Quality TV entertainment is more of a necessity than a luxury in today’s time. Home entertainment is what makes a house into a home. One of the first things you must do when you move to a new place is select internet and cable TV providers. It’s one of those ‘big picture decisions that require a lot of thought before finalizing. You need to take into account a number of things before picking an internet or cable service provider.
Everyone wants the fastest internet connection and best quality TV entertainment at home. But that’s only possible when you do enough research on what’s available to you at your locality and identify your television entertainment needs. There are multiple factors to consider, questions to ask, and options to explore before picking one that suits your needs best.
This decision was super easy to take years ago, because of limited options and the absence of digital streaming services. Things are different now. The rising popularity of cable TV providers has fueled the competition and confused many of us. These providers come in prepared with their promotional prices and budget-friendly deals, but it’s impossible to find what we need on just a single page. Provider websites don’t only offer detailed information but also confuse us with plenty of numbers that confuse us. So, picking the right cable TV provider isn’t that easy. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
If you’re new to the neighborhood and looking for the best internet and cable deals in your area, you’ve come to the right place looking for help. This guide will help you pick the ideal cable provider in town to satisfy your television entertainment needs. You will learn about the factors you must consider, questions you should ask before signing the contract, and the best cable TV deals in town.
Keep reading to learn more!
How to Pick a Cable Provider – Factors to Consider
You should always consider the following factors when selecting a cable TV provider. These factors significantly contribute to your experience, so make sure you don’t overlook them when narrowing down your list to the best option available to you.
- Customer Service
To start off, customer service tops the list because it’s an essential factor you should consider when choosing a cable TV provider. Lousy and unavailable customer service will leave all your queries and difficulties unaddressed, and you will face a ton of difficulties if you can’t reach your customer support team.
You should feel valued and heard to know that you can reach out to anyone who can offer you support and advice when you need it. Pick a provider that offers 24/7 customer service. You will surely find plenty of them in your area. For instance, Optimum cable is known for offering the best internet and cable services, but that’s not all it brings to the table. It also offers incredible customer service to its users.
Always ask around for personal experiences and check online reviews when choosing a cable provider. Make sure their customer support team not only addresses customer queries but also responds promptly before it’s too late.
- Channel Selection
This is the second most crucial factor you must focus on when seeking your next provider. You will notice that most cable providers offer pretty much the same channels, only the prices and packages may differ. However, you may also find that a few providers dominate certain categories. If you’re a sports fan or enjoy binge-watching TV shows back to back, make sure to list down the particular channels you want to be included in each plan.
If premium networks are a priority on your watch list, make sure to research which providers are offering them. Moreover, a few of them even offer them for free, depending on the plan and contract you choose. Make an informed decision and start by listing down your most-wanted channels. People usually get stuck with 200 channels but only watch approximately 20-25 of them, which means they’re spending loads of money on categories they don’t even watch. Don’t make that mistake, and figure out your television entertainment before signing the dotted line!
- Cable TV Plans
Different providers offer different cable TV plans—pretty much the same channels on the list—with different prices, packages, and perks. Pick the plan that is perfect for you. If you’re planning to bundle up the internet and TV service, make sure the channels and perks you want are also included in the bundle you’re opting for. Thorough research makes all the difference here.
- Content Access
When you sign up for a cable TV plan, you will expect to access your favorite TV content whenever and wherever. It’s a personal demand instead of an expectation, realistically speaking. Most cable providers nowadays let you access content whenever and wherever you want. That means you’ll be able to catch your favorite content on your TV screens, smart device, or online! Dig into any information regarding on-the-go content access, and inquire about it during your discussion with the provider.
- On-Demand Service
This is another crucial factor that one should consider when picking a provider. You don’t have to spend money on the DVD or Blu-ray version of your favorite movie or show to be able to watch it. This is why on-demand services exist. When a provider offers on-demand access, you’re reassured about the quality content you can watch without buying the DVD or Blu-ray. Different providers offer different on-demand features, but many of them do provide on-demand access of some sort. Inquire about what you can access and which features require extra charge when choosing the plan.
The quality of cable TV programming you receive is often based on the price. Once you know what you’re looking for in a TV plan, pick a plan that fits well within your budget. Most providers offer 125 channels as part of the basic plan and up to 400+ channels in premium plans—at different prices.
If you’re a new customer, you can benefit from special offers or discounts given by different providers. Providers usually offer their new customers premium channels, limited-time discounts, or additional perks as a welcome present. The value of the plan is the ultimate deciding factor. Are the features, benefits, and value doing justice to the price?
- Internet Speed Requirement
There’s a reason cable TV plans have a required internet speed written in the fine print of the contracts. Streaming your favorite movies, shows, or live sports programming in SD, HD, or 4K UHD, requires you to have an internet connection that supports it. Figure out how much speed you can do with and pick a cable TV plan that provides accordingly. Cable TV plans with high latency can be a real bummer in your streaming experience. Ask around for personal experiences with any cable provider before you sign up with one, so you don’t go through the agony of high latency and endless buffering!
Bundling allows the user to save a lot of money and enjoy 2 to 3 services from the same provider on a single bill. Most providers offer budget-friendly bundles and discounts to their subscribers if they combine services. Usually, bundle deals will typically save you more than $15 to $20 a month, but this varies from provider to provider. Additionally, you will also find that your cable TV provider may offer a ton of perks and incentives with their cable TV plans.
Inquire about any ongoing deals, special offers, or sales for new customers, low-income households, and more to make use of discounts. However, keep in mind that you will be charged normally past the expiration dates of the discounted bundles.
10 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Contract
As we said, choosing an internet or cable provider is one of the biggest decisions you will make if you’ve recently moved to the neighborhood. You must know what you’re getting into if the ISP of your choice requires you to sign a contract. Contract terms are usually 2 years long, meaning you have to make an informed decision before choosing to be bound by a service for 2 years.
Here are 10 questions you must ask your cable provider before signing the contract. These 10 questions will offer you clarity about the service provider and its ability to fix your problems, should there be any, as fast as possible.
- What channels do you offer?
Different providers offer different channel lineups with pretty much the same channels but at different prices. Ask them about the different tiers they offer, and if they have the channels you’re looking for.
- Can I switch plans?
Ask about the possibility of switching plans. Sometimes after you’ve signed up for a particular plan, you may see other less costly options or even expensive ones that you might be interested in. Most providers will allow you to upgrade to a higher-priced plan easily, but not many will let you switch to a less-costly plan. A few might charge you a fee too. Before you sign the contract, make sure you know how long you will be ‘stuck’ with the provider before you switch or cancel subscriptions.
- Will the price of the plan change after a specific time period?
New customers benefit from discounts and limited-time offers all the time when they sign up with a provider. But these prices are usually promotional only and expire after a certain period of time. Make sure to ask about the price hikes and surges past the expiration dates, so you’re not surprised.
- Will I get any additional perks?
Many perks of signing up with a cable TV provider include fresh and exclusive content, On-Demand service, pay-per-view, live sports, free access to premium networks, and much more. Ask about any additional perks you can enjoy with the plan. Most providers offer limited-time perks that you can benefit from. Familiarize yourself with the perks before you sign the dotted line. AT&T and Spectrum are two providers that offer a number of incredible perks with their TV plans.
- Do you offer an on-demand service?
Ask the provider if it offers any sort of On-demand service for you to make the most of. Most of them like Spectrum, for instance, offers subscribers access to thousands of On-demand titles that you can watch wherever and whenever you want!
- Can I bundle my cable TV plan with any other service you offer?
A ton of major providers offer discounted bundles that let you enjoy a fast and reliable connection, quality TV entertainment, and unlimited connectivity to friends and family. Xfinity, AT&T, Spectrum, Optimum, to name a few, offer the best bundles in town!
- What is your customer service like?
Ask the provider how you can reach out to them for help, support, or advice when you need it. Can you call them up or will they respond to your email in a timely manner? Do they offer live chat services to fix the problem in real-time? Will they help out with any repair and maintenance when needed? Customer service is essential to your experience. Make sure to discuss your expectations before signing the dotted line.
- Do I need a specific device to access content?
Most major TV providers require you to access content with the devices they offer. Make sure you ask about the compatibility of the device with the plan if you’re planning on purchasing another device.
- Do I have to sign a contract?
This is the most important question on the list. You don’t want to be bound by a contract if you don’t want to stay with a provider for 2 years. Contracts are usually 24 months long and canceling a subscription will have you pay an early termination fee in most cases. Make sure you’re familiar with such instances before signing the dotted line and surprising yourself with future regrets later on.
- Can I install the equipment myself?
Does the customer support team offer professional installation? Or can it be easily done by yourself? Many providers offer professional installation for a specific fee, and a few of them may even do it free of cost, given the plan you’ve chosen.
To Wrap it Up
Choosing the right TV provider is essential if you love spending your downtime watching your favorite channels. Always be aware of the special offers, limited-time discounts, and additional perks you can get when you’re signing up for a plan. This brief guide will help you negotiate with the provider and make sure you know the value of the plan before you sign the dotted line! We hope this guide helps you choose a cable TV provider perfect for your television entertainment needs!