Beyond Star Trek: Discovery: Is CBS All Access Worth It?

Mihir Patkar 10-10-2017

The new show in the Star Trek franchise has landed. And for now, at least in the U.S., Star Trek: Discovery is available on only one streaming service—the all new CBS All Access. This streaming service also throws in live TV and other movies and shows into the mix.


So, is CBS All Access worth subscribing to just for Discovery alone? Is it a good deal overall? Or a waste of money?

cbs all access main

What Does CBS All Access Cost?

First, you should know that you can try out CBS All Access for free, as there is a seven-day trial available for those who want to see what it’s all about. And if you don’t like it, you get your money back.

cbs all access cost

Otherwise, CBS All Access offers two options:

  • $5.99 per month (with ads)
  • $9.99 per month (without ads)

Note: CBS All Access only works in the U.S. and Canada. If you are in a different country, you’ll need to use a paid VPN service The Best VPN Services We've compiled a list of what we consider to be the best Virtual Private Network (VPN) service providers, grouped by premium, free, and torrent-friendly. Read More to subscribe and watch.

What Devices Can I Use With CBS All Access?

Both CBS All Access plans let you stream on up to two devices simultaneously. However, some live TV programs (like NFL games) are not available on mobile.

CBS supports almost every mobile and desktop platform you can think of, as well as Roku, the Amazon Fire TV/Fire TV Stick, the Google Chromecast, and PS4 and Xbox One.

What Do You Get With a Subscription?

The new Star Trek: Discovery is the big exclusive that CBS All Access is banking on to draw people in. But there is some other solid content available on there too.


cbs all access nfl

Beating Netflix and others, CBS All Access can stream live events. The recently held Emmy Awards 2017 were shown live on the service. CBS also offers live streams of NFL games on Thursdays. The next Grammy Awards and Tony Awards will also stream exclusively on CBS All Access. And you can watch CBS News too.

Important: Live streaming isn’t available everywhere. First check CBS’s chart of supported cities.

cbs all access originals


Apart from Star Trek: Discovery, CBS All Access has a few other exclusive shows, the major ones being Big Brother and The Good Fight, a spin-off of The Good Wife.

It’s sad to say but this doesn’t compare at all with Netflix’s amazing range of exclusives 15 New Netflix Originals You'll Be Watching in 2017 Netflix is now producing its own original content. And some of the new Netflix Originals set to debut in 2017 definitely look like they'll be worth watching. Read More or the original series you can watch on Amazon Prime 10+ TV Shows That Make Amazon Prime Worth the Money Netflix is undoubtedly the king of the movie and TV show streaming services. However, Amazon Prime has some fantastic television shows that make it worth the asking price. Read More .

What Shows Does CBS All Access Have?

cbs all access app shows

Of course, it would be unfair to compare only the exclusives. You can check the full list of shows on CBS All Access to know what else you get. Here are some of the highlights:

  • 60 Minutes
  • The Amazing Race
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • The Brady Bunch
  • Cheers
  • CSI
  • Frasier
  • The Good Wife
  • I Love Lucy
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
  • The Late Late Show with James Corden
  • MacGyver
  • Madam Secretary
  • Mom
  • NCIS
  • The Odd Couple
  • Star Trek: The Original Series
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • Star Trek: Enterprise
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • Star Trek: Voyager
  • Survivor
  • The Twilight Zone
  • Twin Peaks
  • Young Sheldon

Again, while this list includes some big names, they aren’t exclusives. In fact, all of the old Star Trek shows are also available on Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, in case you want to catch up on 50 years of Star Trek.

Is Star Trek: Discovery Alone Worth the Money?

This begs the question, if you are a Trekkie, does the new Star Trek: Discovery alone make it worth subscribing to CBS All Access? The first two episodes aired on regular TV, but in the U.S. every subsequent episode will only be available to watch on CBS All Access.

cbs all access star trek discovery poster

Can You Watch Star Trek: Discovery on Netflix?

Here’s the thing: if you are outside of the U.S. and Canada, Star Trek: Discovery will be available on Netflix at the same time as CBS All Access. This is bad news for North American Trekkies.

star trek discovery cbs all access netflix

The question then is whether you want the rest of the CBS All Access catalog, or would you rather get a VPN to watch Netflix from other countries Which VPNs Still Work With Netflix? Netflix is cracking down on VPNs, but there are a few that still work. Here are the best VPNs to use with Netflix. Read More .

Be warned, using a VPN violates Netflix’s terms of service, so the company could shut it down at any point. Free VPNs don’t work well with Netflix anyway, so you will pay about $10 per month for a good Netflix-supporting VPN. That’s the same cost as the ad-free version of CBS All Access, so what’s the point of breaking Netflix’s ToS if you don’t absolutely have to?

What About Hulu or Amazon?

For U.S. Trekkies, the new show shouldn’t be a factor in choosing between Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Which Should You Choose? It has been years since we've compared heavy-hitting streaming services, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. And with changes in pricing, content, quality, and interface, we thought it was time to revisit the topic. Read More . All three have all previous Star Trek shows, and none of them support the new show in the U.S.

cbs all access netflix hulu amazon

You probably bought that Hulu subscription thinking you will get access to any show that plays on TV. Unfortunately, CBS is the one network that doesn’t support Hulu. Hulu users can watch old shows of CBS series like Cheers, but not the new episodes of current series like Discovery. Those might be available only after a season ends.

Things are even more bleak on Amazon. The catalog has some of the classic shows, but not everything from the CBS vaults. As for ongoing shows, don’t hold your breath.

The Bottom Line: Is CBS All Access Worth the Money?

CBS All Access is worth it only if you’re a die-hard Trekkie based in the USA or Canada, who wants to watch every new episode of Discovery as it’s released. If that doesn’t describe you then you should save your money until CBS announces other exclusive shows that you can’t live without.

If you’re on the fence about Star Trek: Discovery, or you’ve watched the show and think it’s worth paying for, what do you think? Is CBS All Access worth it? Or is it overpriced for its current selection of shows?

Related topics: Media Streaming, Star Trek, Television.

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  1. Max
    October 11, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Fortunately Trek Discovery is in NETFLIX Brasil and has subtitles in Kilingon.

    But I hated what they did to the poor Klingons.

    • dragonmouth
      October 12, 2017 at 12:23 pm

      I hate what they did to the Star Trek franchise. From what I saw during the first episode, this iteration is even worse than the one with Scott Bakula.

      • likefunbutnot
        October 12, 2017 at 5:33 pm

        Enterprise improved tremendously after its second season. No Trek had a watchable first season. I don't think that is the fault of the cast on Enterprise. It was just bad writing.

        I'd also say that Paramount REALLY doesn't know what to do with Trek. They keep going back to the same well. The only series that got away from that was Deep Space 9, which I'd argue is far and away the most successful and interesting of the Trek properties.

        I think the writers on Trek shows believe they're all going to get seven seasons and a movie or two and they pace themselves accordingly, but we as an audiencecan't just keep rehashing TNG. Discovery is the first series where I don't think there will be a second season to compare, but overall I suspect we would be better off if Episode 3 had been the premier and the first two episodes were chopped up and presented as flashbacks.

  2. rannxerox
    October 11, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    Your title suggest "beyond Star Trek..." as if including this IP would make it worth it. Nope, nada, zip, zero.

  3. William Vasquez
    October 11, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    To tell you the truth, the only real reason to buy this service is to watch the new Star Trek series. But any Trekkie worth his salt already knows how to get access to the series free of charge shortly after the initial broadcast( ever hear of Kodi?). It is a pretty good show, but I find it very annoying that I have to read a lot of Klingon translations at the bottom of the screen that go by a little too fast to read properly. CBS needs to know that no one show is worth $100 or so a year, and chances are, the show will eventually be made available on the normal CBS network.

  4. likefunbutnot
    October 10, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Short answer: No
    Longer answer: Noooooooooooo

    CBS All Access needs and deserves to fail. Aside from 60 Minutes, I cannot think of a single television program in the last 25 years that aired on CBS that I've wanted to watch. It has been the home to lowest-common-denominator programming for what I can only assume are much older people than myself for my entire adult life. Setting that aside, I'm not paying for a la carte access to any single media company's properties. Not even if t hat company is Disney, HBO or Netflix. CBS could have gotten away with its own second fiddle digital distribution platform if it launched one ~10 years ago, before Netflix was integrated in every device that currently has a color screen and IP network access. Now it just needs to accept that there's nothing particularly remarkable about its offerings and try to find a way to extort one of the established streaming clearinghouses into paying it something for its library.