Having cable TV can open infinite opportunities to watch live and on-demand television that you might otherwise miss with over-the-air broadcasts. Selecting the right TV package for your needs involves careful consideration of the features available to get the most for your money.

Contract vs. No Contract

The first feature you should consider is whether you have the opportunity to avoid a contract. Most people prefer this option, especially if they are financially strained or they become disinterested in TV offerings easily. Going without a contract is not necessarily better. Generally, contract rates are less expensive per month than plans without a contract. However, you may be locked-in for multiple years, and there is usually a cancellation fee if you break your contract. Many situations can be considered breaking your contract, such as changing plans, terminating your service, or paying your bill late.

Some services offer incentives to go into a contract, such as a pre-paid card or device. Although this can be tempting, be sure you understand the fine-print. You will likely need to maintain your service for an extended period, and paying your bill late within this period could disqualify you from receiving the incentive. Be aware that whatever price you see is often an introductory price and doesn't include taxes and other fees. The introductory price could be for a month without a contract or for multiple years with a contract. You should base your decision on what you can afford at the normal price per month.

Equipment Rentals vs. Purchases

You will need various types of equipment, such as a cable box, cords, and/or a TV streaming device for your service. Many providers offer the option to rent equipment or buy the equipment directly from the company. In some instances, you may be able to purchase your own equipment from a store if it is compatible with your provider. Renting equipment can be more affordable since you may pay a small amount on top of your bill. Unless you are given a rent-to-own option, you will indefinitely pay for the rental which ends up being significantly more expensive than buying the equipment. Buying the equipment directly from your service provider is expensive upfront, but it will reduce your monthly bill. An advantage of renting is your provider will usually replace items if they no longer work. When you purchase devices and run into problems, you will have to buy a new one or have it repaired on your own.


A good feature you should look for in your TV plan is the availability of apps. There are many networks that have separate apps so you can stream their shows or watch live TV. Using apps allows you to use your service on different devices and even when you are away from home by logging into your TV service account. People who travel or are frequently away from home may normally avoid purchasing TV services because they would not use them enough to justify the price. Having access to apps means you can make the most of your monthly costs for TV service.

There are many features that may be available with your TV package. Carefully choosing different options not only makes a difference in your monthly versus long-term costs, but it can also help stretch your dollar for service.

To learn more about TV packages, such as Spectrum television plans, contact a service provider in your area.