What’s the Best Cheap TV Provider?

Are you looking for the cheapest TV provider? Oftentimes, cheap TV packages are too good to be true. They promise low rates that may only be available for a short promotional period or substantially limit your channel choices. Luckily, we’ve done our homework and found the top cheap TV providers who offer plenty of channels at an affordable price.

The big players

The cheapest TV providers under $50/month that we found are Spectrum, Xfinity, and Cox. Spectrum offers no-contract plans where all channels are in HD and premium channels included. With Spectrum TV, you’ll also get limited DVR storage and second-year pricing can change quite a bit from your first year. It’s available in 44 states, including big cities like Los Angeles, New York, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Saint Louis, Orlando, and more.

Xfinity TV offers a solid DVR to record up to 150 hours of your favorite shows, a voice remote, and wide availability, but it has limited channel counts and requires an annual contract. Its services are available in 40 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, and Florida.

Cox TV offers solid DVR options to record up to 1,000 HD hours, and their TV plans include local channels. However, Cox has limited availability in the US; it’s available in just 18 states, including large states like Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, and Texas.

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Who this is for

Spectrum TV offers 125+ channels for $44.99/month for 12 months. This inexpensive TV service offers many favorite family channels, with access to Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, and Hallmark Channel. While Spectrum does offer a DVR, it lacks the storage that DVRs from other service providers have. The Spectrum DVR holds just 35 HD or 80 SD hours and can only record two shows at once. With that in mind, this cheap cable plan might be a good fit for a small family that doesn’t need to record multiple shows at once. If you want a better DVR experience, the Xfinity DVR features more storage so that you can record everyone’s favorite shows, even if they’re on at the same time.

Xfinity TV offers 140+ channels for $49.99/month. It’s an affordable cable provider and offers the best value plan which gives you a variety of channels covering sports, lifestyle, kids, news, and more. With Xfinity TV there’s a channel for everyone; including Animal Planet, Disney Channel, CNN, Food Network, FOX News, HISTORY, and Hallmark Channel. If you like to record your favorite shows or movies because you can’t watch them live, then you’ll love Xfinity’s X1 DVR service. The X1 DVR can record up to 150 hours of HD programming on the hard drive, and you also get 150 hours of Cloud Storage per X1 DVR. If you want more cloud storage, you can opt to buy more.

Cox TV offers 75+ channels for $50/month. This service offers many of the most popular TV channels and has something for everyone to watch, including sports, telenovelas, or local news channels. Cox TV service offers several DVR options that range from 250 to 1,000 storage hours for $10 to $30/month. The cheapest DVR option is perfect for a small family that likes to record only a few TV shows from time to time. On the other hand, the more expensive DVR option will allow a family of seven to record their favorite shows simultaneously.

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Key considerations

Contracts

  • Spectrum TV is a no-contract service. This means that you are free to cancel your subscription at any time. If you plan to move in the future or find that you aren’t using your service enough, this allows you to cancel your plan rather than continue to pay for something that you aren’t using to satisfy a contract.
  • Xfinity TV has a 1-year contract, which might be a potential deal-breaker if either of the above situations applies to your family.
  • Cox TV has the longest contract requirement. With a 2-year contract, you are locked into your plan and if you want to cancel before your contract is up, you’ll have to pay an early termination fee of up to $240.

DVR fees

  • Spectrum TV charges between $4.99 and $9.99/month for DVR service that gives you 35 HD hours storage.
  • Xfinity TV’s DVR fee ranges from $5 to $15/month for 150 HD hours storage and 150 hours Cloud storage.
  • Cox TV’s DVR fee ranges from $10 to $30/month. Plus, the Cox DVR records 24 shows at a time and store up to 1,000 HD hours.

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What others are saying

In the American Customer Satisfaction Index review, Xfinity ranked #3 with a score of 66/100 in customer satisfaction with subscription TV service. Spectrum scored below the industry average with a score of 64, followed by Cox with a 62 score.

In the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Residential Television Service Provider Satisfaction Study, Xfinity got third place with a score of 723 on a 1,000-point scale, followed by Spectrum and Cox. Spectrum scored below the industry average with a score of 702. Cox scored below the industry average in the East, West, and South segment with 711, 706, and 699 scores, respectively.

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Cheap TV provider FAQs

What are the differences between these cheap TV providers?

The TV services offered by these providers are quite different when it comes to fees, contracts, and channels:

  • Spectrum TV is the best no-contract option and you won’t pay a termination fee if you end your service early.
  • Xfinity TV offers the best value and its plans offer more channels than any of the other cheap TV services.
  • Cox TV is the best for basic TV channels and you’ll have access to popular local channels that you won’t find with any other TV providers.

What is the cheapest cable TV service?

The cheapest cable TV services are offered by Spectrum and Xfinity. TV service from these companies is widely available and both providers offer lots of channels for $50/month or less.

Which TV service has the most channels?

Xfinity TV offers up to 140+ channels for $49.99/month.

What is the best TV service for me?

To determine the best TV service option for you, first check out which TV providers are available in your area. Then, check to see if that service has the channels you and your family want and if the plan aligns with any budget you may have in mind.

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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 1/31/22.

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.