If you are getting cable TV for the first time or are thinking of switching to a new provider, the choices can be a little overwhelming. While having more choices is a good thing, all the new options can be confusing, especially when you discover that there are options and packages for services you didn’t even know existed. Exclusive sports channels? Primetime anytime? HD on Demand? It seems as if the viewing options are endless. But no matter what package or digital TV provider you choose, you need to keep these basic needs in mind:
1. Make sure the package you select provides your family’s favorite stations. Not all packages are created equal, and some digital TV providers may include certain channels in their basic service that another one will charge extra for. Some premium services may contain channels that are completely unavailable to other providers, so choose you provider wisely.
2. Consider the sports programming available carefully. In many households, sports programming is one of the most important components of cable television. You might find that some of the cable providers from which you can choose offer only minimal sports programming in their standard packages. This is mainly because providers know that true sports fans will pay for a more expensive package simply to view the sports programming they desire. Make sure you evaluate which company will provide you with the most sports networks for the lowest monthly cost if this is important to your family.
3. Take the time to understand which providers offer the right kind of HD access and capabilities for you. The vast majority of cable companies today broadcast channels in high definition. What sets these various providers apart is how they allow subscribers to access these channels. Different providers offer different advantages, so carefully assess which matters the most to you. Do you prefer the provider with the most no fee HD channels, or the one that offers the most HD recording capacity? How about the one that provides the option to get HD programming whenever you feel like it? Or the ones with the most expansive HD sports packages? Which one offers primetime HD shows as a basic, but won’t allow you to store it on your DVR, and which ones will charge extra because it comes with a complimentary HD DVR? The devil is in the details, so make sure that when you choose an HD package, you are clear on what you are getting, in terms of programming, viewing, and recording capabilities.
4. Choose the company that provides you the most options to customize your viewing package for the best price. There’s no use getting a discount on channels you are never going to watch, and life’s to short to settle for companies that don’t offer the channels or viewing options you crave. Take your actual viewing habits into account, and see if there are promotional deals for the packages you are looking for.
In the end, there’s no one “best” cable company or digital TV service. It all depends on what you need and what you are looking for, because the most complete sports programming is meaningless to a non sports fan. Just make sure that whichever company you choose for your digital TV needs, you can watch whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want.