Spectrum (Formerly Time Warner Cable)
- The giant that everyone loves to hate, Spectrum Cable (the brand name used by parent company Charter Communications) has enjoyed a near monopoly of the Greater Rochester / Monroe County area for decades now. For many people, they are the only viable option around with their widely available network and high-speed internet options. Notorious for their extremely poor customer service, especially since the disastrously handled transition from Time Warner Cable, Spectrum doesn’t have the best reputation since taking over last year. However, when looking at the other options, unfortunately they are still the best choice available in most areas and we reluctantly recommend them over the options here, with the exception of Greenlight if you are part of the 1% who has access to their service.
- Very wide availability
- All local channels available
- Most consistent internet speeds and 2nd highest speeds available
- Multiple pricing tiers available for varying budgets
- Notoriously Poor Customer Service
- Confusion regarding transition from Time Warner to Spectrum (new customers vs existing customers)
- Generally more expensive, especially for existing customers who have expired pricing promotions
- DSL is an antiquated technology that uses traditional copper telephone lines (also antiquated) to transmit digital data. It hasn’t really been competitive for the last decade or so and in our opinion, should be avoided at all costs. They have partnered with DirectTV in recent years as a desperate attempt to sell bundled services, however, we would likely avoid DSL even if they were giving it away for free, it’s that bad.
- Bundles w/ DirectTV Satellite TV service
- Slowest of all “wired” internet options, usually not suitable for gaming or streaming TV
- Limited availability and speeds based on distance to nearest “hub”
- Requires 1-2yr contract
- For a while Greenlight Networks was the up and coming Hero in training that everyone needed and wanted in their lives. They offer blazing fast fiber-to-home internet services that we haven’t seen in this area before. Their pricing is simple is and extremely competitive. They handle customer service LOCALLY, something almost unheard of in today’s world. However, in the several years now since they started promoting their services in Webster, they have only setup service in a small handful of exclusive neighborhoods. They require residents themselves to get all their neighbors to sign up with a deposit before they will even consider building out service to you. They provide very little transparency into the viability of maintaining their company with such a small subscriber base and slow rollout and growth, leading some to question whether they will even be around in 5 years. If you are lucky enough to have access, this is THE number 1 choice. If not, it’s nice to dream that someday you might get access to their service, but we wouldn’t hold our breath.
- Fastest packages available in the area
- Affordable pricing
- Excellent local customer service
- Availability extremely limited and requires expensive build outs and long wait times
- Deposit required to even be considered for eventual build out
- No traditional Cable TV bundled
Dish Network / AT&T DirectTV
- Satellite TV options are a great alternative to Spectrum’s iron fist in this area, but only on the TV front. They don’t offer their own internet service, even worse, they try to bundle in Frontier DSL. The most important thing to note is that they generally try to lock you in to 2yr contracts, where the first year is heavily discounted and following years revert to their book pricing which can seem outrageous when it finally comes around.
- DirectTV offers many unique programming options such as the NFL Sunday Ticket and other sporting packages
- Most local channels available
- Weather can affect signal
- Bundles w/ Frontier internet plans
- 2 yr contract on most plans
- On December 18th, 2016, the EchoStar XIX satellite launched from Kennedy Space Center and shortly entered the Earth’s orbit thereafter. This is the world’s highest capacity broadband satellite that provides service to the contiguous United States and Alaska. Sounds pretty cool right? Well, if you live off the grid or far enough away from major city centers, this might be your ONLY option for internet. If not, you will probably want to avoid them. Data usage is heavily metered, similar to how your mobile phone providers limit you and speeds are extremely limited as well. Extremely cool tech though and may someday provide a competitive offering, just not today.
- Great for Rural areas where other service not available
- Weather can affect signal
- Generally slow speeds
- Heavily metered usage, similar to Cell data plans
The Streaming Services:
- The DirectTV Now service offers many stations of live TV without introducing a satellite dish or running links. The administration highlights astounding picture quality and a lot of network alternatives, and memberships begin at $35 every month. You won’t discover DVR or rewind highlights, however you can get premium channels like HBO for just $5 additional every month. There four arrangement levels: Live a Little, Just Right, Go Big, and Gotta Have It. Carry on a Little offers in excess of 60 stations for $35 every month, covering the enormous systems you’d get in a standard link bundle. Without flaw is $50 every month and incorporates 80+ channels, including more specialty and turn off systems. Go Big expenses $60 every month, except is accessible at a limited time cost of $35 amid DirecTV Now’s opening months, and brings the aggregate number of stations past 100 by including systems like BBC World News, Discovery Family, Logo, Oxygen, Sprout, and Sundance TV. The $70 month to month Gotta Have It bundle gives you in excess of 120 channels, including Boomerang, Chiller, El Rey, Univision Deportes, and eight Starz channels. You can add HBO or Cinemax to any bundle for $5 every, which incorporates all live HBO or Cinemax channels and access to the particular systems’ on-request library. Neighborhood partners incorporate ABC, Fox, and NBC, and their accessibility relies upon your area. CBS and The CW, in the mean time, aren’t accessible on the administration.
- With YouTube TV, you get unlimited cloud DVR storage. YouTube will keep your recordings for nine months, and you can stream your content from anywhere in the US, if you’re connected to the internet (and you sign in from a home network once every three months to verify your location). One YouTube TV membership supports up to six accounts, so you can share with family or roommates, though you can only stream from three accounts at once.
- Hulu has discarded its free, advertisement upheld level. For full periods of present and great TV arrangement, and in addition unique substance, you need to buy in for $7.99 every month. Not at all like Netflix and Amazon, which ordinarily get new TV arrangement months or even a year after their TV debuts, Hulu gets content very quickly in the wake of airing on TV on account of its huge studio sponsor. One of the downsides, in any case, is that Hulu still incorporates promotions. An advertisement complementary plan costs $11.99 every month, however some famous shows will have 15-second pre-roll and 30-second post-move promotions. Hulu (for Android)If you’re going back and forth, you can get Showtime for $8.99 every month with a Hulu package and spare $2 every month. You can likewise add HBO or Showtime to your Hulu represent $14.99 and $9.99 every month, separately, yet that won’t spare you any cash; it’s only advantageous to not need to switch applications. Hulu underpins an assortment of devices, however you can just stream to one gadget at any given moment. You can’t yet download content for disconnected survey, however that is supposedly in progress. Make a point to look at Hulu’s most recent upgrade over the majority of its stages; it highlights rich route menus and a polished general stylish. Hulu as of late discharged a live TV choice, named essentially Hulu With Live TV. It begins at $39.99 every month and is as of now in beta, however as of now its esteem and the sheer measure of substance accessible wins it our Editors’ Choice for live gushing TV administrations. Watch on two screens all the while or move up to boundless streams for another $14.99.
- Netflix is the leading streaming service. There’s a strong determination constantly, with new titles traded for more seasoned ones month to month. What’s more, there’s Netflix unique programming to consider, as well. It’s the main place to get your fix of shows like Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things, and Jessica Jones. The $7.99-per-month design is for one standard-definition stream. For two simultaneous HD streams (two people viewing from a similar record in the meantime), it’s currently $10.99. For $13.99, you can get up to four simultaneous streams and support for 4K content. Netflix is accessible on an assortment of gadgets, from your PC and tablet to the Chromecast. Also, you would now be able to download content for disconnected review.
- Amazon Video will set you back $8.99 every month, except on the off chance that you intend to stay with it for over a year, you should swing for Amazon Prime. which incorporates Amazon Video—also Amazon Photos, Amazon Music, and various other Amazon-driven advantages—for $99 every year. Prime Video Streaming Amazon has around 40,000 titles to stream, yet just a small amount of those are incorporated with Prime for free. Search for the “Prime” standard on choices that stream for nothing. Everything else is accessible to buy or lease (for Prime and non-Prime individuals). Amazon additionally empowers disconnected downloads, so on the off chance that you haven’t got done with viewing Transparent or need to make up for lost time with some more seasoned HBO appears for your next flight, download to your tablet and get viewing. In 2015, Amazon likewise propelled the Streaming Partners Program, which gives you a chance to include systems like Showtime and Starz to your Prime record, now and again for a slight rebate (spare $2 every month on Showtime by means of Amazon versus purchasing without anyone else, for instance). Amazon Video does not work with Google’s Chromecast, but rather it’s accessible on Roku, and also Amazon’s own particular Fire TV gadgets, smart TVs, and then some. At WWDC, Apple declared it will soon land on Apple TV, as well. Prime Video bolsters two simultaneous streams, insofar as you’re viewing diverse recordings.
- The principal real premium channel to go out alone was HBO. The system’s substance has been accessible online for a little while by means of HBO GO, yet that requires a compensation TV login to watch. For quite a long while, HBO would not like to raise some static with its link accomplices, yet it in the long run assented to fans’ requests and discharged an online-just form, named HBO Now, for $14.99 every month. Join and get a free trial by means of applications from Amazon, Google Play, and the App Store, or add the HBO Now channel to your Roku player. Those with network access from Frontier, Google Fiber, Liberty, Optimum, Service Electric, and Verizon can likewise add HBO Now to their web bundle. Once you’re joined, you can watch on your PC and different gadgets. New scenes seem a few minutes to a hour after they start on live TV, and everything on HBO GO is additionally on HBO Now.
- In case you’re a PlayStation fan who’s cutting the string, Sony’s PlayStation Vue live-gushing administration is a decent method to jettison your link organization while keeping a lot of channels. Plans begin at $39.99 every month for live TV with 45+ stations, including Disney and ESPN. Include games, motion picture, and premium bundles and costs will go from $45/month up to $75/month. Sony PlayStation Vue on iOSPS Vue began in just a couple of business sectors, however went national a year ago. Channel accessibility shifts by showcase, however, so check your area before joining. “Sometimes where a live neighborhood communicate channel isn’t accessible, an option On-Demand direct will be accessible in its place,” Sony says. You can DVR PS Vue content, aside from HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax, however “all projects” from the live sustain of those channels are accessible on request. DVR and on-request substance can be viewed inside or outside the home, with the exception of CBS appears, which are just available inside the home. The administration underpins up to five streams on the double, yet there are exemptions, as just a single PS4 or PS3 can stream at a given time (you can’t stream from a PS4 in the lounge room and the room in the meantime) and just three streams without a moment’s delay on cell phones. You can watch on an assortment of gadgets, similar to your web program, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Chromecast, and iOS or Android gadgets—if you have web get to.
- Sling TV is probably as close to the traditional TV experience as you can get online. For $20 per month, Sling TV offers live access to channels like AMC, TBS, The Food Network, CNN, TNT, and more. As you add more services, though, Sling TV can add up. There’s the basic Sling Orange plan with support for one stream at $20 per month, Sling Blue with support for three simultaneous streams for $25, or both with support for four simultaneous streams at $40. Why would you want both? Some channels on Sling Orange are not available on Sling Blue and vice versa (here’s a breakdown). The Disney Channel, for example, is only on Sling Orange, while Fox Sports is only on Blue. Sling also offers extra add-ons for $5 per month each. A Comedy extra adds MTV, Spike, Logo, and more, while a Kids extra offers channels like Teen Nick and Disney Junior—none of which are available via Sling Orange or Blue. Another $5 extra is cloud DVR, which supports up to 50 hours of content. You can record multiple programs simultaneously and watch on Amazon, Android, Apple TV, Roku, and Xbox One devices. Cloud DVR is not currently supported for Disney and ESPN or on-demand channels like Newsy and Local Now.
- What is a smart TV? Originally called “connected TVs,” these sets were later branded as “smart TVs” by companies such as Samsung and LG. The term has come to denote any TV that can be connected to the internet to access streaming media services and that can run entertainment apps, such as on-demand video-rental services, internet music stations and web browsers. A growing number of models now include voice recognition tools, like Alexa, for switching channels and searching for programs. Voice control and the integration of smart home features, such as Samsung’s SmartThings hub on its sets, mean that TV manufacturers will be working to integrate their sets with the internet of things, including lights, door locks and other sensors.
- Roku is a digital media player that allows you to stream video, music, and entertainment content. Think of Roku as a DVD player you never have to put a disc in. Roku comes in many different forms, from set-top boxes to TV sets with the service built into them. What all Roku devices have in common, however, is the ability to give you access to a host of the biggest content providers on the planet. With Roku, you can stream Amazon Video, Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Spotify, MLB, and more from the comfort of your home sofa without needing to pay for a cable package. Roku is the ideal media center for viewers who don’t want to have to buy a video game console to watch digital content. It’s affordable, versatile, and easy to use.
- The Amazon Fire TV is a streaming media player, which means it lets you watch videos, listen to music, play games, and use other types of apps from the Internet on your TV. The Fire TV comes in two models: The Fire TV box that supports both 4K Ultra HD and HDR video and the Fire TV Stick, which supports 1080p video. To set up either model, simply plug it into an HDMI port on your TV and use the included remote to follow the on-screen instructions to connect to the Internet and select the apps you want.
- Chromecast is a device that you plug into your TV’s HDMI port, powered by a USB cable (included). Using your smartphone or computer as a remote control, you can use Chromecast to access video content from Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, the Google Play Store and other services. You can also use it to stream almost any kind of content from the Chrome browser on a computer.
- Despite the name, Apple TV isn’t an actual television set. Apple TV is a streaming device similar to Roku and Amazon’s Fire TV. The little black box is an inch-and-a-half tall, less than four inches along its sides and runs on a platform similar to the iPhone and iPad, which means you can download a whole host of apps and games beyond standard streaming video from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc.