Cable TV is the ultimate respite. After a hard day at work, when you plop down on your comfortable couch and turn on the television, you feel as light as air. Nothing can beat the wide assortment of entertainment and the diversity of networks that cable TV brings to the table. Due to its undying demand, the cable TV market is filled to the brim with thousands of services and enticing offers.
For an average consumer such as yourself, it may become difficult to compare providers and analyze packages. Should you go for top-of-the-line cable companies like RCN cable or choose a local provider to satisfy your minimal TV needs? Questions like these may haunt your mind. Don’t worry, though. This post will give you a shortcut to selecting the right cable TV provider. Here are all the factors you ought to keep in mind while assessing providers and weighing your options:
Live TV Programming
Live news, sports, and event coverage are some of the reasons why people still love cable TV. This is something that streaming TV misses out on, unfortunately. So, when you head to the market in search of the best provider, make sure to check whether it includes live TV programming in its packages and plans, and to what extent.
Cable television doesn’t face as many signal interruptions as satellite TV does, which is why it is the more preferable option for TV viewers. Still, it relies on copper cables for data transmission, which may deteriorate over time. So, verify the status of infrastructure a cable TV provider relies on, and ask its current customers about the frequency of cable outages.
Number of Channels
Some people watch TV for the greater part of their day, while others only have time to squeeze a few episodes into their hectic routines. So, evaluate your TV watching habits beforehand. Once you do that, look for a channel lineup that caters to it in the best manner. See if the cable TV provider you are picking has the right number of channels laid out for you in a structurally optimal lineup.
The freedom to customize your TV package is always a plus. Quite a number of cable TV providers let you upgrade your TV lineup with add-on channel packs, like “Movies”, “International” or “Kids,” etc. By adding your favorite pack to a threadbare lineup, you can save a lot in the long run. So, lookout for a cable TV provider that offers add-on packs.
Streaming TV services enjoy massive popularity today on account of providing exclusive Originals that are not available on cable. Thus, to prevent their customers from cutting the cord and moving on to streaming subscriptions, cable companies do the impossible, i.e. they include streaming apps in their packages. This way, consumers can get the best of both worlds.
A majority of cable giants provide free HBO Max for a year, while others may integrate Netflix in their cable boxes. Find a cable TV provider who fulfills your streaming needs as well.
A huge selling point of cable TV is that it enables subscribers to record their favorite TV shows or movies for later. Different cable companies host varying DVR capabilities. Depending on your usage, select a cable TV company that gives you significant storage hours. If you look harder, you may also come across a cable provider that has 250 hours of simultaneous DVR recording done completely on the cloud and with a voice-controlled mechanism to make things convenient for its users.
Watch The Lord of the Rings series in one sitting or go on a magical adventure with Harry Potter by ordering the titles on demand from your cable provider. An ideal cable TV provider has a tasteful on-demand library with a vast selection of titles that rotate with time. When you’re comparing providers, don’t forget to check their on-demand libraries, too.
This is the era of smartphones. Cable companies that make their television services mobile-friendly come out on top. With a signature TV app from a cable provider, you can watch your saved shows and programs on the go, as long as your smartphone is connected to the internet. So, choose a cable TV provider that has a functional and user-friendly smartphone TV app, which is free to download and use.
At the end of the day, what matters the most to consumers is cost. In this era, people want more for less. So, they look for TV packages that have the right set of channels and perks and yet a lower monthly cost. You should also pick a cable TV provider who has a transparent pricing scheme and no hidden charges that may derail your budget later on. Calculate the difference between the promotional pricing for new customers and the regular pricing for current customers, and see if you can bear the hike.
Cable TV equipment generally includes cable boxes, wires, connectors, and manuals. Go for a cable TV provider that gives you both self-installation and professional installation options. The self-installation method should be made super-easy for you with tutorials and guides, while the professional installation shouldn’t cost too much. The installation window should ideally be short, so users can enjoy their cable TV services without waiting.
Most of the cable companies require their customers to sign contracts, which may last for a year or two. Breaking such a commitment before the end of the term often imposes an ETF or an Early Termination Fee on the subscribers. If you’re always on the move and shifting between places, then select a cable TV provider who doesn’t have contract commitments. This way you can avoid the ETF charges, and pay month to month only.
How a company treats its customers is evident by its customer service platform. Choose a cable TV provider whose customer service is exceptional. So, if you do have queries later on or face a problem, you can reach out to customer care fast and get your issue resolved instantly for a satisfying experience.
The Bottom Line
The kind of cable TV provider you pick for your home will have a great impact on how your service experience goes, further down the line. So, use the aforementioned factors to narrow down your options and make a wise decision.