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Charter Communications Review

As a smaller cable TV provider generally available in rural areas, Charter Communications may have less extensive channel offerings, but you can get service without signing a contract. Learn More

Updated: May 21, 2014

The Good

No contracts required:

Charter Communications does not require a contract of any length for Charter TV®, which is perfect if you're looking to stay away from the multi-year contracts required by most other TV providers. Charter cable charges one month ahead on an ongoing basis so you will always know what price you're agreeing to beforehand, but know that without the security of a contract, they are able to give sporadic rate hikes. Charter is a great option if you don't want to make any long-term commitments or if you are living in their service area for a short amount of time.

Decent channel variety:

Charter provides a good number and variety of channels including up to 250 digital channels, 140 HD channels, and about 10,000 On Demand choices with HD and 3D movies. You can subscribe to Charter cable on up to four TVs in your home, which can be ideal for families with multiple tastes. Charter's channel lineup has a full variety of sports and movie channels, and also has a few Spanish language channels. Parental controls and pay-per-view purchase controls are additional features that come standard with Charter service.

Bundling options available:

Charter Communications gives you the option to combine cable TV service with phone, Internet, or a combination of all three. Charter not only offers a great selection of cable TV channels, but they also provide fast Internet and unlimited phone calling plans. Bundling services together from Charter can streamline billing and in-home service and installation. If you plan on needing phone or Internet service in addition to cable TV, bundling is a great value and a sure way to save time, money, and hassle.

The Bad

Poor customer service:

The customer service and support at Charter Communications has repeatedly been noted to be lacking. Charter TV® is available in 25 states, but mostly in rural areas where they are the only cable TV option for area customers. Year after year Charter Communications has been ranked on the American Customer Satisfaction Index as one of the companies with the worst customer service. Additionally, Charter doesn't have an online forum, which leaves customers without a platform to share knowledge or collectively troubleshoot. They do have walk-in locations which can be helpful if you'd prefer to work things out face-to-face with staff.

Lacking technology:

Charter Communications doesn't offer the most outstanding DVR receiver or mobile app technology. With the Charter DVR receiver you can't record more than two shows simultaneously, and you can store up to a meager 51 hours of SD programming. The mobile app is also underwhelming since it doesn't let you stream live TV, watch your recordings, or remotely manage your DVR or parental control settings. However, the Charter iPhone and Android apps let you do the basics like view TV listings, browse FAQs, access bill pay, and even get reminders for premiere showings in your own favorite categories.

Rates run high:

The monthly rates for TV subscription run rather high with Charter TV®, especially considering that the entry level, or lowest price plan, is $59.99 per month. This is higher than average for cable providers, but Charter's prices may seem fair if you consider the fact that they do not require a contract at all. If you are planning to stay with a TV company for a long time and want to lock-in a better price that typically comes with long-term commitment, then you may want to consider another TV provider.

The Details

Provider Specs
3D Channels None
Available Channels 200+
HD Channels 140+
Monthly Price $59 - $99
Number of Packages 3
Service Area West, Southeast, Midwest, Northeast
States Available 25
Type Cable
Receiver Specs
Channels Simultaneously Recorded 2
Hours of HD Recording 11
Hours of SD Recording 51
Receiver Options 4
Recording Capabilities (hours) Up to 780
Storage Capacity 320GB - 500GB

Features

Channels

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  • Educational - The company offers educational channels like the History Channel, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and others.
  • Entertainment - The company offers entertainment channels like MTV, VH1, CMT, BET, E! Entertainment, Comedy Central, and others.
  • Kids and Family - The company offers channels for kids and family like the Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and others.
  • Lifestyle - The company offers lifestyle channels like BIO, Bravo, The Food Network, HGTV, OWN, and others.
  • Local - The company offers local channels like ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, FOX, and others.
  • Movie - The companys offers movie channels like Encore, The Movie Channel, EPIX, and others.
  • Music - The company offers channels that play music.
  • News - The company offers news channels like CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, The Weather Channel, C-SPAN, and others.
  • Premium - The company offers premium channels like HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, and Starz.
  • Spanish Programming - The company offers programming available in Spanish.
  • Specialty Sports - The company offers specialty sports channels like the NFL Network, NBA TV, MLB Network, NHL Network, and others.
  • Standard Sports - The company offers standard sports channels like the ESPN family of networks, the Golf Channel, regional sports, FUEL TV, Fox Sports, and others.
  • International Programming - The company offers foreign-language programming.
  • League Passes - The company offers access to league passes like NBA League Pass, NHL Center Ice, MLS Direct Kick, MLB Strike Zone, and others.
  • NFL Sunday Ticket - The company offers the NFL Sunday Ticket.

On Demand

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Program Viewing

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Receiver Type

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Recording

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Television Compatibility

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Account Management

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Customer Service and Support

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Installation

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Program Controls

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Receiver Display

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Signing Up

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Additional Services

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Bundled Services

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Learning Materials

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Mobile

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Pricing

Charter TV Select

Total Channels: 125+
Introductory Rate: N/A
Length of Introductory Rate: N/A
Standard Rate: $59.99/month

Charter TV Silver

Total Channels: 175+
Introductory Rate: N/A
Length of Introductory Rate: N/A
Standard Rate: $79.99/month

Charter TV Gold

Total Channels: 200+
Introductory Rate: N/A
Length of Introductory Rate: N/A
Standard Rate: $99.99/month

* Package details and pricing may vary according to location.

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