Spectrum TV Review

9

Great

Price 9 out of 10

Interface 7.5 out of 10

Compatibility 9.2 out of 10

New Shows 8 out of 10

When the cord cutting trend began, it meant living with on-demand options: cable and satellite were still pretty much your only legal paths to live TV. The rise of the skinny bundle has changed that, and has sparked a gold rush in a business space that didn’t exist just a few years ago.

The latest skinny bundle on the scene is Spectrum TV. How does it measure up? Here’s our complete Spectrum TV review, including everything you need to know about the channels it offers, the features that set it apart, and the price you’ll pay if you sign up – plus, of course, my advice on whether or not you should!

Overview

Spectrum TV is a streaming service which offers live news, entertainment and lifestyle channels to Spectrum Internet customers. You can sort channels by name or number, search by title, person or sports team to find live, on-demand or DVR content, make the most of thousands of free on-demand shows, set your DVR to record your favorite shows and set a pin to block by rating or channel.

To use Spectrum TV, you can load it up on a range of devices. These include Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Xbox, plus Android and iOS devices.

Channels available with Spectrum TV

Popular channels include ESPN, HBO, the History Channel, Showtime, TBS, TNT, NFL Network and USA Channel. Here are some of the top channels across various genres:

Movies

  • 5 StarMax
  • ActionMax
  • AMC
  • FX Movie Channel
  • Hallmark Channel
  • Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
  • HBO
  • IFC
  • LMN
  • Reelz Channel
  • SHOWTIME
  • SundanceTV
  • TCM
  • ThrillerMax

Sports

  • CBS Sports Network
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • ESPN Deportes
  • ESPNews
  • ESPNU
  • FOX Deportes
  • FOX Sports 1
  • FOX Sports 2
  • Golf Channel
  • MLB Network
  • NBA TV
  • NFL Network
  • SEC Network
  • Spectrum Sports
  • Tennis Channel
  • Univision Deportes

Kids & Family

  • BabyFirst TV
  • Cartoon Network
  • Disney Channel
  • Disney Junior
  • Disney OnDemand
  • Disney XD
  • Freeform
  • GSN
  • Nick Jr.
  • Nick Music
  • Nicktoons
  • PBS Kids
  • Sprout

Educational

  • Animal Planet
  • Cooking Channel
  • Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Life Channel
  • DIY Network
  • Food Network
  • HGTV
  • HISTORY
  • Investigation Discovery
  • Nat Geo WILD
  • National Geographic
  • PBS
  • Smithsonian Channel
  • Travel Channel

News

  • BBC America
  • BBC World News
  • CNBC
  • CNN
  • C-SPAN 2
  • C-SPAN 3
  • FOX News Channel
  • HLN
  • msnbc
  • The Weather Channel

Features

  • Offers the most HD channels on the streaming services market
  • Watch live TV on the move
  • Over 200 live TV channels available
  • 30,000 on-demand titles on offer
  • 150 live channels and 20,000 on-demand options via the app
  • Fast-growing network
  • Merger of three well-known names: Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Charter Communications
  • Available in 41 states

Pricing, trials and subscriptions

There are a number of packages available with Spectrum TV; here’s everything you need to know:

  • TV Silver ($84.99 a month for 12 months): Over 175 HD channels, HBO and Showtime included, live TV on the go via the Spectrum TV app, plus thousands of on-demand shows and movies
  • Silver Double Play ($108.98 a month for 12 months): More than 175 channels available in HD, countless titles for watching on-demand, internet speeds of up to 100Mbps, modem included

Gold Triple Play ($139.97 a month for 12 months): Starz, TMC, Starz Encore and NFL RedZone packages included, over 200 channels available in HD, a vast library of on-demand content, internet speeds going up to 100Mbps, modem included, unlimited calling in the US, Mexico, US territories and Canada

User experience with Spectrum TV

When you’re using Spectrum at home, the apps will identify you as a customer, so you won’t need to go through the process of signing in. Once you’re browsing the apps, you’ll find there is a channel guide in a grid format, along with a menu for browsing on demand video. There is also a function for selecting favorite live channels so you can access them quickly, along with a search bar for finding specific shows.

Furthermore, Roku and Apple TV’s Spectrum TV apps support universal search, making it possible to look up content using voice remotes. You can also use Spectrum TV choice to log into individual network apps such as Fox Now and ESPN. It’s possible to rent a DVR box if you don’t want to use Spectrum’s apps, but this will cost an additional $20.50 per month. If you want multi-room DVR, the cost will be $35 for two boxes, and a further $7.50 per additional box beyond that.

Instead of DVR functionality which matches that seen with other streaming services, Spectrum has an in depth on-demand service. Users are allowed to lease a CableCARD, so Spectrum TV can be used with HDHomeRun Prime or TiVo DVR. 

Competitors

It’s clear that Spectrum TV comes with a much larger price tag when it’s compared to other streaming services. The plus points attached to this service is that it comes with no strings attached and there is no termination fee, but the price may still put people off. Some confuse Spectrum with Time Warner Cable, but after Charter Communications acquired this platform in May 2016, it experienced a rebrand as Spectrum. Some may choose to go for DirecTV’s entertainment package instead of a Spectrum TV plan, due to the fact that it costs much less – $55 a month for the first 12 months, followed by $98 a month after that. The downside with this service, though, is the need to sign a contract, but it does provide more TV channels for a smaller price. Another similar option is Comcast Xfinity’s Digital Preferred package, which comes with a price tag of around $60 a month for the first 12 months before switching to $110 a month beyond that. Furthermore, you can pay an additional $10 a month with Comcast to avoid being tied into a contract. This service also provides more channels than Spectrum TV – around 260, to be precise. Similarly, AT&T U300 provides its users with roughly 400 channels for a price of $99 a month.

DVR and hardware

If you sign up for a Spectrum TV package which isn’t Triple Play, you will be required to pay a DVR fee of $11.99 a month, and the digital receiver will cost roughly $6.99 a month. Users will typically receive Motorola, Scientific Atlantic or Cisco boxes, and in terms of storage, it’s possible to record 300 SD hours and 75 HD hours, with tuners making it possible to record two shows simultaneously. If you get the Spectrum Triple Play package, the DVR service will be free for one device for the first 12 months. Compared to other DVR services out there, there isn’t as much storage space, and brands such as DirecTV are known for rolling out a high-performing and reliable device, the Genie DVR. That being said, Spectrum DVR does benefit from offering four devices at a flat rate of $19.99 a month, and it is priced much more reasonably than Comcast, which provides a single device for $19.95 a month.

Summary

Spectrum TV provides a decent range of channels, as well as a slick user interface and multiple subscription options. Designed for Spectrum internet customers, combining the two services makes for a seamless and intuitive experience. Some of the best and most popular channels across several genres are included with Spectrum TV, and the DVR functionality makes it possible to record any shows you end up missing. Overall, taking a look at Spectrum TV could be worth your while.

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