Spectrum TV Review

Traditional and streaming TV plans

Spectrum
Price
$49.99-$94.99/mo

Channels
125–200+

  • No contracts

Data as of 11/12/19. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Best Spectrum TV packages

Spectrum TV Silver may not be the cheapest TV package, but it’s our best value pick because it includes premium channels including HBO® and SHOWTIME®. Those two channels are $15 each as premium add-ons, so you can save $10 per month with the Silver package compared to getting the Select package plus just those two channels.

Of course, if you want the best selection, you have to go all the way to the top-tier Gold package. With 200+ channels and a lot of premium channels bundled in, Spectrum TV Gold is the best package for true TV lovers.

While Silver and Gold both have their advantages, Spectrum’s TV Select isn’t bad. If you just want the basics, the Triple Play Select bundle covers your TV, internet, and home phone needs.

Check out our top picks.

Best value

Spectrum TV Silver

175+ Channels

From
$6999/mo

for 12 mos when bundled

One step up from Spectrum’s TV Select, the Silver package gives you more channels and includes premium content like HBO and SHOWTIME.

Best selection

Spectrum TV Gold

200+ Channels

From
$8999/mo

for 12 mos when bundled

With the most included channels of any Spectrum TV package, the Gold tier gives you plenty of viewing options.

Best bundle

Spectrum Triple Play Select

Spectrum Internet

Spectrum TV Select
125+ Channels

Spectrum Voice
Unlimited calls to U.S., Canada, Mexico, & U.S. Territories

Speeds up to
100
Mbps download

From
$9997/mo

for 12 mos when bundled

The Select bundle covers all your basics in one convenient package.

Data effective 07/03/19. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

How good is Spectrum TV service?

Spectrum TV service is solidly okay. We like its no-contract plans as well as the forward-thinking TV Stream. It gives you access to a decent number of channels and options to upgrade for premium content, but its tech is lagging behind the competition, especially in the DVR department.

Pros

  • No contracts
  • Streaming-only video option
  • Premium content in mid-tier plan

Cons

  • Rate increase after first year
  • Limited savings for bundled services
  • Lackluster DVR

Spectrum TV packages

Spectrum has both traditional cable TV services and a streaming-only plan. Its six traditional plans are made up of two types of plans and three tiers. There are also add-on upgrades like premium channels and sport packages.

Spectrum TV vs. Mi Plan Latino TV

Spectrum offers Spectrum TV and Mi Plan Latino TV. It’s difficult to see the exact difference between the two plans because we couldn’t find the Mi Plan Latino channel lineup on Spectrum’s website. But the site does say the Mi Plan Latino TV package includes more than 75 channels in Spanish.

There are a similar number of advertised channels in Spectrum TV (125+) and Mi Plan Latino (130+) plans, so it looks like Spanish channels replace English versions of the channels in some cases (e.g., Discovery Channel vs. Discovery en Español). If you want both the Spanish and English channels, you can add Latino View to your Spectrum TV package, which adds 75+ channels in Spanish to your primarily English Spectrum TV.

Spectrum TV package tiers

Spectrum TV and Mi Plan Latino TV packages are available in three tiers: Select, Silver, and Gold. The Select level is the baseline, and the upgrades included with each higher tier are the same for both Spectrum TV and Mi Plan Latino TV. Going up to the Silver level costs $25 more per month and adds more channel options, including a few premium channels like HBO and SHOWTIME. Adding either of those channels to your Select plan by itself costs $15 a month each, so if you’re interested in both, the Silver package is a great deal.

Gold tier costs another $20 more than Silver and adds even more channels and premium content including STARZ® and STARZ ENCORE. But even though it’s the highest tier, a Gold plan doesn’t give you all the possible channels available on Spectrum. So if you want it all, you still have to pay for a few premium extras, which is kind of a bummer.

PlanIntroductory priceChannel countBest for
Spectrum TV Select$44.99/mo.125+Basics
Spectrum TV Silver$64.99/mo.175+HBO and SHOWTIME
Spectrum TV Gold$84.99/mo.200+Selection
Mi Plan Latino TV$29.99/mo.130+Spanish channels
Mi Plan Latino Silver$49.99/mo.175+Low-price premium content
Mi Plan Latino Gold$69.99/mo.200+Bilingual households
Spectrum TV Stream$24.99/mo.25+Cord-cutters

Price for 12 months when bundled. Data as of 11/12/19. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Spectrum TV Stream, Choice, and Essentials

Cable TV is an industry that’s slowly dying. Many people are choosing less expensive streaming services like Netflix and Hulu over comprehensive cable packages. Spectrum has tried a few programs to keep up with the times, and honestly, we think there’s a lot of potential there.

The only service we could find that’s widely available at the time of writing is Spectrum TV Stream. It’s a live TV and on-demand content streaming service that costs $24.99 per month. It’s available only for Spectrum internet subscribers and offers 25 channels. You have to have an iOS or Android device compatible with the Spectrum TV app to watch your shows.

There are also limited-availability packages called Spectrum TV Choice and Spectrum TV Essentials out there somewhere. We looked up plan availability for more than 20 Spectrum service areas dotted around the country, and we couldn’t find anywhere offering them.

That’s the pits because they both seem really neat. TV Choice is an à la carte TV service that includes 10 cable channels of your choice, as well as a standard list of public broadcast and local channels. TV Essentials sounds similar to TV Stream but cheaper and with more channels.

Both the Choice and Essentials plans may just be experiments, which would explain the lack of widely available information and limited service areas. They’re also both fairly new. TV Choice looks like it rolled out in a few markets in 2018, and the Essentials plan was announced in February 2019. So it’s very possible we’ll see more of them in the future.

Spectrum bundles

Bundling services is usually a great way to save money, but half of Spectrum’s bundles cost exactly as much as getting each service individually. For example, the Double Play Select bundle costs $89.98. It includes Spectrum TV Select and Spectrum internet, which cost $44.99 each for a total of . . . $89.98. Where are the savings?

There’s good news for Spanish speakers. Spectrum bundle discounts do exist—but only for Mi Plan Latino TV packages. Any Mi Plan Latino TV package bundled with internet and home phone (optional) saves you $15 per month compared to the prices of the services added together. That’s a 12%–20% discount, depending on the package.

BundleTVInternetPhonePrice
Triple Play SelectTV Select

125+ channels
Spectrum Internet
100 Mbps
Spectrum Voice$99.97/mo.
for 12 mos. when bundled
Triple Play SilverTV Silver

175+ channels
Spectrum Internet
100 Mbps
Spectrum Voice$124.97/mo.
for 12 mos. when bundled
Triple Play GoldTV Gold

200+ channels
Spectrum Internet
100 Mbps
Spectrum Voice$144.97/mo.
for 12 mos. when bundled
Mi Plan Latino Triple PlayMi Plan Latino TV

130+ channels, 75+ Spanish channels
Spectrum Internet
100 Mbps
Spectrum Voice$67.97/mo.
for 12 mos. when bundled
Mi Plan Latino Triple Play SilverMi Plan Latino TV

130+ channels, 75+ Spanish channels
Spectrum Internet
100 Mbps
Spectrum Voice$89.97/mo.
for 12 mos. when bundled
Mi Plan Latino Triple Play GoldMi Plan Latino TV

130+ channels, 75+ Spanish channels
Spectrum Internet
100 Mbps
Spectrum Voice$109.97/mo.
for 12 mos. when bundled
Double Play SelectTV Select

125+ channels
Spectrum Internet
100 Mbps
N/A$89.98/mo.
for 12 mos. when bundled
Double Play SilverTV Silver

175+ channels
Spectrum Internet
100 Mbps
N/A$114.98/mo.
for 12 mos. when bundled
Double Play GoldTV Gold

200+ channels
Spectrum Internet
100 Mbps
N/A$134.98/mo.
for 12 mos. when bundled
Mi Plan Latino Double PlayMi Plan Latino TV

130+ channels, 75+ Spanish channels
Spectrum Internet
100 Mbps
N/A$59.98/mo.
for 12 mos. when bundled
Internet + VoiceN/ASpectrum Internet
100 Mbps
Spectrum Voice$58.98/mo.
for 12 mos. when bundled

Data as of 11/12/19. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
Introductory prices for 12 months, then standard rates apply.

Judging by that chart, it might look like Spectrum has a ton of bundle options, but there are basically just three types.

  • Internet and TV
  • Internet and home phone
  • Internet, TV, and home phone

The reason there are so many options is because each bundle is named after the TV package tier it includes. So a Gold bundle includes the TV Gold package, and the Select bundle has the TV Select package.

All the bundles default to include standard Spectrum Internet, which offers speeds up to 100 Mbps. If you want something faster, you need to upgrade your internet plan to Ultra for $20 more per month or GIG for $60 more per month.

The third part of the Triple Play is Spectrum Voice. It’s Spectrum’s home phone service that you can get only in a bundle. It’s $9.99 per month, and you can upgrade to the Spectrum Voice International plan for $5.00 more.

Spectrum TV tech

Spectrum TV gets the job done, but it hasn’t quite caught up with the times. It doesn’t offer the best tech or the best features compared to other TV providers like Xfinity and DISH, but not everyone wants a complex setup. Spectrum is perfectly fine for normal TV viewing, but avid TV enthusiasts might find the DVR options a little lacking.

 

Picture quality

Spectrum advertises free HD content with all its TV packages. It doesn’t specify which or how many channels are available in HD on its online channel lineup. It just says, “Not all channels are available in HD.”

Unlike other TV providers, Spectrum doesn’t include both HD and SD versions of the same channel to pad its channel count. If it’s available in HD, it just goes with that. We appreciate this no-nonsense approach, and it’s something to take into account when comparing channel counts.

 

DVR

Spectrum’s traditional DVR service is okay. It costs $12.99 per month for one DVR and $19.99 for two to four. Each receiver can record two shows at the same time, but Spectrum doesn’t mention recording capacity on its website except to say that you can record more content in SD than you can in HD, which isn’t exactly helpful.

Compared to DVR options from other services that allow for six simultaneous recordings or hold up to 2 TB worth of shows, Spectrum’s DVR falls short. But it’s fine if you remember to watch old shows before they get deleted or connect an external hard drive for additional storage.

If you have a Spectrum streaming service, you can sign up for Cloud DVR. It costs $4.99 per month and lets you record and store up to 50 shows, regardless of program length.

 

Spectrum TV app

The Spectrum TV app for mobile devices gives you access to live TV and on-demand shows, as well as settings controls for your TV and DVR. Your in-app channel lineup depends on your TV package and your location.

If you’re connected to your home Wi-Fi network, you have more options than if you want to watch Spectrum TV away from home. So you can watch pretty much all the same stuff on the app as your actual TV when you’re just in another room of your house, but your options are more limited if you want to watch a show over your lunch break at work.

You can use the app with Spectrum’s traditional cable packages and its streaming-only plans. There are also versions of the app for iPad, Kindle Fire tablet, Roku, Xbox One, and Samsung Smart TV devices. So you can stream to TVs in your house that don’t have a receiver.

 

Remotes

Spectrum TV uses more than 20 remote models, all of which are pretty standard universal remotes. You can also use the Spectrum TV app to use your smartphone or tablet as a remote to manage your TV and DVR.

Spectrum TV installation

Spectrum TV installation costs $9.99 for self-installation or $49.99 for a professional installation. If you want to leave things to the pros, your installation process will go something like this.

  1. You schedule your installation appointment when you sign up for a new service.
  2. Spectrum will text, call, or email you (depending on your preference) to confirm your appointment the day before or the day of.
  3. Before the technician arrives, prepare a work area for them. Clear the space around any existing cable outlets, and make sure your pets are out of the way.
  4. At any point during your appointment window, a technician will show up to set up your TV service. Someone over the age of 18 has to be present to let them in.
  5. The installation appointment can take up to three hours. If the job requires more time, you’ll unfortunately have to set another appointment so the technician can stay on schedule.
  6. After everything is installed, the technician should check to make sure everything works correctly. Now’s the time to ask any questions about how to use your TV service.
  7. Get the stranger out of your house, and enjoy your Spectrum TV!

If your home is already wired for cable service, you can self-install your equipment. It’s cheaper, and you don’t have to wait around for an appointment. We recommend reading through the instructions before making your decision if you’re unsure whether you can handle it. The biggest downside of self-installation is that nobody’s there to help if you need to troubleshoot an issue.

Our verdict

Spectrum TV is adequate for a cable TV package. It’s cool that it throws premium channels into its mid-tier Silver plan, where some providers reserve premium channels for top-tier packages. TV Stream and Spectrum’s other nontraditional options have a lot of potential—we just wish there was better information about them.

Check out Spectrum packages and bundles.

Spectrum TV FAQ

How do I program my Spectrum remote?

Specific steps for programming your Spectrum remote depend on the remote model and the brand of your TV. You can find the manual and instructions for programming your remote on Spectrum’s support site.

 

Usually, programming a TV remote involves turning on the TV, pressing a “program” button (sometimes remotes use a button sequence to put it into programming mode instead of having a single button), and entering a code that corresponds with your TV.

What is Spectrum TV?

Spectrum TV is a TV service offered by Charter Communications’s Spectrum brand, which is a result of merged services with Time Warner Cable and Bright House. It has both traditional cable TV options as well as streaming plans that appeal to cord-cutters.

How do I install the Spectrum TV app on Fire TV Stick?

The Spectrum TV app is not compatible with the Amazon Fire TV Stick. But it does work with Kindle Fire tablets, excluding first-generation devices.

How much is Spectrum TV?

Spectrum TV costs between $24.99 per month and $84.99 per month for the first year, depending on your package selection. After the first year, rates increase about $20 to $25 per month. Check out our full breakdown of Spectrum TV pricing.

What devices are compatible with the Spectrum TV app?

The Spectrum TV app officially works with the following devices:

  • iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices) running iOS 9.0 or higher
  • Android devices running Android 4.0 or higher
  • Kindle Fire tablets (except first-generation devices)
  • Roku devices (except first-generation devices)
  • Xbox One
  • Samsung Smart TVs model year 2012 and newer

You can also technically use Spectrum TV with a Chromecast using screen mirroring with your Android device, but it will require a bit of tech know-how.

If you don’t have anything on this list, you can always watch Spectrum TV online with a laptop or desktop at watch.spectrum.net.

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