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Investigation Discovery Online: Is Hulu + Live TV Best for Watching ID Without Cable?

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Do you love true crime and investigation television? Then Investigation Discovery (ID) is perfect for you. You can watch some of the most shocking TV with stories pulled right from the headlines. And cord-cutters don’t need to worry because ID is widely available from streaming services.

In a hurry? If you just want to start watching ID and not go through all the pros and cons of your options, here are our three favorite options:

  • Fubo: With 150+ channels, it offers something for everyone. Fubo allows you to try out its service with a free trial!
  • Philo: Super inexpensive live TV streaming service with 7-day free trial.
  • Sling TV: Probably the best streaming service in terms of customization with a 50% discount your first month.

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Investigation Discovery, or ID, as it goes by these days, is Discovery’s foray into the true crime genre. It’s not hard to understand why true crime stories are so popular: they’re real-life mystery stories that beg for resolution.

True crime’s roots go back to Jack the Ripper and beyond, but the current surge in popularity is widely credited to the runaway success of the 2014 podcast Serial, the 2015 HBO documentary miniseries The Jinx, and the 2015 Netflix series Making a Murderer. Since 2016, ID’s ratings have soared and it’s become one of the most popular cable channels.

Read on to find out how you can catch the next episode of Detective Diaries and not get (financially) murdered by your cable bill.

Sign Up for a Free Fubo Trial

How to Watch Investigation Discovery Live Without Cable

ID, as its name implies, is owned by Discovery Inc, which also owns Animal Planet, Discovery, Food Network, HGTV, Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), TLC, Travel Channel, Cooking Channel, Destination America, Discovery Life, Discovery Family, and DIY Network.

ID fans may also be interested in several other channels dedicated to crime, true or fictional: A&E’s Crime + Investigation, Law & Crime, Oxygen, and Start TV.

Although the term “cable channels” has stuck, you don’t need a cable company anymore to watch these channels. Several services stream the same channels over the internet, which you can watch just like a cable service.

Unlike a cable service, however, streaming services require no contracts, no installation visits, and no long-term commitments. And they generally cost less. Which services carry ID? Take a look below.

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Streaming Services with Investigation Discovery

All the major streaming services carry ID, so you’ve got options. Discovery either makes its channels irresistibly low-cost to license, or makes a lot of deals, because every service also carries the core Discovery brands — Discovery, Food Network, HGTV, and TLC — in its base package.

Read on to see what other channels might interest you.

Fubo

fubotv logo

Fubo (formerly FuboTV) is a great service for the hard-core sports fan, but it’s got a lot more than just sports. Fubo’s Pro plan provides well over 130 channels for $79.99/mo. This includes ID and Discovery, all your local networks, Animal Planet, OWN, Oxygen, and Travel Channel.

Go for the Elite plan for $89.99/mo and you’ll get 170+ total channels including Discovery Life, Discovery Family, Cooking Channel, Destination America, DIY Network, and Dan Abrams’s Law & Crime Trial Network.

All plans come with 1000 hours of cloud DVR storage and simultaneous streaming on up to 10 devices.

Read our Fubo review for more information.

Sign Up for a Free Fubo Trial

Philo

philo logo

Philo is only $25/mo, but it saves money by passing on expensive affiliate markets (your local broadcast networks), WarnerMedia channels (HBO, former Turner channels), and NBCUniversal networks (E!, Bravo, Oxygen). It’s light on news channels and has no sports networks at all. But if it has what you’re looking for, it’s a great deal.

Philo’s 60+ channels include ID and the core Discovery channels, Animal Planet, Cooking Channel, Crime + Investigation, Destination America, DIY Network, Law & Crime, OWN, and Travel Channel. It features unlimited cloud DVR storage and streaming on up to 3 screens at a time.

For more information see our Philo review.

Try Philo Free for 7 Days

Sling TV

Sling TV Logo (2021 100x50)

The Sling Blue package is $40.00/mo for 40+ channels, streamable on up to 3 screens at one time with 50 hours of cloud DVR. It includes ID, Discovery, and Travel Channel. You can find Destination America in the Heartland Extra, Law & Crime and Newsmax in the News Extra, and Start TV in the Hollywood Extra — each for $6/mo or less if you get a bundle.

Sling TV has, by far, the fewest Discovery channels of any of the streaming services; it doesn’t carry Animal Planet, Discovery Life, Discovery Family, or OWN at all. But it does offer a great channel selection for a very low price.

Our Sling TV review lays out all your options.

Save 50% on Sling TV Now

Sling TV Discovery Channel
Sling TV with Investigation Discovery and others.

DIRECTV STREAM

DIRECTV STREAM

DIRECTV STREAM (formerly AT&T TV) is a good “gateway” service for people who want the benefits of streaming but with as little major change to their setup as possible. It’s the only service that offers its own proprietary device, similar to a cable box, complete with voice-activated remote control.

Its base Entertainment plan is $79.99/mo for roughly 80 channels, including ID and Discovery plus Animal Planet and your local broadcast channels and comes with unlimited DVR as long as you sign-up online. The next tier, Choice, is $108.99/mo and you get all the Entertainment channels and Cooking Channel, Oprah Winfrey Network, Travel Channel, and regional sports networks.

Destination America, Discovery Life, Discovery Family, DIY Network, and Oxygen are all on the Ultimate tier ($119.99/mo). Crime + Investigation is available as an add-on.

To see all your options, read our DIRECTV STREAM review.

Get DIRECTV STREAM Free for 5 Days

Hulu + Live TV

hulu logo

Hulu’s on-demand library is arguably the best because of its next-day availability of many of your favorite shows. Hulu + Live TV adds over 85 live channels to that for $76.99/mo. This includes ID and Discovery, all your local broadcast network affiliates, Animal Planet, ESPN+, Disney+, Oxygen, Start TV, and Travel Channel.

Sign up for Hulu Live’s Entertainment Add-on for $7.99/mo and you’ll also enjoy Cooking Channel, Crime + Investigation, Destination America, Discovery Life, Discovery Family, and DIY Network.

Hulu offers unlimited cloud DVR (9 months of storage) and streaming on up to 2 devices at the same time. See our Hulu + Live TV review for details.

Try Hulu + Live TV for 3 Days Free!

Vidgo

vidgo logo

Vidgo is a two-tiered service aimed at families and college sports fans. Their base plan, Vidgo Plus, is $69.99/mo for over 100 channels, including ID, Discovery, Animal Planet, DIY Network, Law & Crime, OWN, and Travel Channel. Vidgo Premium is $84.99/mo and adds Discovery Family, Discovery Life, Cooking Channel, and Destination America, among others.

You can stream on up to 3 screens at a time, but there is no DVR functionality or on-demand content. Broadcast networks are limited to Fox and ABC.

Check out our Vidgo review for more information.

Try Vidgo Today!

Hulu ID
Hulu on-demand Investigation Discovery shows.

Other Ways to Stream Investigation Discovery

There are other ways to get the ID live stream or just the on-demand content:

  • Hulu: The base on-demand plan for $7.99/mo has back seasons of a half-dozen ID shows, most notably Homicide Hunter and Deadly Women. (Black Friday details)
  • YouTube TV: Similar to Hulu + Live TV, features 85+ channels for $72.99/mo, including ID and Discovery.
  • ID Website: Some shows/episodes require a TV provider login (eg, streaming service), like the most recent episodes of On the Case with Paula Zahn. But there’s a lot to watch for free, like the entire seven-season run of American Monster.
  • Discovery+: Discovery’s on-demand streaming subscription service, with exclusive series as well as classic shows and specials from across all the Discovery brands. Plans start at $4.99/mo with a 7-day free trial.

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You can’t beat a VPN for privacy, security, and access. We have used them for years as an important part of our streaming toolkit and we recommend ExpressVPN. Other brands worth checking out include Hotspot Shield and CyberGhost.

i See our VPN Buyer’s Guide for complete information on how to choose the best VPN for your needs.

TVs and Devices to Live Stream ID

FuboTV Discovery Channel
Android fun running FuboTV with Investigation Discovery.

You’ll need a streaming device to watch ID. Fortunately, the streaming services we’ve discussed support most that are currently in use. For example, they all support the “stick” devices: Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and Roku.

Android and iOS mobile devices are similarly supported. And you can use them (and some web browsers) to cast ID to your TV via Chromecast.

Other than DIRECTV STREAM, all services support smart TVs that are based on Android TV.

Other than Philo and Vidgo, the services support Samsung smart TVs. Fubo, Hulu + Live TV, and Sling TV support LG and Vizio smart TVs. Fubo also supports Hisense TVs. Fubo, Hulu, and Sling support the Xbox One. Hulu also supports the PlayStation.

These are just the most popular devices. Our streaming reviews have complete lists.

Today’s Investigation Discovery Schedule

Here is today’s schedule in Eastern Time:

See No EvilThe Cookie Lady

After a frantic welfare call, police find 79-year-old Avanell Cowgill murdered in her home; with no clues except for a trail of strange credit card transactions, investigators hope surveillance video will give them what they need to reveal a killer.

Body CamCatch Me!

In California, a body in the woods triggers a high-speed chase; the search for a reckless Utah motorcyclist turns dangerous when he steals a squad car with access to the guns; in Illinois, officers race to save a couple trapped in their burning home.

Crimes Gone ViralBack to Jail

A suspected drunk driver gives police a good laugh; a Jiu-Jitsu Master defends a convenience store; multiple prisoners attempt to reclaim their freedom; a convicted murderer leads police on a wild goose chase.

Crimes Gone ViralPublic Panic

A group of customers fight in a small shop; a tired police officer gets a helping hand from a civilian; an angry customer takes her frustrations out on a fast-food restaurant; an active shooter interrupts a youth baseball game.

Exposed: Naked Crimes

Body CamDesperate Measures

In Oklahoma, officers negotiate with a delusional father who's armed and dangerous. In Florida, officers chase a joyrider determined to evade capture. In Arizona, State Troopers are called out to rescue a driver trapped in torrential waters.

Crimes Gone ViralBack to Jail

A suspected drunk driver gives police a good laugh; a Jiu-Jitsu Master defends a convenience store; multiple prisoners attempt to reclaim their freedom; a convicted murderer leads police on a wild goose chase.

Crimes Gone ViralPublic Panic

A group of customers fight in a small shop; a tired police officer gets a helping hand from a civilian; an angry customer takes her frustrations out on a fast-food restaurant; an active shooter interrupts a youth baseball game.

Exposed: Naked Crimes

Body CamDesperate Measures

In Oklahoma, officers negotiate with a delusional father who's armed and dangerous. In Florida, officers chase a joyrider determined to evade capture. In Arizona, State Troopers are called out to rescue a driver trapped in torrential waters.

Body CamCatch Me!

In California, a body in the woods triggers a high-speed chase; the search for a reckless Utah motorcyclist turns dangerous when he steals a squad car with access to the guns; in Illinois, officers race to save a couple trapped in their burning home.

20/20 on IDCutThroat, Inc. -- Part One

Stories about crime victims, their families and the search for truth and justice.

20/20 on IDCutThroat, Inc. -- Part Two

Stories about crime victims, their families and the search for truth and justice.

Bail JumpersTrue Crime, Speed and Secret Societies

In North Carolina, Kay and John's fugitive, Michael, likes to drive fast; in Memphis, Tony and Harvey arrest Courtney, who claims her charges are bogus; in Minneapolis, Christina lets Reggie and Garrett in on a conspiracy about music.

Bail JumpersUFOs, Sandwiches, Cousin Effect

Fugitives discuss UFOs, divine intervention, and peanut butter sandwiches.

Bail JumpersComing Out, Breeding and a Princess

In North Carolina, John and Kay arrest Mary, a former child beauty pageant winner; in Minnesota, Reggie and Garrett learn about the dog breeding business from their fugitive, Tyler; in Memphis, Tenn., Tony and Harvey discuss life goals with Jordan.

Bail JumpersBaseball, Sobriety, and the System

John and Kay arrest Brandon, who insists he's innocent of his charges; in Minnesota, Reggie and Garrett bring in Ashley, who blames the system for her problems; in Memphis, Tenn.,Tony and Harvey learn their fugitive Demarcus is an ex-baseball player.

Real PD: Kansas CityRun to Grandma

Four separate gas stations are violently robbed at gun point by a masked man in one night; detectives race to catch the robber and get justice for the terrified local community.

Real PD: Kansas CityRight in the Heart

A brutal murder rocks a close-knit trailer park community in Kansas City, Kan.; with a 19-year-old female on the run, detectives begin to suspect that a family fight may have taken a deadly turn.

Real PD: Kansas CityFlip the Kingpin

KCKPD's Narcotics Squad ensnares a low-level drug-dealing couple; to help stop the flow of meth into Kansas City, they try to flip a local drug kingpin and go all the way to the top of the drugs supply chain.

Real PD: Kansas CityKiller Confusion

A 30-year-old gay man is shot dead on a busy street; the victim's family believes his mysterious new boyfriend may be responsible for the killing.

Devil in the WebScammed On

CeCe bonds with a man she meets on a dating app and she happily obliges when he asks her for money for his business, but she becomes yet another victim of a romance scam.

Devil in the WebRevenge Porn

Chrissy Chambers and her girlfriend, Bria Kam, are huge YouTube personalities in the lesbian world; Chrissy's old flame -- a man -- starts a devastating revenge porn campaign, spreading videos of him having sex with her while she's unconscious.

Devil in the WebDangerous Game

Fourteen-year-old Aubrey Peal uses an app to find others interested in gaming; he strikes up an online friendship with a man named Jason, who claims he is suicidal; concerned, Aubrey agrees to meet Jason, not realizing his evil intentions.

Devil in the WebCyber-Stalker

Andy Castillo uses the internet to call and text female realtors in 20 different states; wielding their social media against them, he makes the women believe he's lurking nearby, adding to their terror.

Murder in the HeartlandAshes to Alibis

In Post Falls, Idaho, devoted family man Bo Kirk vanishes, and his truck is found set ablaze; Bo's sister blames their estranged father, until released ATM security footage points to one of his co-workers who has piercing blue eyes.

Murder in the HeartlandBranches of Evil

In Hayti, Mo., Tray Phelps is found beaten to death in his driveway; the townspeople are stunned to discover that a web of evil lurks just beneath the surface of the seemingly idyllic hamlet.

Murder in the HeartlandNew Mom's Night out

An inexperienced police department handles the tragic murder case of young mother Jessica Currin, leading to critical errors and false accusations; the case goes cold until Jessica's father protests the state of Kentucky to reinvestigate.

Murder in the HeartlandField of Bad Dreams

The grotesque murder of a beloved citizen, Betsy Ball, shatters the quiet farm community of Vinton, Ohio.

Wrapping Up

As you can see by this list, there is no need to live in terror from your cable bill. And you don’t need Paula Zahn to close this case!

Just sign up for one of the streaming services discussed in this article and you can enjoy ID while making sure your predatory cable bill never targets you again!

Sign Up for a Free Fubo Trial

FAQ

Where did Investigation Discovery come from?

ID launched back in 1996 with the ridiculously cumbersome name “Discovery Civilization Network: The World History and Geography Channel.” It was part of a four-channel bundle together with what would become Destination America, Science, and Discovery Family. From 2002 to 2006, The New York Times and Discovery ran the channel together, first as Discovery Civilization Channel and then as Discovery Times. They experimented with focusing on current events and modern history, then on US culture.

The Times left the venture in 2006, but the name didn’t change until the 2008 relaunch as Investigation Discovery with a newly appointed focus on true crime stories. The now-popular network rebranded as simply ID in 2020, with a brand new logo.

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Alanna Baker

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