With the onset of video streaming services, we have more digital entertainment options today than ever. However, more often than not, streaming services are quite limited in terms of variety, unlike their traditional counterparts. Yet, cable and satellite TV service providers are viewed as expensive options compared to streaming platforms—so those who are bent upon cutting the cord, don’t mind compromising on variety in lieu.
With that said, in recent years, TV service providers in the U.S. have been amping up their game in order to beat the new competition in the industry. And, they have succeeded considerably in terms of providing a variety of digital entertainment avenues at price points that make the subscription rich in value.
As a result, cable and satellite TV is no longer facing imminent doom. By modernizing various aspects of service to make traditional cable and satellite TV appealing for Gen-Z in particular; and by coming up with thoughtfully designed plans, each with a different number of features and an appropriate price—most TV service providers in the U.S. have been able to attract TV-watching households across the U.S.
If you are looking for affordable TV service in town, there are a dozen providers with cheap TV packages on the menu. And if you are a glutton for entrainment, they will present you the world.
But all these ISPs, teeming with tempting TV and Internet packages, tend to leave you dizzy and confused, as you hunt for that perfect TV package.
Therefore, we have sketched a comparison of some of the top nationwide TV service providers in the U.S., and below is a summary of services provided by each. So you can be informed enough to decide, which provider and which of its packages would offer you the best value.
|TV Provider||Service Type||Max No. of Channels||Starting Price||Number of Channel Lineups|
|Spectrum TV||Cable||200||$44.99/mo. (for 12 months)||3|
|DirecTV||Satellite||330||$64.99/mo. (for 12 months with 24-month agr.)||5|
|AT&T TV||IPTV||140||$59.99/mo. (for 12 months with 24-month agr.)||6|
|Mediacom TV||Cable||170||$59.99/mo. (for 12 months when bundled with internet)||3|
Note: Number of channels, offers, and availability may vary from one location to another.
Read on for a detailed overview of services offered by the best TV service providers in the U.S.
• Spectrum TV is one of the cheap TV services with no contract. Get the TV plan of your choice, depending on your entertainment regime and budget:
1- Spectrum SELECT with 125 channels
2- Spectrum SILVER with 175 channels
3- Spectrum GOLD with 200 channels
• You can get Spectrum cable TV service in single, double, or triple play packages.
• Watch the most HD content relative to the competition.
• Watch your TV on the go with the free Spectrum TV app, as long as you are connected to high-speed internet. Spectrum’s 600,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the U.S. make sure you are connected no matter where you are.
• Access a maximum of 60,000 on-demand choices via TV, the Spectrum TV app, and the web (SpectrumTV.com), when you are connected to Spectrum Internet at home. And, access 20,000 on-demand titles even when you are connected to a different network.
• Watch premium content by including Spectrum premium channels i.e. SHOWTIME®, STARZ®, STARZENCORE®, CINEMAX®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™, EPIX®, and HBO Max™ to your TV subscription.
• Catch your favorite international programming from any part of the world, be it China, South East Asia, South Asia, or Europe.
• With the intuitive on-screen TV guide, search information about programs, their rating, content, air time, length, DVR recording availability, and also sort channels by genre or numbers.
• Help children watch TV with parental controls in place.
• Watch Live TV channels included in your subscription on your favorite screen, be it a smartphone, smart TV, laptop, PC, or tablet.
On the side note, if you want a cheap cable TV alternative, you can check out Spectrum TV streaming plans at much lower price-points.
• DIRECTV is the #1 satellite reliable TV service in the U.S. Whether you are residing in a far-flung rural area or a crowded urban center, DIRECTV’s satellite signal with 99% reliability will offer you spectacular entertainment.
• DIRECTV is available as a standalone service and bundles with AT&T Internet at a discounted rate.
• There is a DIRECTV package available for a variety of individual and family needs, and budget:
1- ENTERTAINMENT All Included with 160 channels and 40,000 on-demand titles
2- CHOICE™ All Included with 185 channels and 45,000 on-demand titles
3- XTRA All Included with 235 channels and 50,000 on-demand titles
4- ULTIMATE All Included with 250 channels and 55,000 on-demand titles
5- PREMIER™ All Included with 330 channels and 65,000 on-demand titles
• Get a free trial of HBO Max™, Cinemax®, SHOWTIME®, STARZ®, and EPIX®, for 3 to 12 months, with DIRECTV packages except for PREMIER™. With the PREMIER™ package, you get unlimited access to all premium networks & apps as well as exclusive sports networks.
• Get the Free NFL SUNDAY TICKET for the latest season with a subscription to CHOICE™ or above.
• Watch Live and on-demand shows; download, record, and watch DVR recordings anywhere; stream on up to 5 screens with the free DIRECTV app.
• Free Genie HD DVR with 200 hours worth of storage and the capacity to record 5 programs simultaneously. When you upgrade to Genie 2, you get 450 hours worth of storage, and you can record up to 7 shows simultaneously.
• Catch the most Live sports in 4K HDR.
Let’s add here if you want to go for a streaming alternative, but one that carries the charm of DIRECTV and the reliability of AT&T, you can Subscribe to AT&T TV NOW (formerly, DIRECTV NOW), the latest streaming service from AT&T.
o Launched nationwide in 2020, AT&T TV comes from one of the best TV service providers in the U.S. The service is offered to AT&T’s new customers instead of AT&T U-Verse. However, existing customers can still relish the older IPTV service i.e. U-Verse TV.
• AT&T TV packages are offered standalone, and can also be bundled with the AT&T Internet at a discounted rate:
1- ENTERTAINMENT with 65 channels and 40,000 on-demand titles
2- CHOICE™ with 90 channels and 45,000 on-demand titles
3- XTRA with 120 channels and 50,000 on-demand titles
4- ULTIMATE with 130 channels and 55,000 on-demand titles
5- PREMIER™ with 140 channels and 65,000 on-demand titles
6- ÓPTIMO MÁS with 100 English and Spanish channels and 25,000 on-demand titles
• Get a free limited-time subscription to HBO Max™, Cinemax®, SHOWTIME®, STARZ®, and EPIX® with AT&T TV packages, except PREMIER™. PREMIER™ has every premium channel and perk included in the price.
• Access 5000 network apps on Google Play, including Netflix & Pandora, provided you already have a separate subscription for those apps.
• Get 500 hours of Cloud DVR storage with unlimited simultaneous recordings.
• Get a voice remote and AT&T TV device powered by the intelligent Google Assistant.
• Quick and hassle-free setup. Start watching as soon as your subscription is confirmed through https://www.att.tv/ or the AT&T TV app until your device arrives via express delivery.
• Add International programming to your AT&T TV subscription in Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, Brazilian, and more.
• Mediacom TV is your affordable TV service in town if you are looking for an internet and TV bundle. The cable TV service is bundled with fiber-rich Mediacom internet and home phone for about the same price as that of competitors’ standalone TV plans.
• The cable TV provider offers many customization options, including a choice of three Mediacom Channel Lineups:
1- Local TV with 50 Channels
2- Essential TV with 125 Channels
3- Variety TVwith 170 Channels
• Get access to thousands of on-demand TV shows and movies from networks included in your TV subscription for free. More are available with the PPV option.
• Add premium networks of your choice from HBO®, Cinemax®, SHOWTIME®, and STARZ® to your subscription at affordable rates.
• Customize your TV package to your preference down to the smallest detail with mini packages and add-ons like Sports & Information PAK, Movies & Music PAK, Kids & Variety PAK, or international channels.
• Store 1,000 hours of SD and 150 hours of HD recordings, which you can watch on any screen at any time.
• Get a TiVo® receiver and a voice-activated TiVo-powered remote.
• Enjoy a complete Live TV experience anywhere and on any device with the Xtream TV app.
• Cox TV service has more customization options than most other cable TV providers do—for its plans and packages. With Cox, you can make it a cheap TV service for low-income or an expensive all-in-one entertainment option. You can get your TV in a standalone Cox plan, or bundle it with Cox Internet, Phone, or Home services.
• Choose your favorite Cox channel lineup based on your entertainment and budget level:
1- Cox Starter TV with 75 channels
2- Cox Contour TV Local with 140 channels
3- Cox Contour TV Ultimate with 250 channels
• Include premium TV networks HBO Max™, Cinemax®, STARZ®, SHOWTIME®, and EPIX® to your Cox Contour TV plan.
• Opt for add-ons and TV Paks i.e. Variety Pak, Movie Pak, Sports and Information Pak, Sports Pak 2, Latino Pak, or International Channels to add more variety to your entertainment.
• With the free Cox Contour TV app take your entertainment anywhere on the go.
• Watch and stream thousands of on-demand TV shows and movies via your TV and app.
• Get recommendations based on your viewing habits with a smart TV search guide and a sophisticated voice remote.
• Get your HD-DVR with a Cox TV plan. With HD-DVR 6 record up to 6 shows simultaneously and store up to 250 hours of HD content. Cox HD-DVR 2 is also available, which records only 2 shows at the same time. On the other hand, you can also get the Ultimate DVR service that lets you record 24 shows at once, and gives up to 1000 hours of HD content.
• Xfinity TV service comes in standalone, double, or triple play plans. Moreover, the provider lets subscribers choose between a contract or no-contract agreement. The no-contract agreements are priced slightly higher.
• Xfinity boasts a choice off three-channel lineups, which can be bundled with multiple speed tiers offered by Xfinity Internet:
1- EXTRA with 140 channels
2- Digital Preferred with 220 channels
3- Digital Premierwith 260 channels
• With KidZone on Xfinity X1, never worry about your child coming across age-inappropriate content. Moreover, you can place a lot of restrictions on the advanced Parental Control feature.
• All sports fanatics can include additional sports channels such as NFL Network, NBA TV, MLB Network, NHL Network, College Sports & NASCAR, and order Boxing and WWE events via PPV.
• Subscribe to premium networks with HBO®, Starz®, Showtime®, Cinemax®, and The Movie Channel®.
• Travel the globe with Xfinity TV as you include international networks to your package. Arabic, Brazilian, Chinese, Filipino, French, German, Greek, Israeli, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, South Asian, Spanish, and Vietnamese, networks—all that is just a call away.
Now that you know which TV service provider offers what, you can make a better-informed buying decision for your TV service. The one with the right level of entertainment and variety for just the right price.
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