Cablevision has stepped up their game lately when it comes to competing on price for Internet and TV plans. This is good news for new customers, who can often get a year or more of service at dramatic discounts.
Recomended TV plan: Optimum Value
$64.95/month gets you the best mid-range channel count from Optimum, including sports options like SportsNet New York HD. It has HD support on most channels, although of course you’ll need an HD receiver and HD TV to enjoy it. HBO, Cinemax, and other premium channels are available as add-ons. Optimum bills seperately for receivers and DVRs, so the final price for most customers will be closer to ~$80/month. My two cents for New Yorkers: call and check for Verizon Fios options before you sign up.
- HD support
- 182+ channels
- Multi-room DVR $12.95/month
Recomended cord cutter plan: Optimum 200
As the name suggests, Optimum 200 offers speeds around 200 Mbps for $49.99. This price is way lower than what DSL providers charge just outside the city, and delivers several times the speed. This is more than enough for a busy household or “techie” who wants the fastest download speeds — in NYC, they’re even faster than fiber in some areas (at least in terms of downloads). No data caps means it’s ideal for streaming Netflix and Sling TV.
- 200 Mbps downloads
- Unlimited streaming
- Promotional pricing for new customers
All Current Internet-Only Plans
Installation of Cablevision Service
Make sure that you’ve taken care of the following pointers before a Cablevision technician comes by to complete your installation:
- There should be a cable and a non-switched power outlet near every device you want connected.
- Remember to tell the technician where you want the outlets installed beforehand.
- All the devices you want connected must be present in the house on the day of the installation.
EquipmentCablevision equipment includes:
- HD Digital Cable Boxes
- Modems and Routers
Optimum TV DVR Options[/caption]
There’s no real variety in terms of DVRs. Cablevision offers only two options — the Optimum DVR and Multi-Room DVR Plus.
The Optimum DVR lets you record your favorite shows, and pause/rewind live TV. The Multi-Room DVR Plus offers that, as well as the ability to record up to 15 shows at once and the chance to watch TV from any room in the house.
HD Digital Cable Boxes
HD cable boxes are necessary if you want to connect your TV to HD. Basically, you’ll get to enjoy 150+ HD channels for free (according to Cablevision).
Modems and Routers
While Cablevision does offer decent modems, they also provide consumers with smart routers — particularly those who opt for their bundles or Internet plans. Here’s what makes them so interesting:
- The ability to turn your home into a central WiFi hub.
- Enhanced data and network security.
- Cablevision provides automatic upgrades.
The CableCARD lets you access basic programming. It’s worth mentioning that Cablevision provides a digital CableCARD too. That piece of equipment lets you receive digital programming from Optimum without having to use a digital cable box.
How to Save on Equipment
Well, you should first know that if you place an online order, you get a free installation. Apparently, at the moment, that’s a “Web Special” offer on Cablevision’s website.
If you’re not ordering online, though, you should definitely handle the installation on your own. Cablevision offers a comprehensive guide you can use which will make everything very simple for you.
If you don’t perform a self-install, keep in mind you’ll have to pay installation fees that can be pretty pricey. I found out that you’ll either have to deal with a $60 charge for a Standard Installation, or a $99 fee for a Premium Installation.
We’d strongly advise making an online order, as you’ll get to save up to $99 this way (according to Cablevision).
Some people would say you could also try opting for a CableCARD to avoid some equipment fees. However, please keep in mind that doing that means you will be effectively limiting some of the services you’re actually paying for.
Another thing to consider is that if you already have an existing DVR service, you’ll only have to pay around $10/month for the Multi-Room DVR Plus instead of $16.95/month.
Cablevision Bundles: Good Value, or Over-Hyped?
Cablevision offers both Double Play and Triple Play deals, and they both offer attractive pricing and perks. However, if you were to choose one, we’d recommend going with the Triple Play option. Why? Because you’ll get to enjoy:
- High-speed Internet connections
- Free Multi-Room DVR Plus for two years
- A free smart router
- Exclusive News12 (24/7 local news, traffic, and weather)
- SHOWTIME included for one year
Best of all – you won’t have to worry about any contracts, which is always nice to hear. And their Triple Play plan won’t even cost you too much, since it averages around $69.99/month during the first year, and only increases by $10 during the second year.
Also, I especially liked the free installation bonus Cablevision is offering right now. Even though it’s for online orders only, their websites are geared towards that, so there won’t be any obstacles.
Now, while all that sounds amazing there’s just one problem. While checking the fine print, I noticed this addition “Pricing, terms and offers subject to change and discontinuance without notice.”
That most likely has to do with Cablevision being bought by Altice. It’s to be expected in such a situation, but it’s very worrisome — especially for consumers. Basically, what that means is that the provider can change their bundles, pricing, and offers overnight.
So, while Cablevision bundles offer great value, please keep in mind that if you opt for one of their deals, you should be aware that some changes (no matter how minor) might take place next year or so.
Of course, I also didn’t really like the lack of DVR variety, the fact that their phone support is a hit or miss according to online reviews and my personal experience, and the fact that their services and bundles are only available in four states.
- Decent pricing
- Great perks
- No contracts
- Free installation if you place an online order
- Free Multi-Room DVR Plus with some bundles
- The service might change in the future without notice
- Not a lot of DVR variety
- Phone support could be better
- Limited availability
Cablevision’s Best Feature: Free Installation If You Order Online
It’s quite hard to compete with this. Sure, some TV providers offer free installations too, but they generally do that if you purchase an expensive package.
With Cablevision, you know that if you make an online order, you get to save anywhere between $60 and $99, and that’s only the installation fee. If you opt for the Premium Installation, you’ll also save money on any extra outlets you’ll need installed (besides the 3 Cablevision offers). Keep in mind the fee is $25/extra outlet.
Cablevision Deals: Great Value Hindered Only by Corporate Acquisition
There’s no denying that Optimum by Cablevision deals and bundles have got something for everyone: Huge channel variety (445+), fast Internet connection speeds of up to 300 Mbps (megabits per second), top-notch bundle deals, and a surprisingly powerful DVR.
But, like I previously said, just remember that Cablevision might be rebranded in the future, which means that all these perks I talked about might be changed or dropped for good.
In case you might be having some second thoughts, then, and want to check out a common alternative, Verizon FiOS TV deals are a good place to start.