- 1. Bundles and Basic Cable Packages
- Cox: Best pricing
- The Best Video Streaming Services for 2020
- The Double Play Bundle
- Compare Internet Providers by ZIP Code
- The Triple Play Bundle
- Unlimited Internet for ONLY $5 a Month!
- Cost Savings
- Easier to Manage Billing and Payments
- 14 Cable Alternatives to Save You Money
- Convenient Maintenance
- So What's Best for You?
- Find Cheap Cable TV Providers in My Area
The way we watch television has turned on its head.
1. Bundles and Basic Cable Packages
Though some form of cable has been available since HBO debuted in the early 1970s, for decades, the majority of the country was still relegated to basic viewing.
This was the three "big" broadcasters (CBS, ABC and NBC) and whatever local channels were available.
Today, you have choices in television packaging with access to potentially hundreds of channels.
The Internet is also having a dynamic impact on the way we entertain ourselves. In fact, bundling your television and Internet (along with telephone) services is common.
Cox: Best pricing
But how do you go about comparing bundles?
Bundles come with a range of features based on installation, speeds, lengths of contract and pricing. They are offered by the likes of Verizon Fios, AT&T, DISH, dishNET, Spectrum, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable.
SONY has even gotten into the game with PlayStation VUE. DIRECTV from AT&T has a suite of packages that cover English, Spanish and foreign languages.
The Best Video Streaming Services for 2020
Sports fans can get their seasonal packages. There are growing offerings for "anywhere" television, meaning you can watch on the go with your computer, tablet, phone and even watch.
Choosing a package will boil down to not necessarily what company's best but what's best for you.
Use Wirefly’s broadband Internet and television comparison tool by entering your ZIP code to see the bundles available in your area.
The Double Play Bundle
A “Double Play” bundle is any two services you choose out of the three possible: TV, Internet, and phone service.
The Double Play is Internet and TV, or Internet and phone service, or TV and phone service packaging with the idea that this is less expensive than two separate services.
You can, of course, have any one or two of the services.
Compare Internet Providers by ZIP Code
But in today's world, bundling two or more services has become a natural way to save money on both services.
The Triple Play Bundle
The biggest players in the game offer a three-in-one bundle. The "Triple Play” bundle is Internet-telephone-television package with the idea that this is less expensive than three separate services, or even two.
You can, of course, have any one or two of the services. But in today's world, all three have become a practical and expected part of our day-to-day lives.
Unlimited Internet for ONLY $5 a Month!
As such, having all three in a bundle makes sense.
One of the most important decisions for choosing a bundle is cost. Spreading your television, Internet and phone across different companies means multiple bills and, most likely, higher fees.
Bundles can be cost effective because providers offer discounted rates to be competitive. Many of these package providers will even offer to freeze your rates for a period of time, usually two years, if you agree to stay with the company.
Easier to Manage Billing and Payments
You probably have more than enough bills in your life as it is.
A bundle takes what could potentially be three bills and leaves the household with one. A bundle saves you time tracking potentially three bills and writing multiple checks.
14 Cable Alternatives to Save You Money
With a bundle, you streamline a process that otherwise would require three separate operations. There is a single installation as opposed to multiple appointments. You have one resource for issues and questions. With a bundle, you have the one provider, meaning a greater idea of what kind of customer service to expect regardless of what the problem is because you become familiar with your provider's processes.
So What's Best for You?
You have to make a decision based on what you want out of your bundle.
They all offer HBO and CBS, sports and foreign language, voice messaging or some form of Internet connectivity. What you want to do is decide what you need those packages to do. If you have a home business or spend a lot of time on the phone, you may want a top notch communications setup.
Find Cheap Cable TV Providers in My Area
That means voice mail, caller ID, call waiting and more. Will you spend more time watching television? What are your favorite type of shows and channels? In the typical home, you have differing opinions of what's worth watching, requiring a nice selection that can be as diverse as Spongebob, reality television like the Housewives, and premium and original programming from Showtime.
You are also probably going to want a service that lets you watch on your devices, meaning the home will need a reliable wireless connection.
Your options may even be limited depending on where you reside, forcing your hand in decisions.
It is going to come down to your budget and lifestyle. When choosing a bundle, you don't merely want to compare costs and customer service.
You also want to take into account what you want from your television, phone and Internet connections. What is it worth to have your favorite channels or to call family and friends outside of the country? If there are teenagers and children in the house, you could need a faster, secure and powerful Internet connection that will not slow down based on how many users are online.
Treading carefully before making a bundle decision will lead to an experience that promises to entertain the household for years to come.