Many cable TV customers are cutting the cord, and instead choosing to use streaming services. This means that cable companies are seeing their business decline steadily, which has caused Charter Communications to rethink services and begin offering an à la carte type of service.
Spectrum TV Choice is their latest offering. It provides local, live television channels, and allows you to choose 10 additional cable channels for under $30 per month. The service does not require a cable box or a contract, so this gives you the freedom to watch Spectrum TV Choice using an Apple TV, Roku, Xbox One, or any other television that’s connected to Wi-Fi.
So, what’s the service all about, and is it worth it? We’ll discuss everything you need to know, and then you can decide if it’s right for you.
Can Anyone Subscribe to Spectrum Choice TV?
Unfortunately, this service is only available to current Spectrum Internet customers.
What is Spectrum TV Choice?
Spectrum TV Choice is a live TV streaming option that’s available to those who subscribe to Spectrum Internet. It gives you a channel lineup that’s trimmed down at a lower monthly cost. When you sign up for the service, you receive access to all local, live channels, and then get to choose 10 cable channels. The price is between $25 and $30 per month.
Pricing and Packaging for Spectrum TV Choice
Currently, Spectrum is offering an introductory rate of $24.99 for 24 months. After the two years, the price is subject to go up at least $5.
Here’s a look at the channels included with every plan:
- Major networks such as NBC, ABC, Fox, CW, and CBS
- 10 cable channels of your choice – there are almost 80 to choose from
- Educational and public access channels such as C-SPAN and PBS
- The News 1 channel from Spectrum
- Shopping channels such as HSN and QVC
- Music channels
- Depending on where you’re located, you may also get digital subnetworks like Bounce and MeTV
- There’s also an option to add Showtime, Starz, HBO, The Movie Channel, etc. for $7.50 each, or all of them for an additional $15 per month.
So, what are the cable channels you can choose from? Well, Spectrum TV Choice offers most of the major sports channels such as FS1 and ESPN, popular entertainment channels such as HGTV and AMC, and all major cable news networks. Spectrum has the complete choice list on their website where you can view it based on your specific location.
Is Spectrum TV Choice Good for Everyone?
Unfortunately, the à la carte lineup won’t work for everyone’s needs. For those who love sports, you cannot add regional sporting networks or league-specific channels such as MLB, NFL, or NBA. Other entertainment channels such as DIY and Nick Jr. are also unavailable. Essentially, Spectrum is offering less than one-third of its cable channels with this streaming service. So, you have almost 80 channels from which you can pick 10 channels unless you’d like to upgrade to a better bundle.
How Do You Sign up for Spectrum TV Choice?
Signing up is easy. If you are not already a Spectrum TV customer, you can simply log in to their website and select “Add TV”. You will then have the option to choose “Spectrum TV Choice” from the list of available plans. They will walk you through a menu where you’ll choose your 10 cable channels and decide if you want to select other premium networks.
The only issue is that people who already subscribe to one of the Spectrum TV packages may have a problem switching. If you are unable to make the change on the website, it’s best to call the Customer Care Center at 1-855-345-0208, and they can help.
Is there a Contract or Other Fees?
Perhaps the best advantage to Spectrum TV Choice is that there is no contract required. You can cancel whenever you want. So, regardless if you move to an area the service is unavailable, want to save money, or would like to try other streaming services, you can cancel at any time with no cancellation frees.
Cable TV providers charge a fee for receiver boxes and DVR service. Spectrum does this too, but their cost is actually fair.
It’s a great idea to invest in the DVR service package if you’ll be placing a TV receiver in any room in your home.
What’s the Cost to Add DVR Services?
One of the drawbacks to Spectrum TV Choice is that you do not receive DVR service included. Spectrum does give you the option to rent a DVR box if you don’t want to use their apps, but just a single box costs around $20 per month, two boxes are $35 per month, and each additional costs $7.50. This means the hardware could cost you more than the service itself.
If you do not wish to add DVR, Spectrum gives you access to an on-demand catalog, but the selection is not always the greatest. You’ll find that some programs include every episode On Demand, but other programs will have only the current season available. Keep in mind that these programs do have commercials that you are unable to fast-forward through. So, without a DVR you may find that some shows disappear, and you won’t have the ability to skip ads.
How Does it Work Without A Cable Box?
Spectrum TV Choice is cheaper than a regular cable bundle, and additional savings come from not having to rent the cable box. So, how does it work? You simply download the Spectrum app on Apple TV, iOS, tablets, smart TVs, or any Android device, and this allows access to both live and on-demand services.
You also have the ability to watch the service on a computer by logging into the Spectrum website. Though, it is easier to watch the service on apps because as long as you’re at home, the apps will notice that you’re a Spectrum customer by your internet connection, and thus you won’t have to worry about logging in.
Spectrum’s app allows you to browse a grid-based channel guide, look through their menu of on-demand programming, choose favorite channels for quicker access, search for programs by name, and even add shows to a “watch list”.
Apple TV and Roku both support universal search, so you can look for shows by using the remote to each of these devices.
Are There Any Downsides to the App?
There are a few limitations and annoyances you should be aware of:
- The video quality is limited sometimes. You’ll find that some channels offer 30 frames per second, while others are a bit better at 60 frames per second.
- Using the service away from your home is limited. You’ll find that some live channels will not work on your mobile devices, and the app doesn’t work on some televisions.
- Possibly the most annoying is that you will see listings from channels you aren’t subscribed to within the on-demand menu. You may have to scroll a lot to find programs you can access.
There are few things in life that don’t have at least some disadvantages, as you can see this streaming service has a few. However, the good news is that you can access individual network apps by using your Spectrum TV Choice account. You’ll still have access to networks such as Fox Now and ESPN, and even better is that these apps support higher quality videos.
Quick Look at the Pros & Cons of Spectrum TV Choice
So, to wrap up everything we’ve discussed, and to make your decision easier – here’s a look at the pros and cons of this service.
- It is a good price for the mix of cable and local channels you get access to.
- It includes public access channels and live PBS that other more expensive TV bundles exclude.
- Supports universal search on devices such as Apple TV, Roku, and even Apple TVs app.
- There are no contract or cancellation fees
- No need for a cable TV box
- You have the option to add on other premium channels such as HBO, Startz, etc.
- The DVR service is expensive to add on
- You cannot choose more than 10 cable channels, and some popular networks are missing
- Apps can have poor video quality, there are restrictions for use when you’re not at home, and there is lots of locked content.
In conclusion, Spectrum TV Choice is a great option for those who want to save money and still have access to live, local channels. Let’s face it, the other big-name streaming services don’t allow you to watch local channels, this means you miss out on certain programming and local news. While the service does have a few drawbacks, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. Call the customer service center at 1-855-345-0208 and add Spectrum TV Choice to your Spectrum Internet package today!