Honest Review of Spectrum TV Streaming Service

There are pros and cons to this service that every consumer should weigh.

How I Find Spectrum TV

I don't know about you, but if a random, unknown number shows up on my phone, I dance and sing along to my ringtone while waiting for the call to be transferred to voicemail. I was filled with pride for not being considered stupid by scam artists. However, during the summer, I received a surprise call from my son's teacher. The next day the same number popped up, and I answered — thinking it was school again, following up on some questions I had. Well, I was wrong. It turned out to be a Spectrum call.

The lady was a little pushy, trying to sell me off with the idea of ​​a seven-day free trial of the new streaming TV app Spectrum. I am very much against the high cost of cable TV. Why do I have to pay to watch shows I can watch for free, using the internet that I've paid too much for?

But this woman is persistent. He explained that the company is reaching out to its current customers, wanting them to try this new service. They would give me seven days to try it out, absolutely free. First, I need to download their free app. I'll get all my local channels and ten additional channels of my choice, which I can easily redeem through the app. The app can be downloaded to unlimited devices, meaning I can watch shows, my husband can watch other shows, and my son can watch his cartoons at the same time. I have seven days to try it. If I decide to keep the service, it will only be $24.99 per month, but if I decide it's not for me, I can cancel via the app, online, or by calling customer service. They would even give a $10 credit to my bill just to try it out, whether I decided to keep the service or not.

After listening to what he had to say and ascertaining the many ways to cancel the service, I thought, why not? I thought my family and I would test it for seven days and then I canceled it. I agreed to give it a try, fully trusting that I would cancel within a week. $10 off my internet bill is pretty attractive and honestly, I was excited to watch a little TV. After haphazardly selecting my ten channels over the phone, with confirmation that I could easily swap them myself via the app, I hung up and anxiously waited for my husband to come home so we could watch TV.

Initial settings

We immediately downloaded the app to our device but were disappointed that we couldn't download it to our Vizio smart TV. It was a minor annoyance, as we were able to use SmartView, putting whatever show we were watching on our phones straight onto the TV.

Then, my husband and I browsed through the app trying to figure out how to trade our top ten channels. Not seeing an option for that in the app, I called customer service. I spoke to a technical support representative and found out the actual details of the service.

Channels Included in Plan

  • Local TV channels (e.g., The CW): QVC, HSN, JTV, Shop HQ, Gem Shopping Network
  • Spectrum News : Various music channels
  • CSPAN, CSPAN2, CSPAN3 : Telemundo

Spectrum TV Basics

  • Ten selectable channels for customers to choose from. This line can only be changed once by calling customer service.
  • To cancel, customer service must be called.
  • The streaming service is $24.99 per month.
  • No bulky cable and cable boxes.
  • No contract. You can cancel at any time.

You can imagine my annoyance when I heard that what I originally sold was not true. However, the tech support guy was apologetic and very kind. He discussed all the actual details of the service with me as well as gave me details of all the channel options. He allowed me to change the line over the phone and didn't count it for my one time change. He also said that he would be talking to the marketing team to make sure they were providing the right information when trying to sell their new service. Overall, it was a pleasant interaction and I really appreciate getting all the facts right about the Spectrum streaming service.

Pro and Cons spectrum

I chose ten channels that I knew my family would watch, a combination of education and entertainment. My husband and I love the History, NatGeo, and Discovery channels; my kids enjoy Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon; and I love having FX for watching American Horror Story. It's nice to have more options on days when we have time to watch TV. Although a DVR is not included in the app, on demand gives you the freedom to watch your favorite shows when time permits. It is also possible to watch on a computer without an application, using the Spectrum website. There's even a feature to add your favorite shows to your watch list.

My family ended up enjoying the convenience of more TV choices and we decided to keep the service. However, they don't tell you that there are additional costs associated with streaming TV. On my first charge with the new service, I saw the following additional charges:

  • Broadcast TV Surcharge - $5. This is a fee that reflects the fees assessed to Spectrum by local broadcast owners and local "network-affiliated" TV stations.
  • FCC Regulatory Fee - $0.06
  • Franchise Fees -These fees change every month. On the first bill, it was $0.76. On the next bill, it was $1.06.

With today's advances in technology and age, you would think buffering would be a distant memory. Unfortunately, with the fastest internet speed in our area, 400+mbps, buffering still occurs with this streaming service. It's a minor annoyance, usually makes me dizzy and irritated, but it doesn't last long, less than a minute. While on-demand is convenient, it's important to note that not all seasons and episodes of the show are available with the service.

Is it worth it?

To be honest, the answer to this question is subjective. With the advent of streaming options from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO, and YouTube, as well as other networks joining in, money is being thrown in all directions. So many people are ditching cable in favor of these other options, but how much for the service are you paying for? It's easy to follow all the options and find yourself paying the same amount or more than you would for traditional cable.

For us, the service is great. As far as TV options go, we have our digital antennas for local channels, Netflix, and now streaming Spectrum. But before you commit to $24.99 per month, you should consider what you're already paying for and whether you're actually going to watch the channel.

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