Where’s My Star Trek? How to Watch ‘Star Trek: Discovery’

If you are a die-hard “Trek Geek” then you probably already know all of the details about how to watch Star Trek: Discovery (the latest Star Trek series) and how to continue watching the series. But for the rest of you, there is a little bit of explanation required.

How To Watch Star Trek Discovery
Image from @startrekcbs on Twitter

How to watch Star Trek: Discovery

As you are reading this article, the first episode of Star Trek: Discovery has already aired on live TV on CBS this past Sunday (September 24, 2017). I hope you enjoyed watching it in prime time because that will be the only time (at least for the immediate future) you will be able to watch a new episode of Star Trek: Discovery on live TV. For those of us in the U.S. (sorry Canada, CBS All Access is not available in Canada), our only option (after the first episode) to legally watch any more episodes of Star Trek: Discovery is to subscribe to CBS All Access. If you live outside of the U.S. and Canada and live in one of the 188 countries where this being offered, you will also have the option to watch episodes of Star Trek: Discovery on Netflix. For a few more details about viewing options outside of the U.S. see the end of our GeekDad Episode 1 & 2 Recap article. But there is some good news in all of this and that is that you don’t have to wait until next Sunday for a new episode… the second episode of the season is available to stream right now on CBS All Access! In fact, if you aren’t current a CBS All Access subscriber, you can sign up for a week of access for free. There is also one other important point to understand, Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 is broken up into two parts. The first half of the 15-episode Season 1 will air weekly (which started this past Sunday, September 24, 2017) until the first half of those 15-episodes have been released. Then you will have to wait until January 2018 for the second half of Season 1 to be released weekly. So binge watchers be warned, you may want to pace yourself.

What is CBS All Access?

CBS All Access is a streaming service from CBS that allows you to stream live TV, current TV shows, previous TV episodes, and even a few movies. “Wide variety” means just that… not all. So check here first to make sure your favorite shows are available. CBS All Access is available to stream on a large number of devices, both TV streaming boxes and mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. CBS has a complete list of compatible devices here.

How to sign up for CBS All Access

You can sign up for CBS All Access from either the device on which you have installed the CBS All Access app, or you can create an account and subscribe online here. I initially tried to sign up for a CBS All Access account through the iOS app on my iPad, but the account creation failed. It kept giving me an error saying I had an invalid zip code (and I’m pretty sure I know my own zip code). So I went to the sign-up link I linked to above on the web, created my account, and then signed into that account on my iPad and I was able to choose a subscription plan. There are two main choices: the standard option for $5.99 a month and a more expensive “commercial-free” (or nearly so) option for $9.99 a month. I say “nearly so” because even with the commercial-free option on select shows, you still may have some promotional interruptions. Also, even with the commercial free subscription, I am getting ads pop up while navigating through the menu system of the app on my iPad, so it looks like it’s not a completely ad-free experience. There is also one other thing to consider: CBS offers both subscriptions in an annual form ($59.99 and $99.99), so if you are willing to pay annually you might be able to save a bit money.

CBS All Access could save you money

Speaking of saving money, having to subscribe to CBS All Access in order to watch Star Trek: Discovery might not cost everyone more money. I cut the cable many years ago, so I rely on a combination of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, and just purchasing my television show content thought iTunes. As it turns out, Star Trek: Discovery is not the only CBS television show we watch. So when you compare the cost of buying each CBS television show Season Pass through iTunes with 12-months of CBS All Access (paid monthly), I end saving some money.

How To Watch Star Trek Discovery cost
CBS All Access costs compared to what I normally purchase every year… not a bad deal for me

By the time I factor in what I would eventually pay to buy the full season of Star Trek: Discovery (assuming that, once it has aired, CBS will allow you to eventually purchase the season through iTunes), it is actually cheaper for me to subscribe to CBS All Access. So before you write off your $5.99 or $9.99 as a total loss, consider the other content you get along with Star Trek: Discovery and, depending on your watching habits, it might not be as costly as you first thought. In my specific case, in addition to the TV shows my family used to and now no longer has to purchase, we now have access to TV content we weren’t planing to purchase before, but now that we have access we may start watching.

Bonus Content

Here is a parting tip for all you Star Trek fans out there. CBS All Access has an additional TV show called After Trek, which is a panel format talk show that offers in-depth discussions and recaps of each new episode of Star Trek: Discovery. So if you need more new Star Trek content, that is an option.

A rocket-scientist, father of 3, amateur astronomer, piano/keyboard player and soon to be sci-fi author who wears his geek badge with pride.