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Over the years cable television has become as American as apple pie. In fact, with 73 percent of households having a subscription to cable or satellite television, you’d be hard-pressed to meet someone without this service. As you likely already know, cable television is great for those who want to watch movies, stay on top of the news, check the local weather, and watch various television programs. What you perhaps didn’t know, however, are all of the innovative features included in a modern cable subscription.
Throughout the years, cable television has become more accessible to older adults. More advanced cable receivers have voice remotes, so those with trouble operating traditional remote controls can find programs easily. Enhanced closed-captioning is available, allowing those with varying degrees of hearing loss to understand their favorite shows. Some companies even offer specialized guides and training materials to help users learn how to use their new receivers and troubleshoot problems.
No matter what type of television consumer you are, there is a cable plan that fits your needs and lifestyle. Here are some of the top cable providers.
Cable television plans generally range from $40 to $150 per month. Packages come in all shapes and sizes. It’s important to note that cable television options depend on the area in which you live. Providers only operate in certain areas, though most areas have at least two options to choose from. Pricing is determined by where you live and how many channels and features you order. Subscribers can also bundle TV with internet or landline phone service to receive further discounts.
Nowadays, there are many different choices when it comes to cable providers. In order to make this list, we looked for the following criteria:
||$50 per month|
||$30 per month|
||$59.99 per month|
Cox’s basic plan offers 75 channels and an associated app so subscribers can watch cable TV from their cell phones, tablets, or web browsers. There are also 50 music-only channels included in the basic plan.
Cox has customers covered with helpful customer service and technical troubleshooting offerings. They also offer many helpful guides to navigate their equipment and cable television interface. If you have needs beyond basic customer service, Cox Complete Care is available at an extra price to cover equipment and offer more detailed support including rewiring your home.
Starting at $25 per month, Cox is perfect for budget-conscious seniors. While this plan doesn’t have the additional features other plans do, it offers basic television offerings at an unbeatable price.
|Cox Plan||Number of Channels||Price|
|TV Starter||75||$50.00 per month|
|Contour TV||140||$69.99 per month|
|Contour TV Ultimate||250||$166.49 per month|
Xfinity is a good option for those who want more features from their cable provider. The provider offers over 140 channels and an on-demand service so you can order movies, music, and shows directly from your living room. The service also integrates your separate streaming accounts such as Netflix and Hulu with your cable box so you do not have to switch inputs to reach all your preferred streaming services.
A major perk of Xfinity is their state-of-the-art voice remote with search functionality, allowing users to find programs across live TV, on-demand offerings, and streaming apps. This remote is particularly useful for people who have trouble navigating the buttons on a remote.
As a bonus, Xfinity offers Peacock Premium, which includes on-demand streaming of all NBCUniversal offerings, free of charge. The add-on DVR option records up to five shows at once, includes 500 GB of storage, and allows users to schedule recordings from a mobile app.
While Xfinity does offer a basic plan, this only offers limited network television (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CSPAN, and local programming), so we recommend you opt for the Extra package, which has much greater functionality for only $20 more per month. Xfinity offers discounts of up to $10 per month for using paperless billing and autopay, which can help you save on your plan.
|Xfinity Plan||Number of Channels||Cost|
|Limited Basic||10||$30 per month|
|Extra||140||$49.99 per month|
|Preferred||200||$59.99 per month|
|Flex||Peacock, Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, HBO, YouTube, ESPN3, EPIX, AMC+, STARZ, CBS All Access, Spotify, Pandora, iHeart Radio, and on-demand movies, music, and shows||Starts at $20.00 per month|
Spectrum TV offers 125 channels and on-demand programming. HD programming is also free, which typically costs more with other providers. Spectrum TV offers a basic plan with a limited number of choices for $59.99 per month. The more expensive tiers have more channels and include the voice remote and premium channels such as HBO and Showtime for no extra charge.
Along with a voice remote, Spectrum TV also offers enhanced closed captioning for supported programs, a useful feature for those with hearing loss. Closed captioning is proven to improve word recognition in adults with hearing impairment, and enhanced closed captioning even allows you to change the size and color of the font.
What stands out about Spectrum TV is that there is no contract involved. While some cable companies require a set contract commitment, Spectrum TV subscribers may cancel service anytime should they not be satisfied with their service. Spectrum TV may even buy you out of your existing contract so you can switch over easily.
|Spectrum TV Plan||Number of Channels||Monthly Cost|
|TV Essentials (available only to Spectrum Internet subscribers)||60||$24.99|
|Mi Plan Latino||140+||$39.99*|
*Monthly fee of $21 applies
Mediacom is available in the Midwest and only offers cable television bundled with internet service. With that said, this provider has an impressive channel lineup and many customization offers, including on-demand service and a mobile app.
Subscribers can also add premium movie channels as well as premium packages for sports, kids channels, movies, and music. An optional TiVo cable receiver comes with a DVR, a voice remote so you can navigate the service with voice commands, and an intelligent guide to help you easily search available programming.
Each price tier comes with internet or landline phone service. The basic package only offers local television offerings, while the essential TV packages include popular national networks such as CNN, Bravo, ESPN, and the History Channel.
|Internet 60 + Local TV||
||$49.99 per month|
|Internet 60 + Essential TV||
||$79.99 per month|
|Internet 100 + Variety TV + Phone||
||$109.99 per month|
Verizon Fios TV packages are unique in that instead of offering a standard channel list, Fios creates a custom channel list based on your preferences. When you sign up, you choose your five favorite channels, and Fios recommends a package based on those channels. The major broadcast networks are always available no matter the package, and each month you can change your five favorite channels at no extra charge.
Verizon offers premium channels and DVR for an additional cost. For non-English speakers, Verizon also offers additional packages with international channels. Even if you do not choose these plans, you can add Spanish networks to your chosen package.
With Verizon, there are no annual contracts and no hidden fees. Fios works through a fiber-optic network, so in addition to the cable box, you will need to rent or purchase an internet router if you do not have one.
|Verizon Plan||Number of Channels||Cost|
|Local TV||90||$40 per month|
|Your Fios TV||125||$50 per month|
|More Fios TV||419||$70 per month|
|The Most Fios TV||590||$90 per month|
Adults over 60 spend nearly half their leisure time watching television. Whether you use television to keep up with the news or watch movies, it’s important to pick the cable television package that fits your needs and budgets. These days, cable packages are flexible, so subscribers have much more power to choose the channels they want and forget the rest.
Cable companies have adjusted their offerings to provide low-cost basic cable packages to subscribers. Often, there are no long-term contracts, so subscribers may cancel at any time. For technically savvy consumers, cable companies offer intelligent search capabilities, mobile apps, and enhanced recording options to improve the television experience. No matter what your budgetary or entertainment needs are, there is a plan out there for you.
As of 2023, no major cable providers offer specific discounts or plans for seniors.
More often than not, it’s less expensive to purchase TV, internet, and phone in a bundle. If you use two or three of these services, then look into purchasing them together to save money and consolidate bills.
Most cable company websites ask that users enter an address to determine if they offer service in that area. Cable providers also have service maps so you can check to see if your area has coverage. If a company doesn’t offer coverage, they will likely direct you to a company that does.
Most cable companies have a mobile app or web login, so you can watch cable television from anywhere with Wi-Fi or cellular service.
Some cable companies have contracts, but more and more are offering no-commitment cable packages, allowing you to cancel your contract at any time. Just watch out for price hikes after initial periods.