobile.
- Sling TV – The most basic “Sling Blue” TV bundle costs just $25/mo, and includes Discovery. You can customize your Sling TV by subscribing to various other add-on bundles too for a greater variety of channels.
- fuboTV – A $55/mo subscription to fuboTV includes Discovery Channel, and also a lot of sports channels. You can add on even more channel bundles too.
- PlayStation Vue – Sony’s PlayStation Vue was one of the early leaders in streaming TV, but it never caught on (perhaps because people thought a PlayStation was required?) and now Sony has announced service will be shutting down in 2020. But if you happen to already have Vue, it DOES carry Discovery!
- AT&T TV Now – Formerly DirecTV Now, AT&T has DROPPED Discovery and related channels due to a contract dispute last spring. But if you have a grandfathered in package, it may still be available to you.
- AT&T Watch TV – AT&T’s other budget live streaming service costs just $15/mo, is free for some AT&T subscribers (but the new plans no longer offer this perk), and Watch TV DOES include Discovery. If you watch via the app over AT&T cellular, the data is not counted against your monthly usage. Rumors abound that AT&T will soon stop signing up new customers, and will be shutting down Watch TV in 2020. But until Watch TV shuts down, this is actually the cheapest way to get Discovery on the go.
The good thing about these services is that they typically offer free trials or discounted first months, and it is easy enough to try several of them to decide which streaming service works best for you since they all have vastly different features, user interfaces, compatible devices, and different levels of mobile friendliness.
But if you want to keep it simple, cheap, and easy – we found Philo.
Philo TV – $20/mo With Free Trial, Simple Signup & No Hassles
Live sports and “local” network TV costs a lot to get the legal rights to broadcast – and this is why so many of the streaming TV services have bundle prices often no better than satellite or cable.
But what if you could care less about sports and local channels?
This is the direction Philo TV has gone – offering nearly 60 of the biggest traditional cable channels for just $20/mo.
TIP: Use the referral link above, or the code “RZFMSWGR” and you will get $5 off your first Philo bill, and we will get a credit too.
Philo includes the likes of Discovery, Comedy Central, AMC, MTV, HGTV, Nickelodeon, BBC America, and more. But Philo does not feature any high priced sports channels or local networks.
Best of all – it is incredibly easy to sign up for Philo.
You just enter your phone number on the Philo webpage, they text you a link, you click it, and you are streaming instantly with a seven day free trial – without ever having given up a credit card or even sharing your name!
If you like Philo, you can add a credit card later and keep service going for $20/mo with no ongoing obligations.
The Philo app is pretty great too – with an easy ability to navigate channels, and access past episodes of most shows on demand. You also get unlimited DVR recording capability (recordings expire after 30 days), and you can skip commercials while watching recordings.
You can watch on iOS devices, Apple TV, Android, Roku, FireTV, and via a web browser – and up to three people may be streaming from a Philo account at once too!
TIP: There is one downside of the Philo app on iPhones we discovered – HDMI output is broken! This means you can’t plug in to a larger screen from your smartphone.
Philo support posted two years ago on Twitter that this feature was “on our list” to fix, but it still isn’t functional as of today.
Interestingly – we had no problem with HDMI output from an iPad Pro over USB-C.
Also – Having a Philo account unlocks the Discovery Go app (discussed above) which works great over HDMI out – in case you want to watch The RVers on a big screen without using hotspot data.
More Tips For Streaming ‘The RVers’
We have a gigantic guide detailing everything you might need to know about streaming TV over mobile internet over at the Mobile Internet Resource Center (our ‘day job’):
But here are a few quick tips to get you started….
Tip #1: Live, DVR, or On Demand
Now that you have options on where to watch ‘The RVers’ – you do have a bit of control around when you watch. It is smart to know the options offered up by your TV provider.
- Live – Discovery has an east coast and west coast feed, and the RVers will be broadcast on Sunday mornings at 8AM Eastern or Pacific – depending on which half of the country you are in. Breakfast entertainment! If you wake up late, some streaming apps have a “Catch Up” or “Start Over” feature that lets you jump back to the beginning of a live show in progress.
- DVR – Some satellite TV services offer physical DVRs that record shows for you to watch at your leisure, and some streaming providers have begun to offer “Cloud DVR” features (sometimes at extra monthly cost) that let you mark shows you want to record in the cloud the same way – though there may be limits on how much you can record or how long the recordings stick around. The catch with a Cloud DVR is that you still need to be online to watch your recordings, but at least most DVR’s will let you skip over commercials while watching a recording!
- On Demand – A lot of shows are available on demand after they air live. Some are available immediately, and some become available the next day.
TIP #2: What About My Cellular Data Plan!?!?!
Streaming video, especially in HD, can burn through a data plan in no time. And using campground Wi-Fi can be quite hit or miss for providing enough bandwidth for a quality streaming experience.
Fortunately, most smartphone plans are “unlimited” now – and as long as you watch on your phone itself you can stream all you want without worry.
It is only when you use mobile hotspot data to stream to a device like a Roku, Apple TV or a Smart TV that your data plan’s hotspot cap diminishes.
So if you don’t have a truly unlimited hotspot plan (and there ARE options – see our guide to the Current Best Data Plans)- you might be stuck watching on a small screen.
Or … just hook your phone up to a big screen via an HDMI out adapter cable (such as Apple’s Lightning Digital AV Adapter), and watch on the big screen easily without tapping into any hotspot data!
We cover all the tips and tricks around how to best do this in our guide, so I won’t repeat them here:
Beyond the Discovery Channel – AppleTV, Amazon, Google Play & PBS Too!
The RVers is first premiering on the Discovery Channel – but it is also headed to AppleTV, Amazon, Google Play and it will be on various local PBS channels in 2020 (you’ll need to check local listings, as each has their own schedule).
It’ll also be showing in Canada on the Wild Pursuit Network, and FourPoints Production is working on the broadcast logistics for airing around the world too – so stay tuned for that.
Here’s the launch schedule:
And here’s a secret – because those other outlets are not funded by TV commercials, every episode of The RVers shown in these locations will be ad-free, and will feature an extra segment each episode that needed to be trimmed away for Discovery’s & Wild’s commercial format.
AND… the first episode will be free to download from AppleTV on November 18th, so watch the premiere and then download it for a replay and bonus content!
To watch The RVers on your device, use this handy link – once the various formats are live, it’ll auto link to them based on your device’s compatibility – AppleTV, Amazon or Google Play (until then, it goes to the trailer):
You can also get updates about the show in these locations:
Watch Parties Too?
RVillage (the free social network for RVers) features prominently in the first episode of The RVers – and yours truly are honored to be the hosts of that segment interviewing founder & friend Curtis Coleman.
RVillage is encouraging RVillagers to host breakfast watch parties (go set one up!) for the premiere.
We are aiming to join our friends & co-hosts Peter & John of the The RV Geeks at the watch party in Fredericksburg, TX that has become part of the The RV Entrepreneur Meetup weekend hosted by Heath & Alyssa.
Which means we’ll all be up by 7AM local time – breakfast tacos anyone?
The Texas crew is also planning a virtual drop in on the Palm Springs Watch Party hosted by friends Marc & Julie of RV Love, where our other co-hosts Tom & Cait of Mortons on the Move will be watching from.
If you are in either vicinity, come join us – or find or host a Watch Party on RVillage!
Here’s a video version with the content of this post, plus a BONUS interview with producer Anthony Nalli with some exclusive scoops on the show!