With so many TV service provider options, it can be difficult to know which is the best TV provider for your needs. CableTV.com provides you with a side-by-side comparison of two popular TV companies—Time Warner Cable and Verizon—to aid in your decision making process.

Should you choose Time Warner Cable or Verizon Fios as your TV service provider?

Time Warner Cable (TWC) delivers its service through traditional cable. The company recently merged with Charter Communications, which serves customers in forty-one states. Though TWC didn’t fare too well compared to other providers in our early 2016 Provider Customer Satisfaction Survey, the company does well in some areas.

Verizon Fios TV—which uses fiber-optic service—currently serves over 7 million subscribers. Verizon was one of the first providers to use fiber-optic technology to deliver TV service, and the company offers several standalone and bundled packages.

Verizon Fios TV and TWC use different methods of TV delivery, and it can be tricky to compare those differences, so make sure you take into account which kind of service works best in your area. Plug your ZIP code into CableTV.com’s provider search to see which providers service your area.

Customer Satisfaction Comparisons

Time Warner Cable 

Overall customer rating

3.28 Stars (3.28 / 5)

 

View plans

 

Verizon Fios TV

Overall customer rating

3.66 Stars (3.66 / 5)

 

View plans

 

Installation & Set-Up
3.42 Stars (3.42 / 5)

TWC has a reputation for not showing up to installation appointments, which could explain why the company is second to last in satisfaction for TV Installation. For customers who don’t want to bother making appointments, however, TWC offers a comprehensive Easy Connect Guide to help customers self-install their TV service.

 

Installation & Set-Up
3.76 Stars (3.76 / 5)

While Verizon leads in most categories, it has dropped when it comes to installation and setup satisfaction. Customers have noticed hidden fees and slow response times, hurting the company’s previously solid reputation for quick installation.

 

Channel Selection
3.27 Stars (3.27 / 5)

TWC offers a limited channel selection of 200 channels at most, though offerings vary based on area. However, sports fans will love TWC’s sports lineup, with channels like the ESPN, FOX Sports, NBA TV, MLB network and more. There are also dozens of channels available for kids, several of which provide educational material.

 

Channel Selection 
3.75 Stars (3.75 / 5)

Verizon Fios beats all of its competition in this area as it offers the largest channel selection. High-tier packages come with 425+ channels, including HBO, SHOWTIME, and 145+ HD channels.

 

TV Signal Reliability 
3.71 Stars (3.71 / 5)

TWC struggles with providing a reliable TV signal, and some customers complain that live channel buffering is an issue. Customers with newer equipment and better maintained buildings experience the most reliable connections. If you live in an area with frequent power outages, TWC’s signal strength will likely diminish.

 

TV Signal Reliability 
4.08 Stars (4.08 / 5)

Verizon has lost some points since last year’s survey in this area, but still managed to take the lead when it comes to a reliable TV signal. Fiber-optic cables are built to deliver faster and more reliable service, so you won’t deal with pixelated shows when the weather is bad.

 

Monthly Bill (Pricing)
2.65 Stars (2.65 / 5)

To add extra TWC features like the Whole House HD-DVR or premium channels, customers have to pay more. TWC TV prices range from $19.99 to $79.99 per month, and there are several bundles available for those interested in saving money on their phone, internet, and TV services.

 

Monthly Bill (Pricing) 
3.02 Stars (3.02 / 5)

Verizon Fios offers several TV-only packages, ranging from $64.99 to $89.99 per month. Customers interested in bundling services can also include Fios Internet and Home Phone. Bundled plans start at $69.99 and range up to $144.99 a month.

 

Tech Support & Customer Service
3.34 Stars (3.34 / 5)

Though TWC has a poor reputation for customer service, the company has an easy-to-use support website to help customers solve some common issues on their own.

 

Technical Support & Customer Service 
3.7 Stars (3.7 / 5)

Verizon Fios customers rated the company’s ordering experience nine out of ten, and the American Customer Satisfaction Index rates Fios first in subscription television services. Verizon provides a comprehensive customer support website to help customers solve common issues, like upgrading equipment and checking repair requests.

 

Equipment

Time Warner Cable Whole House HD-DVR

  • Allows customers to start a program on one TV and finish it on another
  • Comes with two set-top boxes
  • Stores 150 hours of HD shows on each set-top box
  • Records six shows simultaneously with Enhanced DVR
  • Is remotely controllable with the TWC TV® app

 

Verizon Fios TV DVR

  • Connects with the Fios TV Mobile app so customers can catch up on entertainment whenever, wherever
  • Keeps up to 200 hours of HD content with the Fios Quantum TV Premium service
  • Provide access to live and stored content from up to ten different TVs
  • Records up to twelve programs at once

 

Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages:

Advantages

  • Some contract-less plans
  • 425+ channels
  • 24/7 customer support

Disadvantages

  • Undisclosed cancellation fees
  • No set guidelines on how much equipment customers need
  • Poor reputation for customer service
  • Limited channel selection
  • High-cost relative to other services

 

Disadvantages

  • Limited availability nationwide
  • Complicated remote button layout
  • Hidden fees

 

Internet Options

Time Warner Cable

Internet Service Satisfaction Rating

3.48 Stars (3.48 / 5)

  • Provides speeds up to 50 Mbps
  • Offers a variety of bundles to save money
  • Doesn’t require contracts
  • Has no data caps

Verizon Fios Internet

Internet Service Satisfaction Rating

3.84 Stars (3.84 / 5)

  • Provides speeds up to 300 Mbps
  • Doesn’t require contracts
  • Gives equal download and upload speeds
  • Offers affordable bundles
  • Is compatible with several accessories

The Verdict

Choose Time Warner Cable for nationwide availability, sports packages, and plan variety.

Though Time Warner Cable doesn’t rank well in all categories, it is widely available in many areas across the United States. The company has also upped its standings from last year’s survey, which shows it is committed to improving its offerings. If you love staying abreast of the latest games, then TWC sports packages will help you follow your favorite teams.

Choose Verizon Fios for the best overall experience, if it’s available in your area.

Despite losing points in several categories, Verizon Fios TV outperforms Time Warner Cable TV in most areas. Fios never comes in lower than fourth place. However, Verizon is still working to install the fiber-optic infrastructure necessary to provide its services, which means it isn’t available in many areas of the country.

 

If you want to see an overview of this year’s ratings of several TV service providers, read the full CableTV’s 2016 Provider Customer Satisfaction Survey here.

*Pricing and speeds are current as of writing. Pricing and speeds are subject to change. Not all offers available in all areas.

Find out  if TWC and Verizon Fios are available in your area: