Shopping around for the best cable TV provider can be pretty tricky, especially with the myriads of TV service providers available on the market. On top of that, the industry is shrouded in monopolies.
What this means is that the cable TV providers that service a particular area are often limited.
But not to worry, we have conducted detailed research on some of the biggest cable companies together with their features.
This way, you can explore the most common options and determine which cable TV provider ticks all your boxes. So without any further delay, here is our list of best cable TV service providers.
Spectrum has been on top of its game since it hit the market. Thanks to their impressive services, mind-blowing channel listings, and on-demand contents, Spectrum TV will wow you to an unforgettable experience.
Call it cable TV on steroids, and you’ll not be wrong as Spectrum TV is uniquely positioned to deliver an experience you’ll not enjoy with other TV service providers.
From pricing to packages to bundling options and more, Spectrum TV is a class act and way in the league of its own.
More about the Spectrum TV review
Why do we like about Spectrum Cable?
Impressive bundled savings
One of the things to love about Spectrum is their fantastic bundle deals that lets you save more. To enjoy excellent package options and more channels with Spectrum, you’ll want to bundle TV, internet, and phone services. With Spectrum TV, you’ll enjoy decent bundling deals that come with free installation. Not just that, you’ll also enjoy free Wi-Fi set up along with DVR services, which typically cost $10 and $13, respectively.
Looking at this excellent deal from Spectrum, you can save close to $200 a year on your TV subscription. The icing on the cake is that, if you’re currently signed to a TV service provider but want to make the switch to Spectrum, the company will help buy out your contract if you sign up for their Tripple Play bundle. Trust us when we say you’ll not get a better deal elsewhere.
Top-notch customer service
When it comes to customer service, Spectrum TV isn’t doing too badly. According to the American Consumer satisfaction index, the company scored 63 out of 100 for customer service.
This may not be much, especially if you compare them with other TV service providers, but at least they are above the industry’s average, which is what counts.
Did we also forget to add that the company was awarded by JD power for its exceptional customer satisfaction in the South?
Oh yes, Spectrum TV received three out of five power circles for its impressive services in the West and North Central Regions.
Spectrum TV DVR
Spectrum TV will not wow you with their DVR as they are way behind the likes of the Hopper 3 from DISH and the Genie from DirecTV in terms of performance.
With Spectrum TV DVR, you only get 21 hours of HD storage. On the flip side, the Hopper 3 delivers 500 hours of HD storage. So if DVR is a thing for you, you’ll not be impressed with the DVR from Spectrum TV.
Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a decent DVR at a reasonable price, you’ll fancy the Spectrum TV DVR as it costs only $4.99 per month.
Although Spectrum is working to improve its DVR offerings, this is the best you can get at the moment.
One TV-only plan
Spectrum TV has gone through a series of rebranding to be where it is currently. Before now, Spectrum TV had three packages you can choose from- TV Select, TV Silver Package, and TV Gold package. But with their new rebranding strategy, customers have only one option.
This plan from Spectrum TV is called TV select and comes loaded with more than 175 channels, including popular channels, so you’ll not be missing out on your favorite TV shows, movies, or programs.
While they are missing notable channels like E! and Travel Channel, you’ll still get access to a couple of major networks.
No contract option
One of the perks that come with subscribing to Spectrum TV is that you’re not tied to any contractual agreement.
Meaning you can cancel out your subscription any time you like without attracting any form of penalty. With other TV service providers, you’ll have to pay an early termination fee if you decide to opt-out of your contract with them.
Xfinity Cable TV
Xfinity isn’t your regular TV service provider. They are a powerhouse in the TV landscape and are consistently innovating to beat the competition. Their exceptional TV service and channel lineup have made them a force to reckon with in the TV industry.
If what you want is a TV service provider that offers transparent pricing along with a decent amount of channels where you can watch your favorite programs, you’ll most likely want to give Xfinity TV a try.
Click here to learn more about Comcast Xfinity Cable TV Review
Why we love them
Offer amazing channel lineups
While most TV service providers require their customers to bundle TV with internet connections or offer customers only one exclusive plan to choose from, Xfinity raised the bar as they allow customers to choose from any of their five available packages. So depending on what works for you and your budget, you’ll find one of their packages worth giving a try.
To get their best plan, you’ll want to subscribe to their Starter plan as it boasts of having 40% of the most popular channels, including Hallmark Channel and ESPN.
Although you’ll be missing out on premium channels like Starz and MLB Network, it still features decent channel listings that will keep you deeply relaxed and entertained.
If you’re looking for the most widely available cable TV provider, then you’ll have to go with Xfinity. With their services available in 39 states and 8444 zip codes, there is a good chance their services are available in your current location, and you can get hooked right away. From Houston to Minneapolis to Miami to Philadelphia and more, Xfinity is here to spark your life with exceptional programs.
The Xfinity X1 DVR does an outstanding job and can compete favorably with other DVR on the market. With the X1 DVR from Xfinity, you can record up to six shows simultaneously.
On top of that, it also lets you set recordings, rewind shows as well as delete and manage shows across all your X1 devices. Featuring over 150 hours of HD storage, the Xfinity X1 DVR will wow you to an unforgettable experience.
While Xfinity doesn’t technically charge you for their flagship X1 DVR, there is a $9 monthly DVR fee together with a $10 monthly HD fee.
What we don’t like
Poor customer reputation
Xfinity has earned a notorious reputation for terrible customer service. Although the company has been working round the clock to improve on this, we think they can do better.
In the last year, the company’s consumer index score rose by 8 points. From 54 out of 100 in 2015, the company’s consumer index score increased to 62 out of 100 in 2016 and has remained there. This is a clear indication that the company is working to salvage its dwindling customer service reputation.
And if the company continues on this part, it is only a matter of time before they win the hearts of disgruntled customers.
More so, the company is making efforts to overhaul its customer service by expanding digital care teams and designing a callback feature that allows you to schedule an appropriate time for Comcast to call you.
Cox Contour cable TV
Cox cable TV is guaranteed to deliver appealing features you’ll not see with other TV service providers.
With mind-blowing channels up for watch coupled with thousands of on-demand content you can stream on the go, you’re in for a remarkable time when you give Cox TV a try.
Here’s the Cox Contour Review
Why we love Cox Cable
Extraordinary Online Support
For tech buffs who want to self-install and troubleshoot their technology, Cox TV has you covered as they boast of a remarkable library of resources. With their resource library, you’ll get access to how-to guides that will assist you in setting up and troubleshooting your services. If you’re having any issue with their services, simply select the problem using their search tool, and you’ll be directed to the right instruction manual.
Although it doesn’t look like much, we love the option as it allows customers to handle simple fixes by themselves. Should you find your problems overwhelming, you can easily reach out to their customer service team, and they will have it sorted out as soon as possible.
There are lots of things that will impress you about Cox TV, and one of them is their customizable TV plan. If you’re looking to capture your favorite TV channels, the Contour TV plan with over 140 channels will suit you perfectly. Featuring nearly every channel except specialty sports and premium channels; the Contour TV plan has everything you want. Plus, it is an incredible way to keep up with your favorite movies and TV shows.
For people who want to get more from their TV subscription, you’re welcome to give their TV Starter or Contour Flex package a try. With these two powerful packages, which usually costs $25 per month, you’ll enjoy unlimited access to local channels like ABC, PBS, and CW.
To spruce your TV experience, Cox offers its customers supplemental TV packages as add-ons; this way, you can add your favorite premium and sports channels to the mix.
Do it yourself (DIY) fee
Cox TV is among the few providers that offer their customers self-installation services. With Cox self-installation service, you’ll be able to set everything up yourself for a one-time fee of $25.
But if you decide you don’t want to go through the hassles of doing it yourself, then you’ll have to opt for their $75 professional installation.
While this seems to be on the high side, it doesn’t hurt their customer satisfaction score as the company has been able to maintain a decent consumer rating of 65 out of 100. And as it stands, they are doing way better than Comcast and Mediacom in terms of customer satisfaction.
What we don’t like
They’ve skyrocket their advertised price
Although Cox TV remains a desirable TV service provider anyone would want to give a try, when you start adding Paks (add-ons), your monthly billing will go through the roofs. This isn’t very ideal for people looking to cut their monthly cable bills.
High DVR fees
Cox’s high DVR fees can put you off. With their DVR fees pegged at $19.99 a month, you’ll be paying an outrageous cost for a DVR that only lets you record six shows simultaneously.
The catch is you can get a better DVR with other providers for less. But if you think this isn’t a problem, then feel free to give their DVR a try. With Cox Record 6-HD DVR, you can store 340 hours of HD or 1,000 hours of SD.
Frontier FiOS TV
Having solidified its position in the telecommunication industry, Frontier Communication has now diversified its services to include fantastic fiber optic TV and phone services.
Thanks to FiOS TV from Frontier, you’ll enjoy seamless access to cable styled programs along with popular networks and premium channels that will keep you glued to your TV screens all day long. With Frontier, TV doesn’t get any better than this as they feature tons of personalized programs and on-demand content that will keep you busy every other day.
Here’s the Frontier cable TV review
Why we love Frontier
Unparraled fiber optic internet plans
Frontier Communications provides you with two robust options and depending on your location, you can select either FiOS TV or Vantage TV. With their FiOS TV, you’ll unlock access to high-quality fiber optic cable services, which will deliver high-quality visuals, especially if you’re streaming via HD or Ultra HD television.
And if you decide to bundle, you’ll enjoy high-speed fiber optic internet services as well.
Amazing TV Deals and discounts
Frontier Communications boasts of some tempting promotional offers you simply cannot resist. From free installation to a free router to one-year free access to Amazon Prime, you’re in for a roller coaster experience when you decide to give Frontier TV a try.
Thanks to all their enticing offers, you can save big on your monthly cable TV subscription.
Average customer service
Frontier isn’t doing too badly when it comes to customer service. With a 60 out of 100 consumer scores, Frontier is performing averagely and has room to improve on its services.
If the company can rebrand their customer services by introducing better customer initiative, we are sure they will score better and move higher up the chart.
Another thing the company can do is improve their plan options; as it stands, customers have to put a call through to get access to more plan options. If they can make the process a bit easier, that will be a step in the right direction.
What we don’t like
Frontier Communications jumped on the two-year contract options offered by other TV service providers. The sad thing about agreeing to their contract is that you cannot opt-out of their services when you please, and if you decide to get out before your contract with them expires, you’ll have to pay an early termination fee.
Compared to other TV service providers, Frontier is only available in a handful of states. So before subscribing to their services, it would be wise to check if their services are available at your current location.
While Vantage TV services are available in states like South Carolina, Minnesota, New York, Connecticut, Illinois, Ohio, and North Carolina, you can get FiOS TV in places like Texas, Washington, Florida, California, Oregon, and Indiana.
If you live outside of these states, you may want to consider other TV service providers.
Xtream TV from Mediacom
Mediacom TV delivers a whole new experience with their Live TV streaming services that offers you some of the best programs and on-demand content you’ll ever see on TV. With their services available across 22 states, you can get hooked to this TV service right away.
With Xtream TV, there is no dull moment as they feature popular channels with fantastic programs and sports content that will spruce your day.
Check out the full Xtream tv review
What we love about Mediacom
Unrivaled Add-on channel packages
Mediacom does things differently with their TV service. And this is because they pair their cable TV service with an internet plan. And guess what, their starting bundle comes at a reasonable price, so you don’t have to worry about pricing. Plus, their Local TV plan is paired with a high-speed internet of 60 or 100 Mbps.
The unique thing about this package is that besides the high-speed internet connection, you’ll enjoy exclusive access to primary networks like NBC, ABC, and CW. However, if you’re interested in more popular Networks, you’ll have to upgrade to their Family TV plan, which also comes with a high-speed internet connection. Although you’ll be missing out on some premium channels, this package features popular channels you’ll love.
It doesn’t end there as Mediacom offers its customers add-on packages they can use to supplement the Local Plus plan. With their add-on packages, you’ll get more personalized sports channels, kids channels, and movie-based channels.
Flexible installation window
There are lots of things to love about Mediacom, and one of them is their flexible installation services. Thanks to their flexible installation service, customers can now schedule installation during weekdays or weekends and can decide to opt for their 30-minute installation window.
The not so cool part is that installation will cost you $99, which is a steep fee if you consider what other providers charge for installation.
Averagely rated customer service
Mediacom may boast of having some decent channel selection, but when it comes to customer service, the company isn’t doing too well. They have consistently ranked at the bottom in an industry that is already shrouded in poor reputation. The company scored 56 out of 100 in a recently released ACSI report.
If you ever decide to give Mediacom a try, it will be wise to keep a keen eye on billing statements and always confirm any deal you’re promised.
How we selected the best cable TV, providers
There is a very high probability that you will not get more than two options for your cable TV service, and that is because TV service providers have limited competition as they avoid regions with existing monopolies. So while putting together this post, we deliberately explored cable providers with widespread availability you can get hooked to right away.
Although local and regional cable TV providers like WOW and Cincinnati Bell score quite impressively in customer service, their services are available in less than ten states. However, if you happen to reside somewhere with a local provider, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to give them a try.
Fair pricing and packages
When it comes to choosing a good cable TV provider, pricing, packages, and channel lineups are a big deal. So while drawing up our list of best cable TV providers, we looked at 136 of the most streamed channels and tallied each cable provider’s channel plan to compare what it will cost to get the best value. Our findings revealed that you’d most likely get the best deal if you stick to the simplest channel package.
Thankfully, our favorite providers offer amazing discounts when customers bundle TV with internet service. Plus, they limit fees for first-time customers.
Customer service is an important criterion when choosing cable TV providers, and we didn’t shove this to the backburner while putting together our list. To this end, we looked very closely at ratings and scores released by the American Consumer satisfaction index, Consumer Reports, and JD.
Power. These organizations rate cable providers based on customer satisfaction as well as other criteria like billing, value, performance, communications, and technical support.
The truth is cable providers who scored very well with these consumer resources are more likely to quickly resolve customer complaints, effectively communicate changes in billing while delivering excellent TV services.
How to choose a cable TV provider
Unlike satellite TV that is readily available nationwide, Cable TV still has a long way to go. The reality is most people have less than three options regardless of where they live. This isn’t surprising, especially considering the fact; that building cable infrastructures and wiring new locations can be an expensive endeavor and will thus require careful consideration.
One such consideration is the issue of competition. Let’s say a large cable provider is already dominating a region; it won’t make any sense for other providers to juggle it out as they will most likely fall below the pecking order. This singular factor has given rise to the regional monopolies we see in the industry today.
If you’re not very sure of the big players in your location, you can use our zip code tool to find out or key in your address directly into the provider’s site.
Explore your viewing habit
Research published by Nielsen company in 2016 revealed that of the average 200 channels customers paid for, they were only streaming 19 channels, and that’s less than 10%. So to get a provider that ticks all your boxes, you’ll want to go with a provider that offers your favorite channels in one package. This way, you’ll not be paying for over 180 channels when you only watch 20.
A decent cable TV provider isn’t all about your money; they go the extra mile to make it easy for you to find your favorite channels at a reasonable price. So before jumping on any TV service provider, it will be wise to consider your viewing habit and how much you’re willing to pay for your cable billing. If you know this, choosing a cable TV provider will be easy, and you don’t have to sweat it jumping from one provider to the next.
Another thing we have come to discover is that popular channels like Food Network and Gem Shopping Network appeal to more viewers. So before choosing any cable TV provider, check to make sure they have all your favorite channels.
Watch your favorite channels for less
It isn’t only extra channels that can drive up your bills. So you’ll want to pay special attention to subtle fees as well. From installation to equipment to a local broadcast surcharge and more, you’ll be paying outrageously for your cable TV subscription if you are not careful.
Although these fees cut across most TV providers, you’ll discover that some provider charges their customers less. So to be on a safer side, it will be wise to compare costs across different cable companies and decide which company works best for you.
Also, keep in mind that some companies offer promotional deals to new customers. So ensure you go with a company that offers the best deal.
Make up your mind to bundle
If you’re serious about getting the best cable provider that meets your need, then you must be prepared to bundle. And in today’s TV landscape, most providers encourage their customers to bundle, TV, internet, and phone services.
TV providers like Comcast and Cox have taken the bull by the horn and are delivering a wide range of TV and internet services their customers can get hooked to right away. With providers like Charter Spectrum, they offer only one TV package without an option for bundling.
And if you decide to go with TV providers like Mediacom, you won’t have any option as all their TV plans come with an accompanying internet bundle.
We understand that not everybody will love bundling, but there is no denying that bundling comes with a lot of benefits. From helping you to save nearly $20 to $30 for each service, bundling will save you the hassles of paying separate bills every month.
So if you aren’t used to bundling, we suggest you make up your mind right away as most TV service providers offer bundling options.
With the introduction of contracts to the TV landscape, most providers now require their customers to sign a contractual agreement before they start enjoying their services.
The sad thing about entering into a contract is that you’ll find it difficult to opt-out of their services if your contract with them is still ongoing.
And if you decide to push your luck, you’ll be required to pay an early termination fee. So before you sign up for any service, double-check their contract offer and make sure there are no gray areas. If something doesn’t sit right with you, we suggest you look at other providers with a fair contract.
Frequently asked question
How much is a monthly cable subscription?
Your monthly cable billing depends on a lot of factors. From channel lineups to extra fees to bundling options and more, these factors can determine how much you pay every month. To this end, there is no cheapest provider, and the amount you end up paying depends on the services you want.
Will I pay for installation?
Most providers charge their customers a one-time installation fee. Although while you can get this fee waived some time, you’ll want to go with a provider that offers free installation. Unfortunately, there are not many of them.
Will I sign a contract?
This entirely depends on the provider you choose. While some providers require their customers to sign a contract, others do not require contracts. So if this is an issue, we suggest you go with a provider that lets you enjoy their services without forcing you to sign a contract.
With the myriads of cable providers on the market today, choosing a provider that works for you can be pretty daunting. But not to worry, we have made everything easy for you by providing you with the best cable TV providers on the market. Simply read through this post once more, and you’ll end up with a provider you’ll be pleased with.