How to Choose Your Television Service Provider

Many consumers in Pennsylvania have watched their television service provider bills increase. This prompts many consumers to begin comparison shopping when it comes to their television providers, and to even consider other alternatives. With the innovations in streaming content, as well as the advances in broadband and satellite television, consumers have more choices than ever when it comes to watching television programming. Before shopping around for the cheapest provider on the market, it is best to first consider what it is you want from your television provider. You should take into account the types of programming that appeal to you and the sort of bundling options that are available. Where you live may also affect the types of television services available to you. Addressing these factors will help you find the ideal television service provider.

How much do you want to spend?

What you will spend on a television provider’s packages will depend on the type of experience you hope to get for your money. Do you want access to premium sports channels? How often do you watch television? Do you want local news and events to be available? Answering all of these questions will help shape your idea of what type of provider might work best for you. If price is the real motivator, then the most affordable option may be to stream television using an internet connection.

Streaming Television Services

There are a number of streaming television services and components these days. Most require you to purchase your own streaming device, which can often be obtained for less than $100 at many retailers specializing in electronics. Streaming television services allow you to access many television series and shows by subscribing to channels on the streaming device. You will be required to sign up with channels, such as Hulu or Netflix, which give you access to movies and entire seasons of past television shows. In the case of Hulu, you can also watch currently broadcast shows. Amazon also offers its own streaming service. Many of the device platforms now offer users a way to access local news channels, which users had not been able to do in past years. After the initial cost of the transmission device, users simply pay for subscriptions to the streaming services mentioned above.

Cable Television

Cable television has been around for a long time. Using a broadband cable, the broadcast signal is strong and reliable. The primary providers for cable television include AT&T and Xfinity. However, local providers may also exist in your area of Pennsylvania. Entertainment packages are offered to consumers, which include a selection of various programming. This is where knowing what you are interested in watching will come into play. Weigh the programming lineup carefully as you do not want to be paying for a package that only offers a few of the programs you like. You will also be liable for the cable box and any other components required to get the broadband into your home. Most cable television standard programming begins at around $60 per month for the most basic programming, with other packages costing over $100 per month.

Satellite Television

Television service is also accessible through a satellite dish service. Direct TV is one of the largest providers of this service in the U.S. but may not be available in all areas of the state. As with cable television providers, you will be asked to select a programming package. You will also be charged for equipment that includes the satellite dish and the satellite receiver box. Most service packages include 50 or more programs and feature low introductory prices. Make sure to read the fine print, however. In many instances, you must agree to a one year contract, and the low introductory prices revert to the standard prices after a certain number of months.

Combine Different Services

The other option is to sign up for the most basic of cable or satellite packages, and then purchase a streaming device. Between the two services, the price is kept lower than a premium cable or satellite service, and the increase in programming provided by the streaming device still ensures that you have most of the shows you enjoy. While you will pay more than the cost of a streaming device alone, this combination ensures that you have access to specific cable channels not available on the streaming device.

Service Providers and Contracts

Once you have determined which television service provider you are interested in, you will have to decide whether you are willing to sign a contract with them. While almost all television providers offer a no-contract service option, most of the discounts and incentives are only offered to customers who agree to a contract. You will have to weigh the potential drawbacks of signing a contract with a company and ask what happens if you change your mind before the contract term is completed.