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Spectrum TV: Everything you need to know about Charter's television options
Spectrum TV is the television division of Charter Communications. It offers a wide range of cable TV packages for its customers, along with ways to watch TV without cable. Most recently, it started offering semi-exclusive TV shows for its subscribers.
Here’s a look at everything you need to know about Spectrum TV. We will update this article if there are any changes to its plans and services.
What is Spectrum TV?
As stated, Spectrum TV is the TV division of Charter Communications, which also offers internet access, landline phone services, and most recently mobile phone services via Spectrum Mobile. Charter started using the Spectrum brand name for its TV, internet, and phone services in 2014. It is currently the third biggest pay-TV service in the US, behind only AT&T and Comcast. It is available in parts of 41 states.
Read more: Spectrum Mobile plans
Spectrum TV plans
There are a number of different plans, both for people who have a standard cable TV connection at home and for those who want to cut the cord.
Cable TV plans
Spectrum TV offers four main plans for cable TV subscribers. All plans also allow users to access the Spectrum TV app for PCs, mobile devices, and smart TVs, along with thousands of free and paid on-demand TV shows and movies. The specific channel lineup for each plan may differ depending on your location. Other premium channels may be added to each plan for additional fees.
- Choice: All of your local channels, and 10 extras that you can choose from a list of 72 available channels. The plan starts at $34.99 a month.
- Select: Over 125 HD channels, starting at $44.99 a month.
- Silver: Over 175 HD channels, including HBO, NFL Network, and Showtime, along with free access to the HBO Max streaming service, starting at $74.99 a month.
- Gold: Over 200 channels including HBO, NFL Network, Showtime, The Movie Channel, Starz, and Starz Encore, along with access to the HBO Max streaming service, starting at $94.99 a month.
All of these plans require a set-top box, DVR box, or CableCARD device connected to your home TV. Customers can also access these channels with the Spectrum TV app. Keep in mind that Charter/Spectrum also offers bundles with internet access, telephone, and mobile service for other rates too. The company also offers cable TV plans specifically for Latino audiences.
Some customers in competitive areas are being offered another non-advertised plan. The Lifestyle plan includes local channels and over 50 other cable channels for $19.95 a month. However, it’s only available if you bundle it with internet service.
Internet-only customers can also subscribe to Spectrum TV Stream, which offers all the local TV channels and 25 other cable TV channels for $34.99. Extra channels are available for additional fees. Those same internet-only customers can also choose to pick Spectrum TV Essentials, which offers 62 channels, but no local channels, for $14.99 a month. Both of these plans are only available to stream on PC and the Spectrum TV app for mobile devices and smart TVs.
Spectrum News/Spectrum Sports
In addition to providing cable channels from other companies, Charter also offers its own programming in certain markets. Spectrum News offers local news 24 hours a day in 10 US states, including New York City. In addition, Spectrum Sports operates regional sports channels in four US states. That includes New York City, where the channel shows live New York Mets games, and Los Angeles, which shows local LA Lakers and LA Dodgers games.
Spectrum TV app
TV customers can also access the Spectrum TV app which allows users to access live TV channels on their PC, smart TV, or mobile device at home and away from home. Some channels, such as local broadcast channels are not available on the app if is not connected to a Spectrum internet source. The applications also offer full access to the cable TV service’s on-demand library of TV shows and movies. The mobile apps can download those programs for offline viewing. Additionally, you can program your home DVR remotely with the app.
Currently, the app’s supported devices include:
- iOS-based phones and tablets
- Apple TV set-top boxes
- Android-based phones and tablets
- Amazon Fire tablets
- Samsung smart TVs
- Microsoft Xbox One consoles
In addition, the mobile apps also support Google Chromecast dongles and TVs, which allow them to cast their apps on those devices.
Until recently, a Spectrum TV app was also available for Roku smart TVs and devices. However, in mid-December 2020, Spectrum announced that it had not been able to reach a new agreement with Roku. As a result, the Spectrum TV app was removed from Roku’s download library. Users who already downloaded the app on their Roku device can continue to use it, but they are advised to not delete the app from their device.
Starting in 2018, Spectrum TV started showing original programming via its on-demand service under the Spectrum Originals brand. These shows are semi-exclusive to the service. That means they either are original to the US market or released first for Spectrum customers before becoming available on other outlets.
List of currently available shows
- LA’s Finest — A spin-off of the movie Bad Boys II. The action series stars Gabrielle Union as LAPD Detective Sydney “Syd” Burnet, and Jessica Alba as her LAPD partner Nancy McKenna (two seasons, now canceled).
- Mad About You — Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser reprise their roles of Jamie and Paul Buchman in this sequel to their hit 1990s sitcom (one season).
- Curfew — This is a UK import series. It’s set in the near future after a deadly virus causes the government to impose a 12-hour total curfew at night. A group of drivers decides to compete in an illegal street race. The winner will be able to be free of government control (one season, canceled).
- Manhunt: Deadly Games — A docudrama centering on the search for the man responsible for the 1996 Olympic bombing in Atlanta (one limited series).
- Temple — This is another UK import series. It stars Mark Strong as a doctor who performs surgery in an illegal clinic in the London Underground (one season).
- Paradise Lost — A gothic drama set in a small Mississippi town, centering on a family that moves there, as they quickly uncover major secrets (one season, canceled).
- Side Games — A Spanish-language drama about a professional soccer team (one season).
- The Bite — Previously known as The Second Wave, this is a six-episode series set in New York City. A deadlier version of the current coronavirus is spreading and forcing its residents to deal with the possible end of the world. This show stars Audra McDonald and Taylor Schilling.
- Last Chance U (working title) — Courtney Cox will star in this drama, playing an academic advisor at a university known for its heavy athletics program. The show is based in part on Netflix’s Last Chance U documentary series.
- Tinseltown — Set in the early 20th century, this drama will follow four female filmmakers who want to hit it big during Hollywood’s silent movie era.
- George & Tammy — This limited series will star Jessica Chastain who will play legendary country singer Tammy Wynette. It will also focus on her marriage to another country music legend, George Jones.
- Angela Black — This UK import will star Joanne Froggatt as the title character — a seemingly normal housewife who may not be all she first appears to be.
- Eden — This will be an Australian import series, set in a fictional oceanside town. It seems like the perfect place until a girl from the town goes missing.
- Beacon 23 — It will be a sci-fi series set at the edge of the known universe, where two people are trapped inside a futuristic lighthouse. Game of Throne’s Lena Headey will star.
- Joe Pickett – Michael Dorman stars as the title character in this drama. He will play a game warden in Wyoming who has to deal with multiple issues while trying to raise a family.
- Long Slow Exhale – A coach for a women’s college basketball team is caught up in a sex abuse scandal in this drama series.