Review Summary

Charter Spectrum has two things going for it: unlimited streaming and straightforward pricing.

While other cable providers are "fighting back" against Netflix-type services with data limits and confusing service add-ons, Spectrum is taking the "novel" approach of simply improving their services.

Since taking over Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks in 2016, Spectrum plan pricing has been standardized across their network. (AKA it’s more expensive, but they don’t do the Comcast thing of jacking up the rate every few months to see if you notice.)

It’s not the cheapest game in town, but in my experience, the service has been worth the price tag. (Compared to other cable companies, at least.)

Some thoughts on Charter’s TV: they can’t hold a candle to satellite providers like Directv when it comes to channel count and sports, but their digital TV service is a big step up from traditional cable and offers more than 200 HD channels.

Since you can bundle the price with Internet and phone service, it’s ultimately cheaper for most customers as opposed to getting TV, Internet, and phone from three different providers.

The Pros

  • No Contract Needed
  • Excellent for Bundled/Triple Play Services
  • Good DVR Rates for Multiple Devices Needed

The Cons

  • Less Channels
  • Old DVR Equipment
  • Expensive When Compared to Other TV Services

Charter Spectrum does a good job of providing TV that “just works” without the need to sign a neverending contract. This makes it a good choice for students, renters, or those of us with iffy credit. Their Internet speeds are strong and their pricing structure is easy to understand.

That said, pricing on TV is a bit on the premium side. Spectrum’s standalone TV service is quite expensive, and to enjoy competitive rates you will have to get a double play or a triple play service and likely sign a one or two year contract.

Spectrum Pricing and Specs

Setup Service
To check Internet packages and speeds available at your address, call and speak to an agent at (844) 356-4246.
  • Offers Service in: California, Texas, New York, Ohio, North Carolina, Florida, Wisconsin, Missouri, Kentucky, South Carolina, Michigan, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Hawaii, Indiana, Minnesota, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, Illinois, Washington, Nebraska, Kansas, Montana, Louisiana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Connecticut, Wyoming, New Jersey, Virginia, Arizona, New Hampshire, Idaho, West Virginia, Vermont, Mississippi, New Mexico, Maryland, Rhode Island and Iowa
  • Major Cities Covered: Los Angeles, CA, New York, NY, San Antonio, TX, Dallas, TX, Austin, TX, Saint Louis, MO, Orlando, FL, Milwaukee, WI, Cincinnati, OH, Charlotte, NC, Columbus, OH, Fort Worth, TX, El Paso, TX, Louisville, KY, Tampa, FL, Brooklyn, NY, Cleveland, OH, San Diego, CA, Buffalo, NY and Kansas City, MO
  • Residential Pricing: $44.99+ (See Latest Deals)
  • Business Pricing: $59.99+
  • Setup Service: (844) 356-4246

Charter Spectrum TV Pricing: What To Expect

Pro Tip: Spectrum will pay $500 to bail out your ETF

If you are looking to switch your cable TV service, Charter is running an excellent promotion which you could benefit from. Sign a contract on some plans and they will pay your early termination fee and bills of up to $500 charged by a competing provider such as Fios or AT&T.
Before I talk about Spectrum TV services and pricing, keep in mind that their pricing isn’t totally all-inclusive. TV and phone service comes with a few fees (DVR leasing, taxes, etc.) that can add a bit to the final amount on your bill.

Also keep in mind that since they don’t require contracts, Spectrum does charge a nominal installation fee. Providers with free installation usually justify this since you’re “locked in” for one or two years. Assuming your house is already wired for cable, however, you can use the Easy Connect Kit service and install the Spectrum equipment yourself.

Spectrum TV Packages

Piggy bank with a savings tip written on it.
Data caps often frustrate customers who want to stream Netflix all day and night. Luckily, Spectrum doesn’t have them.
Charter Spectrum TV offerings are not complex to understand. There are three packages available — one is standalone and the other two are Triple Play (TV+Internet+Phone).

Note that I’ve laid out even more detail and spec comparison on Charter’s Internet plans on this Spectrum deals page. Deals in NYC have been particularly good lately thanks to increased competition from other providers in the area.

Spectrum TV Select

Spectrum’s basic TV package starts from $64.99 per month (for the first 12 months). The TV Select package includes about 125 channels, on-demand content, and a DVR with 780 hours of storage. If you bundle TV Select with internet, you can get the complete package for about $95, as you also pay about $5.99 for the HD-Box. Channel offerings include Bloomberg, NBC, C-Span, Cartoon Network, CNBC, Fox, CNBC, ESPN and Music Choice. The package lacks important channels like Nickelodeon, IFC and FXX.

Spectrum Silver

Spectrum Silver Package is offered as a Triple Play bundle. The package includes over 175 channels, access to 10,000 shows and movies, live TV with pause and rewind options. The package also offers Internet speed of 60Mbps and voice calling. The total cost of this triple play package is approximately $116. Premium channels like HBO, ShowTime and Cinemax are also included in Spectrum Silver. You can see the full list of offered channels in Silver Package by clicking on this link.

Spectrum Gold

Charter Spectrum Triple Play Gold package includes 200 channels with free DVR service, access to HBO, ShowTime, Starz, Encore, EPIX, and TMC for the first 12 months, access to 10,000 shows and movies and free TV apps. The cost of this package is $136, which includes one-time cost of HD DVR box ($5.9). Channel offerings include almost all news channels, sports channels including ESPN, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, entertainment channels like HBO Comedy and Starz. You can see full list of offered channels here.
Setup Service
Pro Tip: as of this writing, you can call this number to skip the line and go directly to an agent: (844) 356-4246

Spectrum TV Sports Programming

Sports programming isn’t one of the strongest features of Spectrum, but there are enough channels to suffice for your basic sports content requirements. You will get ESPN in every package. But even the Gold package does not have channels like NBA TV, BTN, FS and NBC Sports Network. However, cheap DVR services on four different devices is a big plus here.

But If sports are your top priority, I generally recommend Directv, which offers tons of sports channels at somewhat cheaper rates. Their exclusive access to NFL Sunday Ticket is hard to beat.

Comparison of Charter Spectrum TV With Other Cable TV Services

Gonegirl on tv screen.
Charter’s core “pros” are that they don’t cap data use and that they offer their fastest speed on most plans. Image via Jens Kreuter/Unsplash

Charter Spectrum TV packages have hefty prices tags when compared to other TV services. Even after incorporating the benefits like no-strings-attached TV service and no termination fee, Spectrum TV remains one of the priciest cable TV services.

Charter Spectrum VS Time Warner Cable: What’s the Difference?
Charter Spectrum TV is often confused with Time Warner Cable. After Charter Communications acquired Time Warner Cable in May 2016, Time Warner Cable is branded as Spectrum.

If you have no problem signing a contract and want an excellent TV service with more channels in less price, I’d recommend Directv’s entertainment package, which costs $55 for the first 12 months, and around $98 per month after that. You can also consider Comcast Xfinity’s Digital Preferred package, which costs around $60 per month for the first 12 months and $110 per month after that.

Charter isn’t the only TV company that offers a contract-free TV subscription. You can pay Comcast an extra $10/month to set yourself free of any contracts. In fact, Comcast’s rates and channel offerings are much better than Charter Spectrum TV. To give you an example, Comcast’s digital premier TV package costs you $69.99 per month for the first 12 months, and gives you access to over 260 channels.

Spectrum Channel offerings are also quite limited. The maximum number of channels offered by Charter Spectrum is 200 (for about $130 per month), while AT&T U300 gives you access to around 400 channels in $99 per month.

Spectrum DVR Services and Equipment Options

Getting Spectrum TV set up on your various TVs can be tricky. A professional installation is usually required for service.

Charter lacks clarity about its DVR services. When you sign up for packages other than Triple Play, you will have to pay a DVR fee of $11.99 per month and $6.99/month per for the digital receiver. Charter provides petty antiquated equipment for DVR. Customers usually get huge old Cisco, Motorola or Scientific Atlantic boxes depending on availability. There is not much customization options available. You normally get 300 SD hours and 75 HD hours of storage with tuners to record two shows at once.

Charter Spectrum’s DVR service struggles to beat its competitors. For example, DISH’s Hopper 3 lets you record 2,000 SD hours and 500 HD hours. Directv provides Genie DVR device, which is famous for its performance and reliability. However, one good thing about Spectrum DVR is that you can get DVR for four devices for a flat rate of $19.99/month. Also, Spectrum DVR fee is way less than Comcast Xfinity’s 19.95 per month (for a single device).

For Spectrum Triple Play Package, DVR service is free for 1 device for the first 12 months.

Availability

After buying Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks in 2016, Charter is now in position to serve in over 41 states in the US. You can get Spectrum TV if you are living in any of these states.

You can also check the availability by calling (844) 356-4246.

Availability Map for Charter Spectrum

Problems with Spectrum TV: Fewer Channels, High Costs, Price Hikes

Spectrum TV offers no more than 175 channels, which is pretty ordinary when compared to other available cable TV options. Spectrum’s unbundled TV service is ridiculously costly. As Spectrum TV comes without a contract, you can expect surprising price increases, taxes, and services fee.

Good parts of Spectrum: No Contract, No Data Caps

The best thing about Charter Spectrum TV is that you can get the service without any contracts. It’s suitable for users who are looking for a basic TV service for a short term.

Additionally, their lack of data caps is friendly to cord-cutters. Unlike other cable providers, you can stream video all day long without worrying about throttling or overage fees.

Charter Spectrum TV has its strengths and weaknesses like any other TV service. With no restriction of contracts and termination fee, Spectrum TV is a good option for people who want a reliable, basic TV service.