Best Cable Companies and Satellite TV Providers in Denver, CO
Aug. 15, 2019, 8:17 p.m.
When choosing a television service in Denver, you have multiple options to consider. When comparing companies, look at the offered plans, rates, number of channels and additional features. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best cable and satellite TV providers in Denver to help choose the one that gives the best home entertainment for your budget.
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Choosing a cable company or satellite TV provider in Denver
The satellite and cable TV market in Denver is growing increasingly competitive, which means its easier than ever to get a good deal on home entertainment. When comparing companies, consider:
Channel availability is an important first consideration. Satellite and cable TV companies offer packages that range from 20 channels to 250 or more — make a list of your must-have channels and compare it with what providers offer in Denver.
Reliable service guarantees you won’t miss a minute of your favorite shows or sporting events. Denver’s weather is unpredictable, and snowy or cloudy days could impact your reception.
Contracts are usually 12 or 24 months. Some companies allow shorter terms or month-to-month subscriptions, but expect to make a long-term commitment if you want the cheapest rates.
Package deals/bundles combine satellite or cable TV service with internet, phone and sometimes home security plans. Companies provide a discount when you combine these plans in one contract.
Types of cable and satellite TV
Choosing among the packages from cable companies in Denver involves taking your budget and viewing habits into account. If you only watch television to catch the local news, you don’t need a 200-channel package. While the main difference between tiers is the number of channels, companies also generally provide additional features in upper tiers. The three most common packages in Denver are:
Basic cable is the most cost-effective option and includes local access channels and affiliates of national networks such as ABC, NBC and PBS. These are often the same channels you would receive by using an antenna, but some providers may add a few pay channels. These packages often do not provide HD picture quality or DVR.
Expanded basic packages add some of the most popular pay channels, such as Disney, ESPN, CNN and Fox News. These packages usually offer HD picture quality and DVR capability.
Premium cable offers the most extensive selection of channels, including special-interest channels such as HISTORY, National Geographic and Food Network. Satellite and cable TV providers may include movie channels such as HBO and SHOWTIME in these packages. If not included, you can usually add these channels for an additional monthly cost.
Cable vs. satellite TV
Cable and satellite TV providers offer similar service — the main difference to Denver residents is how the transmission is sent to their homes.
Cable companies use a physical connection, which means you must live in the company’s service area. Reception is less likely to be affected by severe weather, and setup is typically straightforward and involves connecting a cable box to your television and an outside line.
Satellite TV providers use a wireless signal to transmit television services to your home. Cable services are generally able to provide more HD channels and better picture quality, but the service can be affected by severe weather. You must also install a south-facing dish, which may not be convenient or possible for apartment residents in Denver.
Because satellite uses a wireless signal, it’s available almost anywhere in the U.S. and not restricted in the way cable service is. For Denver residents who live in rural areas, satellite service may be their best — or only — option.
Alternatives to cable and satellite TV
Many Denver residents are switching from traditional cable and satellite services and using internet-based television providers. These companies require no physical equipment from the company, but you must have internet access. You access the service through an app on your smart TV, smartphone, tablet or other compatible devices.
Some internet-based providers, such as Sling TV and DIRECTVNOW, offer live programming and network access in the same way as traditional providers. Others, like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, provide access to an on-demand library of movies and TV shows. These companies offer month-to-month subscriptions, which means your cost can unexpectedly increase.
How much does cable and satellite TV cost in Denver?
The typical satellite or cable TV subscriber spends between $85 and $100 for television services. Because of the high number of options, this price varies — basic cable packages may cost between $20 and $30, while extensive premium packages with movie channels may cost $150 or more.
DIRECTV and DISH are both available in Denver for residents looking for satellite services. Both companies offer promotional packages with two-year commitments, but read the contract carefully — some companies offer promotional packages on two-year deals with dramatic price increases after a few months or a year.
Be sure to budget for additional costs. Installation typically costs between $50 and $200, but companies may waive these fees during promotional periods. Ask the provider about any current discounts or offers before committing to a contract. Satellite and cable TV companies may also charge an equipment fee of $5 to $15 per device each month.
Layer3 TV is T-Mobile’s television service. Also known as TVision, the company offers 275+ channels and more than 35,000 on-demand movies. It also coordinates with any home electronic assistants and provides personalized DVR. The service requires a broadband connection. Denver-area residents appreciate the alternative to traditional television services.
DIRECTV offers satellite service and channel packages with sports, news, shows and movies. The company offers several tiers of service so you can choose which best fits your needs. DIRECTV’s packages provide options to add additional channels and Spanish versions of their products. Denver customers appreciate the flexibility in the programming offers.
CenturyLink partners with DIRECTV to provide satellite services to Denver residents. The company also offers internet and phone services, which allows you to bundle services and receive a discounted rate. Denver customers appreciate the company’s competitive prices, but some people say CenturyLink’s technical support could be better.
Our partners independently research and analyze the companies mentioned in our guides and work with subject matter experts to add valuable information that helps consumers make smart purchase decisions. Our partners will not include companies on these guides that do not meet specific quality standards. The compensation we receive from our partners may impact how and where companies appear on our site, including the order in which they appear.
Our partners independently research companies, and use editorial discretion to award companies with special recognition (i.e. Best Value) based on their staff’s judgement or subject matter expert’s judgement. Our partners do this to help you identify companies that will meet your specific buying needs, and do not receive compensation for these designations.