Spectrum Cable has rolled out a new two-part streaming service that will allow customers to cut the cable cord, getting rid of their set-top cable boxes and giving them more control over their viewing choices.
But if you think this is a chance to save significant money on your Spectrum bill, you may want to think again.
The availability of the streaming option comes just as the cable company has upgraded its cable delivery system, requiring subscribers to have digital converter boxes on all of their TV sets.
"We continue to launch new traditional and Stream video products to better serve the consumer demand for more choice. We believe non-video Internet-only customers are interested in a smaller, lower-priced bundle. We want to meet the needs of all our customers," Lara Pritchard, senior director, communications for Charter Communications, said in a statement.
Spectrum's new streaming option is similar to those offered by competitors including DirecTV Now, Sling TV and Hulu with live TV. Like those streaming services, customers would still need an internet service plus modem/router, as well as a streaming device such as Roku, iOS (Apple products), Android, XBOX One, Samsung Smart TV and Online Video Player. A Roku streaming stick starts at about $29, although some smart TVs come with Roku directly loaded.
The two new services are called TV Stream and TV Choice. Spectrum TV Stream includes 25 national networks and Spectrum Basic channels, which in Buffalo would include such local channels as WGRZ/NBC, WNED/PBS, WIVB/CBS and WKBW/ABC.
Unlike cable, streaming customers could also have greater a la carte options via TV Choice. That service would allow customers to pick an additional 10 channels from a list of national networks and Spectrum Basic choices including HGTV, ESPN, Food Network, Hallmark Channel and CNN. They would also get access to 5,500 titles On Demand.
On average, Spectrum TV Stream and TV Choice plus internet service with modem/router will cost around $90 to $95 monthly. Optional add-ons include DVR service, premium channels (a la carte or in a package) and International, Sports and News tiers. Traditional cable television prices for Spectrum customers vary depending on what level of service they have and whether they also have telephone and internet service, so it is difficult to make a precise comparison between cable and streaming packages, but the cost of streaming would be comparable to some Spectrum cable offerings.
The streaming service is being offered to Spectrum internet-only and internet/voice double play customers.
In May, Spectrum finished upgrading its digital television service. Now, instead of screwing a cable line into the back of the TV, customers need a separate set-top box for each television, which costs as much as $11.75 per month per television.
Here is the channel breakdown.
Here are the channels you will get in the Buffalo area via Spectrum TV Stream.
1 Spectrum News - Buffalo
2 WGRZ - NBC
3 WNED - PBS
4 WIVB - CBS
5 WBBZ - MeTV
6 WUTV - FOX
7 WKBW - ABC
8 WNYO - MyTV
11 WNLO - The CW
12 WNYB - TCT
16 CBLT - CBC
18 WPXJ - ION
83 NY State Legislature
188 Jewelry TV
1218 WPXJ - IND
1237 CFTO - CTV
1240 WKBW - Laff
1241 WKBW - Escape
1245 WGRZ - Antenna TV
1246 WGRZ - TJN
1250 WUTV - TBD
1251 WUTV - Charge!
1260 WNLO - Bounce TV
1265 WNYO - Stadium
1266 WNYO - Comet
1275 WNED - Create
1276 WNED - PBS Kids
1300 Leased Access
1303 Higher Ed Access
1304 Government Access
You can choose 10 channels from the following choices with Spectrum TV Choice:
A&E, ABC FreeForm, AMC, Animal Planet
BBC America, BBC World News, BET, BeIn Sports, Bloomberg, Bravo
Cartoon Network, CMT, CNBC, CNN, Comedy Central
Discovery, Disney, Disney Jr., Disney XD
E!, El Rey, ESPN, ESPN 2
Food Network, Fox Business, Fox Movies, Fox News, Fox Sports 1, FX, FXX
Galavision, Game Show
Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, HGTV, History, HLN
Lifetime, Lifetime Movies
MSNBC, MTV, MTV 2
National Geographic, NBC Sports, NFL Network, Nickelodeon
TBS, Telemundo, TCM, TLC, TNY, Travel Channel, Tru TV, TV Land
We TV, Weather Channel