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What’s the Best TV Provider?

Whether you’re looking for a TV provider with the most channels or one that’s best on your wallet, there’s much to consider. Perhaps you’re a sports fan or a news binger. It’s important to pick the best TV provider for you and your personal needs, especially when entertaining a commitment to a lengthy contract. Plus, did you know that not every TV provider services all 50 states? If you didn’t, you’re in the right place.

There are plenty of nuances when it comes to understanding TV providers. We’ll help you navigate and understand what’s out there in order for you to make the right choice for you.

Who this is for

Every TV provider has its perks and advantages. For instance, if you’re not interested in entering into a contract and want to have a handle on the channels you receive, then Verizon Fios TV might be of interest – that is if you reside within its service area.

Xfinity X1 is available at a relatively affordable cost when you enter into a 1-year agreement. You’ll receive 125+ channels for $49/mo. or 185+ channels for $59/mo., depending on where you live. You can also avoid installation fees by setting up the easy-to-use set-top box yourself. Plus, you won’t have to worry about contracts with Xfinity TV.*

Spectrum TV delivers a tried and true cable experience, utilizing coaxial cables to deliver its service. So, if you’re comfortable with traditional cable and basic DVR features, you may find a solution in one of its three plans. Spectrum is a great option for Spanish speakers, who may appreciate its three Spanish-language packages.

For anyone who lives in a rural area or outside of cable service areas, there’s satellite TV. With providers like DISH and DIRECTV, you can expect more channels than you would typically get with cable, including entertainment, news, sports, and premium channels like HBO. DIRECTV delivers a particularly good option for sports as it includes NFL Sunday Ticket which may entice football fans. However, if you’re more interested in outstanding DVR features like 2,000 hours of storage space and recording up to 16 programs at once, DISH TV may better suit your needs.

Say you’ve had enough of traditional TV service providers like cable and satellite. Perhaps you’re not interested in contracts. Then, you could turn to a live TV streaming service like YouTube TV. We just recommend that you make sure you have a solid internet connection first. Most OTT streaming services offer a trial period so you can take it for a test drive before you commit. At the very least, you can cancel at any time without facing a termination fee.

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Key considerations

Verizon Fios offers a few different plans and all of them include one set-top box in their pricing. Your Fios TV advertises that for $65/mo. Verizon Fios will recommend a package of 125+ channels based on your five favorite channels. However, if you’re after even more channels, Verizon’s The Most Fios TV package offers 425+ channels including premium networks like EPIX and SHOWTIME.

Xfinity’s Extra package costs $67/mo. for 125+ channels (depending on your service area). But for just a little more, there’s the Digital Preferred plan starting at $69.99/mo. Digital Preferred provides 185+ channels that sports fans will particularly favor like CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, MLB Network, NBA TV, NBCSUN, NFL Network, NHL Network, Olymppic Channel, and SEC Network.

Spectrum offers three packages with TV Select, TV Silver, and TV Gold. Its middle-of-the-pack Silver package provides 175+ channels (covering sports, entertainment, news, and lifestyle) starting at $74.99/mo.

If you need satellite TV, DISH provides America’s Top 120 channels for $69.99/mo., America’s Top 200 for $94.99/mo., and America’s Top 250 for $104.99/mo. Sports fans will rejoice knowing that all DISH TV plans include regional sports channels. DIRECTV, on the other hand, offers NFL SUNDAY TICKET and a few more sports channels with their CHOICE plan ($69.99/mo.) and its more premium packages.*

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What others are saying

The 2020-2021 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) ranks telecom companies based on their overall customer satisfaction, using a scale of 0 to 100. Overall, TV providers rose from 1.6% from the previous year in customer satisfaction to an ASCI score of 65.

Verizon Fios was ranked in second place with an above-average score of 71. Xfinity shares third place with DISH and DIRECTV with a customer satisfaction score of 66. According to the ASCI press release, all other TV providers were ranked below the average. For instance, Spectrum was graded just under the average with a customer satisfaction score of 64.

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TV provider FAQs

What is 4K TV?

4K TV, otherwise known as Ultra HD or UHD, is comprised of roughly 4,000 pixels (3840 x 2160). The more pixels on your TV screen translates to more detail and clarity in the image quality. Not all programming is automatically available in 4K even with a 4K TV, so you may need to check what 4K channels are available with each specific TV provider. 

Is it more affordable if TV is bundled?

Rather than getting your internet from one provider and your TV and home phone from another, most telecom companies offer discounts for those who bundle their services. If you’re looking for an internet service provider (ISP) to go with your TV provider, you may be interested in our internet and TV reviews

What TV providers are in my area?

Even though there are plenty of TV providers to choose from, they’re not all available in every state. That’s why the easiest way to find what TV providers are in your area is through the use of a service finder. Simply enter your address below to see what services are available to you.

Compare the top TV providers in your area

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*Pricing varies by location and availability. Speeds may vary. All prices subject to change; for current pricing and availability visit our TV service page. Prices as of 2/1/22.

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Disclosure | Updater articles are based on our own data and research, independent from partner relationships. We are not compensated by partners for information and opinions presented here. Our Editorial Terms of Service can be found here.

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