Your Options for TV in California are Numerous


Options for TV in California used to be pretty slim. These days there’s a confusing array of choices for consumers to pick from, including Satellite TV, Cable TV, and, if you’re lucky, Digital Broadcast TV. Let’s take a look at the Satellite and Cable TV offerings available to California residents.

Competition Helps Keep Prices for TV Services Low

I remember years and years ago, when we lived in San Jose, that my parents would often complain that they only had two choices for TV in California –a single Cable provider, and the old fashioned aerial antenna strapped to the fireplace chimney which sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t. My friends’ parents also had the same complaints.

Consumers looking for the best deals on TV in California can use the Digital Landing Deal Finder to see which providers are available in their area and what services they offer: Cable TV, Broadband Internet, and/or Phone service. Some of these providers include AT&T U-Verse, Cox, Comcast, DirecTV, DISH Networks, Charter Communications, Wave Broadband, and Astound.

Bundling Services with TV in California

Every major service provider throughout the state allows you to pick and choose the services you need and not sign up for those you don’t need. In other words, if you only need TV services, you can sign up for a variety of different TV programming packages, whereas if you’re only looking for Internet service, you can choose to sign up for one of their broadband offerings.

Looking through the available deals in your area, though, you’ll notice that it’s often advantageous to bundle their service offerings to get the best bang for your buck. Typically, when you bundle services you’ll get a larger channel programming package, as well as a lower overall monthly price than if you bought the services separately, or if you only bought one or two service packages.

For those looking for TV packages, the providers offer tiered service offerings with anywhere from about 50 channels up to well over 250 channels. Typically, when you sign up for the smaller packages you won’t get many, if any, digital or HD channels, but, as the number of available channels increases, so does the number of available HD channels.

Exploring the Providers: TV in California and Their Offerings

California is bigger and more densely populated than a number of other states. This means that there are more options than in these other states, like Alabama and Kentucky. Most of the companies offering TV in California are big name national companies. However there are quite a few smaller ones that service just certain areas in California.

One of these is Astound Broadband. According to their website, they offer a local alternative to the bigger companies for residents of the San Francisco Bay Area. Astound offers several levels of programming to meet the needs of subscribers, from the very basic, up to full digital with an international flavor. On top of their Cable TV offerings, they also offer High Speed Internet (HSI) and Phone service, allowing you to bundle up to obtain the maximum possible savings.

For those of you living in the Northern San Diego County area, another local/regional provider is USA Communications. Looking through their channel list, USA Communications offers all the channels that you would expect from larger companies, as well as Broadband Internet and Phone service with free long distance calling. However, I wasn’t able to find any information regarding programming packages without scheduling a sales call. It does appear that they offer free HDTV and DVR service to their customers.

Being an equal opportunity tech reporter, I would be remiss if I failed to mention my neighbors in Northern California who can obtain TV in California from WAVE Broadband. WAVE looks to be the ideal provider of Cable TV, HSI, and Phone services for the family on a budget. TV offerings start with a Basic Package with more than 180 channels, 50 digital music channels. If that isn’t enough, you can either upgrade to their full digital package, or add smaller channel bundles. There’s also a Premium Channel Package that delivers all the premium channels (HBO, STARZ, etc.).They also offer several levels of Internet service, ranging from five Mbps up to 110 Mbps.

Besides the companies I’ve listed above, California consumers also have Mediacom, Bright House, and Frontier to choose from. There are so many metropolitan and rural areas in the state that I’m sure I missed a couple. Our Deals page will help you find them.

Photo Credit: Steve Brown