Spectrum Cable for Seniors
We all have our favorite TV shows! While my kids are addicted to series like The Walking Dead and Legends of Tomorrow, the older adults in my family tend to carve out time for new episodes of The Americans, reruns of Dallas, and even reality TV like Undercover Boss or House Hunters. While it’s important to incorporate physical fitness activities into one’s daily routine, I also recognize the value of relaxing rituals like watching television. But with so many options available, it can be difficult to figure out which provider will give you the best bang for your buck.
Let’s be honest: that social security check doesn’t stretch all too far. Fortunately, with companies like Spectrum, a leading cable provider, my clients and other older adults can continue indulging in their favorite television programs without the stress of an additional financial burden.
Who Is Spectrum?
Spectrum is the second-largest cable provider by subscribers in the United States. A relatively new brand, I first learned about Spectrum following its creation in 2016 as a result of the merger of Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks. Today, Spectrum serves 30 million customers nationwide, including more than 16 million Spectrum TV subscribers.
Overview of Spectrum Cable Offerings
All Spectrum TV plans come with free HD and DVR service, and with no contracts required on some plans, they can be canceled at any time. Spectrum’s three main cable packages—Select, Silver, and Gold—are economically priced, ranging from $44.99 to $89.99 per month. Spectrum TV is also well known for its thousands of on-demand programs and the Spectrum TV App, which allows customers to stream cable TV channels on personal devices, such as phones or tablets. Options to add sports, premium, and Latino channels are also available for additional fees.
What Can Spectrum TV Offer Older Adults?
One of the most enticing aspects of Spectrum TV for older adults is its 30-day money-back guarantee, which minimizes the risk of giving the company a shot. If at any time during those first 30 days, you decide Spectrum TV isn’t for you, you may cancel your Spectrum order and get your money back.
As I thought more about my patients, one of Spectrum’s cable features that stood out to me most was its many accessibility services. Some of the most useful services I noted include full text to speech support of the Spectrum Guide, On Demand, and all other TV features, braille or large print billing statements, and large print remotes.
Is Spectrum Cable Available in My Area?
Spectrum TV is available in 41 states, but not all those states have large Spectrum coverage areas. Residents in Ohio, Kentucky, New York, Maine, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, and Southern California will have the best luck finding Spectrum availability. With that said, most states offer a few clusters of Spectrum service areas. To find out whether Spectrum is available at your home, check out the Spectrum Availability Map.
Contract Buyouts: If you want to switch cable providers but are locked into an existing contract, Spectrum will buy out your contract for up to $500.
Spectrum Cable Packages and Pricing
If you’re like most older adults, you value your TV time and take cable company shopping seriously, at least enough to spend more time shopping for cable than Medicare plans. But that’s nothing to be ashamed of! The average individual over the age of 65 watches more than four hours of TV per day, so shopping around will benefit you in the long run.
Spectrum TV offers three primary packages for stand-alone cable television, ranging from $44.99 to $89.99 per month for the first 12 months. These packages include Spectrum TV Select, Silver, and Gold. In some areas, Spectrum offers “Mi Plan Latino TV,” which mixes Spanish and English language programming at the same levels as standard plans for monthly fees of $34.99 to $79.99 per month for the first 12 months.
Spectrum Cable Packages
|Spectrum TV Select||
||$44.99 per month*|
|Spectrum TV Silver||
||$69.99 per month*|
|Spectrum TV Gold||
||$89.99 per month*|
|Mi Plan Latino TV options||
||From $34.99 to $79.99 per month|
Spectrum Hidden Fees
When it came time to subscribe to Spectrum, I was a bit disheartened by a number of unexpected charges. Spectrum TV advertised that their services had no added taxes, no hidden fees, and no contracts. The company also claims HD television is free and makes no mention of DVR costs until checkout. However, they charge $7.99 per month for an HD box and a $4.99 monthly service fee for the DVR.
Most importantly, the additional $16.45 per month broadcast fee, is mentioned only in the fine print before online checkout, as you can see in my own itemized bill to the right. This lack of information before check out is something to be aware of.
Spectrum Cable Bundles
While some offers differ by geographic area, many are standard across the service. Here is an overview of their bundle services, which include combinations of cable, internet, and landline services.
|Double Play Select||
||$79.98 per month for the first 12 months.|
|Double Play Silver||
||$104.98 per month for the first 12 months.|
|Double Play Gold||
||$124.98 per month for the first 12 months|
|Triple Play Select||
||$89.97 for the first 12 months|
|Triple Play Silver||
||$114.97 for the first 12 months|
|Triple Play Gold||
||$134.97 for the first 12 months|
Spectrum Discounted Plans
Spectrum TV also offers a couple of deeply discounted television plans to customers subscribed to Spectrum Internet. If you need both TV and Wi-Fi and are okay with fewer channels and frills, these are certainly the plans I’d recommend. To purchase either of the packages, sign up for Spectrum Internet. Then log into Spectrum’s website, select the option to add TV, and choose one of the packages listed below.
|Plans for Spectrum Internet Subscribers Only||Channels/Features||Price|
|Spectrum TV Essentials||
||$14.99 per month|
|Spectrum TV Choice||
||$2.99 per month|
How to Purchase Spectrum Cable
There are three ways to sign up for a Spectrum TV plan or bundle: Online through Spectrum’s website, over the phone, or by making an in-store appointment and meeting face to face with a Spectrum representative.
I purchased my Spectrum TV plan online and found the process rather simple. First, I typed in my address with zip code. Once I clicked submit, Spectrum provided me with a list of cable packages and bundles that were available in my area. I reviewed my choices and selected the Spectrum TV Silver plan. I even received a 15 percent discount for two months as part of an online-only deal.
Customers who prefer to speak directly to a professional who can answer their questions immediately can call Spectrum’s customer service line. You might have to wait on hold for a representative, but they will be able to address your questions and concerns.
In order to keep both you and their employees safe during the COVID-19 crisis, the couple hundred physical Spectrum stores scattered throughout the country are requiring that customers make an appointment for a time to come in. While the company’s professionals can answer your questions and help you initiate Spectrum TV service at their brick-at-mortar stores, most in-store business is focused on Spectrum Mobile and home security.
Nevertheless, living near a Spectrum store could be quite helpful, should you need to exchange equipment or pay in person. It certainly beats waiting for equipment to arrive in the mail. For hard-of-hearing individuals, this may be an easier way to discuss questions or service issues than trying to put together pieces of a phone conversation.
Spectrum Installation Process
Spectrum offers both professional and self-installation for its cable services. After a busy day with patients, I like to focus my time on my family. As such, my preference is to have someone else set up a new system for us. I also often have trouble when dealing with extensive systems of wires.
Spectrum’s affordable installation fee of $49.99 convinced me it was worth having a qualified professional set up our Spectrum cable system. The process took only about thirty minutes, and then my cable was up and running.
Spectrum TV Extras and Accessories
In addition to cable, Spectrum also offers a variety of extra services and devices. Here is an overview.
Spectrum TV App
With the Spectrum TV App, my family enjoyed having access to 170 live TV channels on all our portable devices. I also liked being able to choose from the 60,000 on-demand titles, available on the app. The Spectrum TV app is available on Apple TV, Roku devices, Samsung Smart TVs, and Xbox One. You can also download it via the iOS app store, Google Play, and Amazon.
For an additional $4.99 per month or $9.99 per month for DVR Plus, Spectrum TV users can use DVR services. With the DVR, you can record shows that air while you are away or airing at the same time as another program you just have to watch. DVR can be added to any Spectrum TV plan. You can also use the Spectrum TV App on your phone or tablet to schedule recordings, access parental controls, and set your DVR.
Spectrum Senior Savings: Although Spectrum does not offer cable plans specific to older adults, the company is known for frequently offering discounts to older individuals who ask directly about age-based savings. Individuals 65 and older can also receive discounts for Spectrum internet through the Supplemental Security Income section of Spectrum Internet Assist, a financial assistance partnership between the company and the government.
Spectrum’s cable plans are affordable and packed with premium channels, on-demand programs, and many senior-friendly traits such as accessibility options. Channel packages like sports and international programming add a variety of choices. Although you should expect Spectrum TV price jumps after the promotional period, they’re still a reasonably priced cable option with many aspects older adults can enjoy.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Spectrum’s late fee policy?
You have a full 30 days after a missed due date to make your payment. After 30 days, you will be charged a late fee of about nine dollars. Don’t wait too long, though. If your account is still unpaid following Day 62, your service will be suspended and any protection plan you had will be voided.
- Do I have to have Spectrum Internet for the Spectrum TV App to work?
While you do not need Spectrum Internet for the Spectrum TV App to work, keep in mind that Spectrum cannot make any guarantees about the speed or reliability of other internet providers. Most importantly, remember that if you use your mobile phone or a personal hotspot to enable streaming, you may incur large data fees or end up using all the data in your mobile plan.
- How can I reach Spectrum Customer Service?
Spectrum Customer Service can be reached in about as many options as you can imagine. Some services are 24 hours such as live chat, social media, online forums, and phone-based customer service.
- My preteen\teen grandkids are coming to visit. How do I ensure they only have access to appropriate content of Spectrum TV and the TV app?
Use parental controls! While these make for a simple solution, you should know that your Spectrum TV, Spectrum TV app, and TV channel apps all use different parental controls. While you will need to set them up individually, it’s easy to find videos with step by step directions for each by searching online.
- What is Spectrum News?
Spectrum News, Channel one for all Spectrum TV subscribers, provides around-the-clock news coverage of news, weather, sports, and more with a focus on your local area. Spectrum News online and a Spectrum News app are available in California, Florida, New York, Wisconsin, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas.