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TV Providers in My Area

Whether you're a die-hard GoT fan or you've gotta have your Sunday NFL games, finding the best TV service for your watching habits is a must.

In this guide, we'll answer the question "How do I find cable TV companies near me?" and we'll help you find the best cable TV deals in your area. Plus, you'll have access to the pros and cons of the major service options in our TV provider guides.

Stay tuned for details on the top TV options!

How to Pick the Best TV Provider

Before we look at specific providers, we'll go over some tips to help you make the right decision. There are several things you should take into consideration.

  1. Pricing: The introductory promotional period that's typically available for first-time customers doesn't usually last. You'll want to know how long you get that rate and what you'll be paying once it expires.
  2. Contract: While satellite TV providers require a contract, most cable companies allow you to pay month-to-month if you want (this is typically more expensive than the rate if you get with a service agreement).
  3. Extra fees: Additional fees may be tacked on to the advertised monthly price. For example, some providers charge a Regional Sports Fee, while others include this in their package pricing. You want to calculate these ahead of time so you aren't the victim of sticker shock when the monthly bill comes.
  4. Equipment: Whether you choose a cable service, satellite service, or you're in search of the best streaming sites, you want to know that the DVR or set top boxes you receive are capable of handling your viewing and recording habits. Storage capacity, for instance, can vary widely from provider to provider.
  5. Channels and packages: Will you get decent sports coverage? What about premium movie channels and Pay-per-View? Are your kids' favorite channels available within your budget? What about add-on plans like NHL Center Ice?
  6. Mobile viewing: Is there an app that allows you to watch live TV shows or your recorded content on your mobile devices? What about mobile content management?
  7. Customer satisfaction: The American Customer Satisfaction Index provides ratings each year reflecting consumers' attitudes about how well subscription TV services are doing. This includes areas like customer service, price, and product quality.

Most cable and satellite companies offer decent HD channel lineups. Make sure you check out which ones are available if that's a major sticking point for you.

Cable TV Providers

Cable is the most common form of TV service, with Comcast XFINITY holding onto the lion's share of the market, at 24% (Statista). Cable television is available in most areas.

You might be wondering about fiber internet and TV service. This is the fastest type of connection. While fiber optic technology is not available everywhere yet, some of the top providers do offer it in limited areas.

Pros and Cons of Cable TV

Pros

  • Economical basic plans available
  • Not as vulnerable as satellite TV to weather disturbances
  • Affordable cable TV and internet bundles typically available

Cons

  • Can get pricey in the second year
  • Commitment may be required to get promotional price

Now, down to the nitty gritty. In the following TV provider reviews you'll find information on channel selection, DVR equipment, and pricing for the best cable TV providers.

AT&T U-Verse*: U-Verse offers up to 470 channels and is available in 21 states.

Cable One*: This company operates in 19 states. Package options are lacking, however, and they're on the pricey side.

CenturyLink*: CenturyLink is phasing out its Prism® TV product, however it is an authorized DIRECTV dealer.

Charter Spectrum* (fiber for business): Spectrum offers a typical array of channels, plus add-ons like NFL RedZone and other sports plans, plenty of PPV options, and over 10,000 on-demand titles.

Cox Cable: Cox is available in 18 states. The channel selection isn't as extensive as some of the larger providers but they do offer high speed internet if you're looking for cable TV and internet bundles.

Mediacom: You can only buy TV service bundled with internet from Mediacom. They serve 21 states and no contract is required.

Optimum: This tiny cable company serves New York, plus limited areas of New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. Packages range from 220 to 420 channels, with no commitment necessary.

Verizon FiOS* (fiber only): Verizon offers fiber-only TV and internet service in nine states so far. Its high quality isn't surprising, and neither are the prices. The cool thing about FiOS TV is that you can order custom packages - things like sports, international channels, or kids and pop culture.

Windstream* (fiber available in select areas of Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Texas): Windstream combines DIRECTV service with their Kinetic gigabit internet to provide bundled services across 16 states.

XFINITY*: Comcast's XFINITY TV is available in 40 states. The best way of saving money with XFINITY is by going with their TV and/or internet and phone bundles.

*fiber available in select areas

Satellite TV Providers

With Satellite television you don't have the limitations of location. The best satellite TV providers offer service in all 50 states.

Pros and Cons of Satellite TV

Pros

  • Available everywhere, including rural areas
  • Competitive channel selection and equipment

Cons

  • Contract required
  • Higher potential for weather disruptions
  • Lack of cheaper, basic service plans

Now let's look at the best satellite TV providers:

DIRECTV: This AT&T subsidiary offers packages with up to 330+ channels, plus NFL Sunday Ticket is included in the top four packages.

Dish Network: Dish gives you up to 250+ channels, plus you'll enjoy use of the Hopper 3 HD DVR, which offers a huge amount of storage space compared to DVRs from other TV providers.

Streaming Services

If you're trying to figure out how to find cheap TV service, then cutting the cord might be right for you. As long as you keep your subscriptions under control, it's very affordable to get just the shows you want without paying for hundreds of channels you don't.

The Best Internet TV Providers

  • Netflix
  • Hulu
  • Sling TV (owned by Dish)
  • DIRECTV NOW
  • PlayStation Vue
  • YouTube TV
  • Fubo TV
  • Philo TV
  • CBS All Access

TV streaming services can provide the extras you want like NFL Network and HBO. They also allow you to get HD picture quality.

If you decide on streaming as your main source of video content then you'll also want to pick the best streaming device to hook up to your television for optimal viewing.

Recap

Whether you go with cable TV service, satellite, or streaming - or you're lucky enough to have fiber TV in your area, you can locate service in your area by using our handy tool to find cable providers by zip code.

Want to measure these providers up side-by-side? Check out our TV service comparisons:

MoneySavingPro also has you covered if you're wondering "How do I find internet providers in my area?" And finally, for the old-school fan, check out the best home phone service in our list of landline phone service providers.

TV Providers in My Area FAQs

QHow much is it for cable?

A

According to Fortune.com, the average cable bill has hit a new high of $103.10 per month. This is about double the price offered in ads and for cable promotional packages. The most stripped down, basic cable packages come as low as $23 per month for the service, a cable box and a remote.

QWhat is Xfinity TV?

A

Comcast launched Xfinity TV to deliver a huge online library of video content to their cable customers. The service also allows remote programming of DVRs. Subscribers can watch top rated movies and TV series live and on demand with Xfinity.

QDo I need certain equipment to watch local and basic cable channels?

A

With many TV providers, you do not need a special kind of equipment to watch most local and basic cable channels. If you plan to watch premium channels included in your cable subscription, your provider will provide you with a digital receiver. There may be extra costs involving installation or programming, depending on the company which installs it and the location of your home. In relation to digital cable channels, analog cable channels don't have as great of a picture so it is worth spending a little extra if you value picture quality. For more specific answers consult the provider directly.

QWhat are the different types of satellite television dishes I can choose from?

A

To begin with, a satellite dish is a type of antenna used to receive television service at one particular location. There are two main types of satellite dishes used for television viewing -direct broadcast satellite (DBS) or direct-to-home satellite (DTH). The majority of satellite television companies, i.e., DirecTV and DISH Network, provide service through DBS. Systems like these allow the viewer to watch hundreds, sometimes even thousands of channels. Direct-to-home satellite dishes were introduced prior to DBS and utilize lower powered satellites with larger dishes (1.7 meter in diameter) so they're not usually installed by satellite television companies.

QIs Directv a satellite or cable?

A

Directv delivers television programming packages via satellite, with the service available in all 50 states. Successful satellite dish installation requires a clear view of the sky to the south in order to work properly. In some regions, Directv is also available via internet in some regions, depending on internet provider speed.

QIs DIRECTV Satellite?

A

Directv is a broadcast service provider via satellite, and in some regions, internet. Directv has enjoyed higher rankings than every cable company 15 years running. There is no equipment to buy and no up front fee, making Directv a popular choice with consumers.

QWhere is the satellite dish installed?

A

A technician will pay a visit to your home after your subscribe to satellite service and install a dish either on an exterior wall or the roof. In certain instances if the wall space or roof cannot accommodate the equipment, the technician can insert a pole in your yard and mount the dish onto that. If you live in an apartment the regulations regarding satellite dishes may differ. It's best to check with your units specific policies and receive association approval prior to purchasing a service. According to FCC regulations, you are permitted by law to install a dish 1 meter in diameter or less on any property that you own or have exclusive use to.

QWhat is the difference between HDTV and digital cable?

A

High definition (HD) refers to stations which are broadcast in 1080i-1080 lines per frame which translates to a sleek and crisp image. Digital cable presents a nicer picture than regular cable but do not always display in high quality. Sometimes, the quality may come in as low as 480i. In order to see every cable channel in high definition, you must purchase an HD package from your cable provider. If you're unsure which offerings are included in your contract, contact your provider directly. One tip to keep in mind is that if you only have an analog TV, you'll need to purchase an HD conversion box to watch in high quality.

QIs It Possible to Buy a TV Package That Is Customized?

A

Most TV providers will sell various packages in terms of the number of channels you will receive. Some providers will let you pick and choose packages by topic, such as Family, Sports, Movies, etc. after you have selected their base package. By choosing just the packages you prefer, you can get the channels you are most interested in, and you will save money because you are not paying for channels you are not going to use. Special packages, such as sports, will often be sold as optional packages that can be purchased seasonally.

QHow Do I Know Which DVR to Buy for Best Results?

A

When you buy a TV package from a company, it will come with a DVR. The DVR that the company supplies is specially made to go along with their system. If you use another device, you may not be able to get all the features that were promised in the package. Besides that, some companies will not charge for the DVR. When looking at the various number of TV channels a package provides, it is also important to see what the DVR can do. This is especially true if you intend to watch and record a lot of TV movies and programs. Some DVRs, for instance, have very limited capabilities. It may only let you watch one or two movies (on different devices) and record one at the same time. The best DVRs will enable you to record at least four movies at a time (some can let you record as many as 12), and watch that many simultaneously. Storage space on the DVR is another important issue to watch for. Some of them have very limited storage, but others can enable you to store many HD movies and programs.

QWhat About On Demand Movies?

A

Some TV providers will offer many On Demand movies. These are movies and shows that are in their library and they can be viewed whenever you want. A couple of TV companies have 10,000 or more of these programs available. One thing that it is important to look for is how many of these shows or movies can be viewed for free.

QCan TV Shows and Movies Be Viewed on Other Devices?

A

When looking for TV company options, be sure that you will be able to see programs and movies on multiple devices - if you want this capability. It can be very handy, and most likely, all you will need to do is to download an app (usually free) for your smartphone or tablet.

QIs It Possible to Get TV Programming Without a Contract?

A

Fortunately, the answer to this question is Yes! However, it will depend on where you live. Some TV companies do offer excellent packages for TV, as well as Internet and phone, on a no-commitment basis. Also, most of the companies that provide TV will also give you a 30-day (or more) guarantee to give you your money back if you are not satisfied with their services.

QWhen Buying a TV Package, What Else Should I Look for?

A

There really are a lot of options that you might want to get in addition to TV programming. You can also get Internet and phone service with it, which could save you money when you bundle the services. You may also want to get home security systems that will let you control your thermostat, lights, alarm, and will also send you alerts when there is a problem. You can also actually see into your home, or outside, through the video cameras.