Getting the most out of your cable TV provider is essential when you want to stay in the loop of all the latest events and social media topics of the day. For seniors who spend most of their time at home, having a good connection with a reasonably low price is an attractive offer. Finding an option of cable tv for low-income seniors was not always easy, but there are a full range of cable providers available to seniors nowadays. Many offer several types of bundle deals with low pricing, no contracts, and over 100 different channels. Some cable providers will also add an internet option to the bundle, helping to bring the deal even sweeter. Cable providers can also provide a huge discount to those who are members of AARP or other member-saving companies specifically for seniors. Seniors also want a reliable connection that will provide them with all the features they can get for the price that suits their budget.
Below are five of the best cable TV providers for seniors. Each one will offer plenty of TV channels for a great price. In some cases, there are no contracts, and may offer a buyout option from your previous cable TV providers. After reading about our five cable TV providers, checkout our tips on how seniors can save money by shaving their bill in nearly half.
Spectrum is a relatively new company. Its basis comes from merging three original TV providers (Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, and Charter Communications) into one national institution. Spectrum serves over 30 million customers throughout the Nation: with more than 16 million Spectrum TV subscribers. They make this list as number one due to the many package options they offer with low prices and a dedicated, commitment-free service. Spectrum also provides a large amount of HD channels and DVR servicing options. There are several bundling options to meet every person’s needs. For new customers willing to switch to Spectrum, the company will provide a $500 sign-up bonus as an incentive. This can help with any termination fees that may be incurred as a result of cancelation from the previous TV provider. One of the best benefits for seniors joining the Spectrum TV family is their 30-day money back guarantee. If the customer is not completely satisfied with the channel options, or any other issues, they have the right to cancel within the first 30 days, no questions asked.
Spectrum TV is available throughout 41 states; however, they may not be in a large connection area. The states with the most and best TV coverage are residents in Ohio, Kentucky, New York, Maine, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, and Southern California. The only negative trait for Spectrum TV is that they are known to have some internet outage issues, which can delay connection at times. Setting up the service is also simple and easy. The complete process only takes about 30 minutes to get up and running.
Cox TV is known for their customized package deals for seniors on a low budget. They are the fifth largest cable provider nationwide. The TV provider offers a low $50 starter package of 75 channels. This is a cheap option for seniors on a budget and just want the latest news and prime channels for their news interest. Other Cox packages offer over 250 channels, including 50 commercial-free music channels. Seniors who love to enjoy a variety of sports and movie channels, then the Contour package is a great choice. Seniors can also get more for their money by bundling their TV deal with an internet package for only a few bucks more. Cox is a family-owned and operated corporation and is available in 18 states. On the downside, there is a two-year service agreement when signing up. Cox also provides internet, home security, and phone service to their customers. The company has over 20,000 employees.
With Cox’s Contour TV, seniors can also stream all their favorite shows and movies, right from their tablet or smartphone. Showtime and HBO channels are a great addition to the Cox Contour TV pack, allowing seniors to have more entertainment for their money. Cox also offers a DVR option, allowing seniors to record two shows at the same time, while storing up to 250 hours of content. Cox also provides big button remotes, making it more convenient for seniors to hold while changing channels. For each referral you give Cox, the company will give you a $25 prepaid Mastercard.
Xfinity makes this list at #3 because of the huge variety of channels and streaming options that are available to their senior customers. It is among the largest cable providers nationwide and offers many bundle deals. Seniors do not even need to be home to enjoy the streaming option, they just need to download the app onto your smartphone. With over 41 percent of seniors that own a smartphone or device, Xfinity TV packages are a great option to have. Xfinity also has contract-free packages as well. Customers may have to pay a little extra, but it may be worth it if you do not want to keep your service for more than 12 months at a time. Rates start as low as $30 per month, which is a great option for seniors who are budget conscious. There is also a 30-day moneyback guarantee. Xfinity TV plans also provide voice-search, as well as a closed captioning option, braille bills, sign language support, and more. For seniors who need a low-income assistance plan, Xfinity has that too. Customers can also receive a free, large-button remote and a talking guide for those with visual impairments. Free streaming device called Xfinity Flex is also available to internet-only customers.
All in all, Xfinity offers five TV plans to choose from, each with HD capability, On Demand access, and the ability to download TV shows and movies with the Xfinity Stream app. Some plans provide up to 150 total hours of HD or SD recording capacity on the hard drive (box). Others may feature 60 hours of cloud DVR storage and give the ability to pause and rewind up to 60 minutes of live TV.
Direct TV Stream is not your basic type of TV provider. The company offers many features with a variety of streaming options using an internet connection. Packages start from $59.99 per month and go up from there. DIRECTV Streaming packages offer over 500 hours of DVR storage, allowing seniors to record all their favorite programs, including premium channels such as HBO Max, Cinemax, SHOWTIME, and STARZ. This option is great for movie-loving seniors and those interested in regional sports. Bundle deals with AT&T internet are also available for optimal viewing. DirectTV does require a strong high speed internet connection. There is also a $19.95 activation fee. The cheapest plan comes with over 65 channels and includes the Nickelodeon channel, ESPN, TNT, and HGTV. The plan also includes three months of SHOWTIME®, STARZ®, EPIX® & Cinemax®. There are packages that come with no annual contract or hidden fees, yet some may require a 24-month agreement. What you see is what you get. Customers can receive over 20 hours of Cloud DVR storage or upgrade to get unlimited hours of Cloud DVR for just $10 per month. Agents are available 24/7 and come with a great customer satisfaction record. Choosing DirectTV Stream will allow seniors to stream their favorite shows anytime, from anywhere. DirectTV Stream is only available in the US.
For seniors who are looking for a great bundle deal on their internet and cable TV service, then Mediacom is the place that delivers. The company offers the most channels at the lowest prices per month. Package plans start as low as $30 per month, with over 60 channels, internet speeds up to 60 Mbps, including TiVo. Some plans can be played on up to 20 devices at one given time. If seniors need more Mbps, then try any of the three other plans they offer. The most expensive plan offers all 3 (TV, Internet, and phone) for only $99 per month. Customers will also receive a voice remote, allowing them to change between channels with just their voice. Plans may include a home phone connection and up to 30 minutes for international callers. With over 170 channels to choose from, Mediacom will have something for everyone, and for every budget! From popular TV channels to kids’ networks and sports, Mediacom has it all. Mediacom is in 22 states and 1,500 communities, located in most of the central and Midwest states, as well as parts of the Southeast and areas of California. Installation is free when you order online and there are no contracts with most of their TV plans. Mediacom TV cannot be purchased by itself. It is only available as a bundle with an internet connection. Phone connection bundling is however optional. Some fees do apply for local broadcast stations and prices will increase $10 per month after the first 12 months of service.
Tips Seniors can use to Save Money on their TV Bill
Negotiate Early: Calling your cable TV provider on how long you have been a satisfied customer and sharing what the going rates are of competitors may help you bring down your overall bill. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), there has been an increase of 122 percent on basic cable prices from 1995 to 2008. Many seniors cannot afford these high prices and are constantly looking to switch providers to find the best price for their budget.
Remove Unnecessary Features: The prices are sometimes high because of unnecessary ‘attractive features’ that push the price up. If you don’t need HD channels, then why pay for the extra charge? Removing these premium channels can slash a seniors’ bill by close to $50. If you need to watch your favorite movies, it may be worth it to rent them from Redbox kiosks. Seniors may find streaming them through Hulu or Roku a better choice. Many TV providers also offer DVR taping features. If you have no need for this, then ask your provider to delete this feature from your bill.
Bundle your TV and Internet in One: By having only one bill for all your entertainment purposes, this can save you money each month. Sometimes the bundle deal is better than getting both separate. Most cable TV providers will shave off $50 of your complete bill by accepting their bundle of TV and internet in one. In some cases, adding a phone connection to the bundle will even take off more money, saving seniors even more.
Track Your TV Usage: Create a diary of what you watch. Write down all the channels your family watches throughout the week. Look at what you spend your time watching and what channels you never go to. Then call your TV provider and ask for them to knock off some of those channels so you don’t get charged for them and saving you a little money each month.
Ask for any member-saving plans: Many TV providers will offer senior discounts to AARP members or something similar. Telling your provider that you are looking for a budget-friendly option and have an AARP card, you may be eligible for a lower bill. Though not all cable providers may offer the discount or there may be other considerations. For example, some TV providers will ask the customer to provide their Medicaid or Medicare eligibility number to receive the discount.
Look for alternatives to Cable TV: If you just cannot get the deal you want from your cable TV provider, you may just need to switch. However, there may be other alternative options to cable. Many data streaming websites offer a variety of TV shows and movies for a low monthly charge. Sites such as Netflix, Hulu, and AppleTV offer a huge amount of tv shows and movies for one low price with multiple users at a times. However, they all require an internet connection for data streaming purposes.