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The Science Channel straddles a curious line. On the one hand, it boasts the kind of shows you’d expect from… well, a science channel. It hosts Mythbusters Jr., the STEM-promoting spin-off of the beloved long-running Mythbusters. It’s a show that seeks to feed kids’ interest in science and math—with explosions. The venerable, oddly soothing How It’s Made calls the Science Channel home, as does Tomorrow’s World Today, the sustainability-focused docuseries spun off from the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World. You can catch shows about engineering disasters and skyscraper engineering. The long-running How the Universe Works is a fascinating exploration of the cosmos.
Then, there’s also NASA’s Unexplained Files, a program presumably very much not authorized by NASA, which dives into hard-hitting topics in episodes with titles like “Did Aliens Nuke Mars?” Truly, the Science Channel is a place of contrasts. But if you can overlook (or embrace) the network’s “I’m not saying it’s aliens, but…” shows, there are good things on offer.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch the Science Channel online.
How to watch the Science Channel for free
There are a number of live TV streaming services that offer the Science Channel. So, how do you decide which one is right for you? Well, that depends on your budget, what other channels you just can’t live without, and what device (or devices) you plan on streaming with. We cover all of those essential issues below. But don’t worry: No matter which service you select, you’ll be able to start with a one-week trial, allowing you to watch the Science Channel for free.
1) Sling TV
- Cost: $25-$40 per month (40% off first month)
- Sling TV devices: Amazon Fire TVs, Android Fire Stick, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Xbox One, Google Chromecast, Oculus Go, and iOS and Android devices
- Sling TV local channels: NBC, Fox (check your local availability here)
Dish Network’s foray into over-the-internet live TV is the most popular such service in the U.S. That’s no surprise, given the low barrier to entry it offers for many of the most popular cable networks. For only $25 a month, you can sign up for a tier of Sling TV that will handily compete with any basic cable package. Sling TV offers a slightly dizzying array of options: two distinct packages (Sling Orange and Sling Blue) that you can sign up for separately or together (Sling Orange + Blue, which costs just $40 per month), and add-ons ranging from premium channels like Starz to cloud DVR storage. In the case of the Science Channel, you’ll need (somewhat oddly) the News Extra package, which is $5 a month. Here’s a complete guide to Sling TV channels and our Sling TV review.
- Cost: $16 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- Philo devices: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, iOS and Android devices
- Philo local channels
Philo began in a Harvard dorm room as a makeshift attempt to circumnavigate the Ivy League university’s lack of cable. It’s since grown into just about the best deal in live streaming television—at $16, you won’t find a lower barrier to entry anywhere. Sure, at that bargain price you’re getting a more limited channel selection, with no sports and none of the major news networks. But there are some real heavy-hitters among its over 40 networks, including AMC, BET, MTV, HGTV, Comedy Central, and, of course, the Science Channel. Philo also has a generous DVR policy, so your favorite shows fit on your schedule. You can read more about Philo’s DVR strengths and limitations here. You can check out a complete list of Philo’s channels right here.
- Cost: $44.99-$79.99 per month (after a 7-day free trial)
- PlayStation Vue devices: PlayStation 3 and 4, Roku, Amazon Fire, Google Chromecast, Kodi, iOS and Android devices
- PlayStation Vue local channels: NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS (enter your ZIP code here to check your availability)
PlayStation Vue is Sony’s offering in the crowded live-streaming-TV arena, and with packages that start at $44.99 for over 45 channels, it’s a solid option. You can save shows up to 28 days, and up to five people can share a package. Four tiers—Access, Core, Elite, and Ultra—allow you to pick the package that works for you. The Science Channel comes standard on all PlayStation Vue tiers. And if your God of War machine doubles as your primary media center, PlayStation Vue is the only game in town—no other streaming TV service works on the PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 3. You can see all of the PlayStation Vue channels here, and read more about the PlayStation Vue DVR here.
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Patrick Caldwell is a streaming entertainment reporter. He previously served as a staff music critic at the Austin American-Statesman.