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CostHelper > Consumer Electronics  > TV, Home Theater & Audio > Cable TV

Cable TV Cost


How Much Does Cable TV Cost?

 
low costLow: Basic Local-Only Packages Run $11-$20/monthaverage costMedium: Starter Packages Run $50-$65/monthhigh costHigh: Premium Packages Run $68-$127/month
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Comcast[1] , Time Warner Cable[2] and Cox Communications[3] are the three largest cable television providers in the US. Though, not all of the cable providers may be available in a given service area. Cable television service is often provided in tiers, packages, and add-ons such as premium channels and additional set top boxes, so the price can vary a lot depending on one's requirements. Pricing for the same packages offered by the same cable company also varies from region to region and these will be noted with a price range where available.

Typical costs:

  • For Comcast, limited basic cable (mostly local, government and public access channels) ranges from $11-$20 a month. Standard/Starter packages are $50-$60 a month. The mid-level Preferred package is around $70-$80 a month. While the top tier Premier package is $100-$127. These prices do not include any premium channels (HBO, Cinemax, etc), HDTV, or DVR add-ons.
  • A DVR is a digital video recorder that records video onto a hard drive storage medium. It often includes features such as being able to pause live TV, dual tuners for recording two channels at once, and time shifting functions to allow instant replay, rewinding, and fast-forwarding of video programming.
  • Time Warner Cable basic cable is around $14-$18 per month. For the most part, they offer a first tier digital package costing around $50-$60 a month. And their top tier digital cable package is around $100-$120, depending on the region.
  • Cox Cable TV offers limited cable service for around $12-$17 a month. Their packages also break down similarly around three tiers. Their first tier costing around $50-$55, the next tier ranging from $58-$64, and their top tier costing $68-$75.
  • As mentioned previously, these are typical price ranges. Geographic regions across the US will typically vary some, but will fall approximately within these costs.
Related articles: High-Definition Service, Bundled Services, Satellite TV, Blu-Ray DVD Player, Streaming Movies, Broadcast TV

What should be included:
  • Subscribing to just limited basic cable, requires just plugging the coaxial cable from the outlet directly into the TV's RF input.
  • With a the digital package, the cable company will provide a basic set top box along with audio and video cables and a remote control.
Additional costs:
  • In general, HDTV service costs about $6-$8 per month for the HD cable box.
  • An HD DVR receiver costs around $10-$16 per month, which includes access to HDTV channel viewing.
  • Additional rooms and outlets range from $7-$10 per room and outlet for digital service.
  • Premium cable channels cost around $10-$15 for each one per month. Each additional premium channels costs more, with small discounts when ordering multiple premium channels.
  • Service installation and home visits range from $20-$40 depending on the services being installed.
  • TIP: After ordering a cable package, it may be possible to drop by the local cable office to pick up the equipment and self-install (afterwards, calling the cable company to activate the service and equipment). Note that this option may not be available in all areas.
Discounts:
  • Promotions for new customer service activation often have the best initial rates. They can be up to half the cost as the regular ongoing price. Promotions in some cases can also include free installation.
  • Comcast Digital Starter with HBO is currently being advertised for $30 for 12 months in some areas.
  • Time Warner Cable is now offering Digital Cable with a free HD DVR service for 12 months.
  • Cox Communications offers special monthly discounts ranging from getting the first month free to a $5 service discount off the monthly fees.
  • As these promotions vary much depending on the region, check online at cable company website by inputting your address to see what may be available.
  • TIP: If you already have cable service and are not a new subscriber, calling and asking to be signed up for another promotion or requesting a discount may yield some success due to the competitive market place of other offerings.
Shopping for cable tv:
  • Ordering online directly from the cable companies is one of the easier methods.
  • Stopping by your local cable company office is also viable as well to talk to someone in person.
  • Some online "authorized retailers" may also offer additional promotions and rebates as well. These are often third party vendors who are like a middle man between the subscriber and the cable company.
  • For example, Comcast[4] , Time Warner Cable[5] and Cox Communications[6] all have similar sites with these authorized retailers and promotions.
  • ell.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
A better experience with the Charter Spectrum services/upgrades
Amount: $53.00 per month
Posted by: Agoltz in Fort Worth, TX.Posted: July 28th, 2014 12:07PM
Provider: CharterChannels: 121
I've had Charter for years and I've always had t call and complain about something whether its the prices the kept going up or the service that kept going out. Over the last couple of months though, the seemed to have changed. My area got upgraded with their Spectrum services and I can really say its a million times better. Service never goes out (at least not for the last 5 months), channels are clearer, and I get more on demand options which is what I mostly watch anyway. I also just signed up with the internet on this promo they are advertising here: http://www.getcharterspectrum.com/summer-deals/ Luckily, they were able to extend the offer to me even though I was neither moving or a college student.
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Unhappy 30 year year comcast customer
Amount: $161.62 per month
Posted by: Sisal Britney in Visalia, CA.Posted: June 7th, 2014 03:06AM
Provider: Comcast/Time WarnerChannels: Basic/limited/internet
After 30 years of being a loyal customer it means nothing to Comcast. Just tonight I called & dropped all tv Chanel's & only kept internet. After me refusing to sighn a two year contract I wound up taking a year of internet @ $59.99 a month . I will now watch Netflix. VERY unhappy customer.
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Cable & Satelite Rip Off
Amount: $160.00 per month
Posted by: Jayshuh@aol.com in Peoria, IL.Posted: February 4th, 2014 12:02PM
Provider: Comcast. & DirectTVChannels: Premium
loyalty means nothing to Comcast or DirectTV, they will continue raising your rates and promotions are ONLY for new customers! You can continue to pay on time and have a great credit score with them to offer you service but do not expect anything else, the lower fees are ONLY to get people locked into contracts with them and to start them off with their service package, the deals quickly fade out after time! You have to be prepared to rock service back and forth (a headache) to keep prices offered to you affordable !
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LONG TIME CUSTOMER 20PLUS YEARS.........
Amount: $73.59 per month
Posted by: BRANDY HUNTLEY in CHLT, NC.Posted: February 27th, 2013 08:02AM
Provider: TIMEWARNER CABLEChannels: BASIC
WHY SO HIGHT FOR JUST CABLE. WHAT ABOUT THE ONES THAT DON'T BUNDLE? WHAT KIND OF PLAN DO YOU OFFER TO THE LOYAL CUSTOMER? rnrnTIMEWARNER CABLE DO YOU ACTUALLY READ ANY OF THESE?
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Cable/Internet cost
Amount: $109.98 per month
Posted by: SuzyB in Plattsburgh, NY.Posted: August 29th, 2012 07:08PM
Provider: Charter communicationChannels:
I just wheeled and dealed tonite for this price! It seems if you don't pay close attention to your bill the price keeps going up! Supposedly this is their cheapest rate!
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Too much
Amount: $155.00 per month
Posted by: William D. in Honolulu, HI.Posted: April 28th, 2012 09:04PM
Provider: Time-WarnerChannels: lots
Out of the hundreds of channels with the package, I think there are maybe 10-15 I watch with any regularity. Most of the channels are crap. I would much prefer an "ala carte" system instead of having to pay for 90% of the channels I don't want or need.
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Too many channels never viewed
Amount: $150.00 per month
Posted by: Philip Payne in Las Vegas, NV.Posted: July 26th, 2010 04:07PM
Provider: CoxChannels:
Being obliged to buy unwanted channels is awful.
Why cannot cable TV allow one to select only the channels that the consumer actually wants?
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External Resources:
  1.  wwwb.comcast.com/
  2.  www.timewarnercable.com/en/gateway.html
  3.  ww2.cox.com/
  4.  www.comcastauthorizedoffers.com/?gclid=CI-nrMuCn5sCFRIcawodjxscCQ
  5.  www.timewarnercablespecial.com/
  6.  www.coxcabledirect.com/
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