Best Cable Companies and Satellite TV Providers in Waco, TX
Aug. 26, 2019, 5:03 p.m.
If you are part of the 80 percent of Americans who watch TV daily, you understand how important your cable or satellite package is. You need television service that offers the channels and additional features you want at an affordable price. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best cable companies and satellite TV providers in Waco to help you navigate the crowded market.
Everyone deserves to make thoughtful, informed purchase decisions. The local guides provided on this website are free for consumers. KXXV may receive compensation from our partners. Learn more.
Choosing a cable company or satellite TV provider in Waco
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American spends nearly three hours a day watching TV. With the rapid expansion of channels and TV programming, it’s no wonder Americans are watching more and more television.
While the many options make choosing a provider challenging, Waco residents are lucky to have so many choices. For people who live in rural areas, satellite TV is often the only option. The competitive satellite and TV market in Waco helps lower prices and increase accessibility.
Before starting your search, make a list of the things that are important to you. A few factors you should consider are:
Channels: Satellite and cable companies in Waco select their own network lineups, so compare channel packages carefully and make sure the ones you want most are included.
Contract length: Some companies offer month-to-month subscriptions, while other providers require a one- or two-year contract. Check the length of the contract and be sure you’re ready for a long-term commitment.
DVR devices: Most satellite and cable TV providers in Waco offer DVR capability so you can record your favorite shows, but not all DVR services are the same. Ask how many shows the company’s DVR device can store and how many it can record at one time.
High-definition picture: HD picture quality is standard with most premium packages, but not all channels are available in HD quality. Look at the total number of channels and the number of HD channels a provider offers.
On-the-go access: Some companies in Waco allow you to access television programming at any time through an app on your smartphone, tablet or other compatible devices.
Service bundling: Cable and satellite TV companies that also offer internet and phone service usually provide discounts for bundling multiple services on one contract.
Types of cable and satellite TV
When subscribing for satellite or cable TV service in Waco, you need to select a package type. More expensive packages include more channels and may have other features, such as HD quality and DVR capability. Some of the most popular television packages in Waco are:
Basic cable packages include local and national broadcast station. These are often the same channels you receive by using an antenna, and HD quality may cost extra or be unavailable.
Extended basic packages include some of the most popular cable channels, such as ESPN and cable news networks. These packages usually include some HD channels.
Premium channel packages come with an extensive selection of pay channels and special-interest channels such as HISTORY, Food Network and The Cowboy Channel. These packages include HD channels and DVR capability. The company may add premium movie channels like HBO or SHOWTIME as part of the package or for an additional cost each month.
Some companies in Waco offer interest-specific add-ons, such as sports or entertainment packages. Providers may allow you to add some channels a la carte, usually for a cost of around $5 to $15 per channel.
Cable vs. satellite TV
While there are many technical differences between satellite and cable TV, there is only one difference you need to understand as a customer: how the content reaches your screen. Cable TV signals are transmitted over a physical line, so you must live in the cable company’s service area.
Satellite TV uses a wireless signal sent to a satellite dish on your home, which makes it available to nearly everyone. Severe weather can affect your reception, however. Because the dish must be facing south, Waco residents who rent an apartment may not have an appropriate location to install it.
Comparing cable and satellite TV
Cable TV is less likely to lose reception or suffer outages during severe weather.
Satellite’s wireless signal has a broad geographic range, so it’s available in remote and rural areas
Cable companies are more likely to offer month-to-month service, while satellite TV providers typically require a one- or two-year contract.
Satellite usually offers a better price-to-channel ratio, but if you’re looking for a bare-minimum package, cable may offer lower monthly rates.
Satellite dishes cost more to install and may detract from your home’s aesthetics. Cable typically only requires a receiver that plugs directly into your TV and is easily hidden in a cabinet.
Satellite TV providers typically have better picture quality and more HD channels available.
Alternatives to satellite and cable TV
Recently, many people in Waco have cut the cord on their satellite or cable service and started favoring internet-based providers. Instead of using a cable or wireless signal, these companies transmit television programming via the internet, and the subscriber accesses it by using an app on a compatible device.
Some popular options, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, provide a library of on-demand shows and movies. Other providers, like DIRECTVNOW and YouTube TV, offer live programming and channel packages similar to traditional satellite and cable TV services.
Internet-based companies generally do not require long-term commitments, and there is no installation fee. These companies also sometimes charge a more affordable rate. However, you must also pay for internet service, which is not included in the subscription costs. Fast, reliable internet service is required for HD quality.
How much does cable and satellite TV cost in Waco?
The average person pays between $85 and $100 per month for satellite or cable TV, with rates varying between different channel packages. According to the FCC, the average cost of basic cable is $23.79, and the average price of expanded basic cable service, the most popular package, increases to $69.03. The average cost of the next most popular channel for each service is $81.75.
The costs for satellite TV from DIRECTV and DISH in Waco are fairly similar:
$59.99 - $89.99/month
$35 - $110/month
190 - 290+
155 - 330+
Read the fine print on your contract carefully — DISH’s prices are locked in for the length of the contract, but DIRECTV offers a lower rate in the first year that increases in the second year of your contract. Many other companies offer low introductory prices that increase after a few months or a year, especially if you signed up with a promotion. Always ask the provider what your cost is over the life of the contract.
You may also have to pay installation fees for either the cable box or satellite dish. These fees range from $30 to $200, but many companies in Waco waive installation costs during promotions. Ask if the company has any current offers before signing a contract. Companies may also charge an equipment rental fee between $5 and $15 per device each month, especially if you want service on multiple televisions.
AT&T has five different U-verse cable packages to choose from with plans that start as low as $19 per month. The company offers bundling discounts for phone and internet service, and the most extensive channel package includes more than 565 channels. AT&T customers in Waco praise the company’s multiple options and competitive prices.
Grande Communications TV, internet and phone service all across Texas. Grande has a variety of package deals for customers, plus a 30-day money-back guarantee if customers are unhappy with the service. Waco customers appreciate the Texas-based company for providing specialized and helpful customer service.
Spectrum TV has an extensive range of HD channels available and thousands of on-demand choices. Spectrum also offers to pay up to $500 for customers who are stuck in another contract. Customers are eligible for a 30-day money-back guarantee as well. Some Waco customers report reliability issues with Spectrum.
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.