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5 Best TV Packages for 2019

Best Sports Package

DIRECTV ULTIMATE ALL INCLUDED

DIRECTV App

Best Family Package

DISH America's Top 200

Best Streaming Package

Hulu Live Limited Commercials

Welcome to the finest TV packages showroom this side of the Mississippi.

If this article were a storefront, it would have white marble flooring and glass display boxes. And we’d ask, “May I tempt you with a toasting flute of infused water—still or sparkling?”

What we’re getting at is that while these offerings are among the best TV has to offer, they’re not exactly cheap. The good stuff never is. But if you invest in one of these prime offerings, be ready to change your TV experience forever.

Best TV Plans

PackageStandout CategoryChannelsIntroductory PricingGet It Now
DIRECTV ULTIMATE All IncludedSports250+$60.00/mo.*
DISH America's Top 200Family240+$79.99/mo.†
Spectrum TV GoldMovie200+$104.99/mo.‡
AT&T U450 with Internet 1000TV and Internet Bundle550+$190.00/mo.^
Hulu + Live TVStreaming59+$39.99/mo.
PackageDIRECTV ULTIMATE All Included
Standout CategorySports
Channels250+
Introductory Pricing$60.00/mo.*
Get It Now
PackageDISH America's Top 200
Standout CategoryFamily
Channels240+
Introductory Pricing$79.99/mo.†
Get It Now
PackageSpectrum TV Gold
Standout CategoryMovie
Channels200+
Introductory Pricing$104.99/mo.‡
Get It Now
PackageAT&T U450 with Internet 1000
Standout CategoryTV and Internet Bundle
Channels550+
Introductory Pricing$190.00/mo.^
Get It Now
PackageHulu + Live TV
Standout CategoryStreaming
Channels59+
Introductory Pricing$39.99/mo.
Get It Now

Data effective 11/12/2018. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*For 12 months with a 2-yr contract, paperless bill, & autopay. Price increases for months 13-24.
†For 24 months with a 2-year agreement and eAutoPay.
‡For the first 12 months.
^For 12 months with a 1-yr agreement, paperless billing, and Autopay.

TV Plans

Come sashay through the gallery. These cable TV packages and deals have so much to offer—even someone of your discerning taste will be impressed.

DIRECTV ULTIMATE ALL INCLUDED

Best Sports Package

The Specs

  • Channels: 250+
  • Introductory Price: $60.00/mo.
  • Price per Channel: $0.24/mo.

Pros

  • Access to NFL SUNDAY TICKET
  • Affordable Pricing

Cons

  • No Pac-12 Network

DIRECTV has a strong reputation for being the best TV provider for sports programming. Although it may be tempting to opt for its most massive package—DIRECTV PREMIER™ for $110 per month—we recommend you keep your eye on the ball with DIRECTV ULTIMATE at $60 per month.

DIRECTV ULTIMATE has all the big sports channels, including NFL Network, NBA TV, MLB Network, and NHL Network.  You’ll even get a year of NFL SUNDAY TICKET at no extra cost. If you never want to miss another big game, this is the package for you.

Heads up, college sports fans: DIRECTV doesn’t carry the Pac-12 Network. If that’s a deal breaker for you, DISH America’s Top 200 will be a better fit. It doesn’t have NFL SUNDAY TICKET, but you’ll get all the Pac-12 programming you need.

DISH America’s Top 200

Best Family Package

dish-logo

The Specs

  • Channels: 240+
  • Introductory Price: $79.99/mo.
  • Price per Channel: $0.33/mo.

Pros

  • Age-based ratings and reviews
  • DISH Anywhere to watch on the go

Cons

  • Equipment expenses can add up

DISH offers the family-favorite Disney Channel in America’s Top 150+, but America’s Top 200 is where you start getting the more specific family favorites. If you’re an Animal Planet, Disney XD, or Nick Jr. fan (or if at least your kids are), America’s Top 200 will meet all your needs at a reasonable price.

What really sets DISH’s plan apart is its partnership with Common Sense Media. Using the Hopper 3 DVR, you can tailor your child’s viewing experience with age-appropriate recommendations and ratings in eight different categories:

  1. Educational value
  2. Positive role models
  3. Positive messages
  4. Sex
  5. Violence and scariness
  6. Language
  7. Drinking, drugs, and smoking
  8. Consumerism

For keeping kids happy on the go, you’ll appreciate the DISH Anywhere App. It plays your favorite shows away from home while still allowing you to filter content by age and set up separate accounts for each of your children. That’s a lot of peaceful car rides for you—and no worries about inappropriate shows popping up for your kids.

Spectrum TV Gold

Best Movie Package

Spectrum Logo

The Specs

  • Channels: 200+
  • Introductory Price: $104.99/mo.
  • Price per Channel: $0.52/mo.

Pros

  • Best value for included premium channels
  • Plan buyout for switchers

Cons

  • Only 21-50 HD hours of DVR storage

Premium channels have a reputation for being prohibitively expensive. Not so with Spectrum! The Spectrum TV Gold package comes with all your favorite premium channels included for endless hours of movies that won’t cost you a Taj Mahal to watch.

If you’re sick of your current TV plan but worried about paying cancellation fees, Spectrum is eager to steal you away. It’ll pay up to $500 to rescue you from the dungeon of your current provider’s plan, so don’t keep settling for a plan you’re not in love with.

There is one important note with Spectrum: its DVRs are behind the times. Nobody’s perfect, right? To record all the great movies this package includes, treat yourself to a TiVo BOLT VOX instead of the Spectrum DVR. With the 1 TB model, you can record up to four standard and HD channels at once and save up to 150 HD hours. That’s enough to record the entire Fast and the Furious franchise nine times.

TiVo Note: TiVo is a great DVR solution that works with certain cable TV providers like Spectrum. If you get a TiVo, ask your cable provider for a CableCARD, which helps your TiVo decode the cable signal. Those are usually about $2–$5 per month to lease.

AT&T U450 with Internet 1000

Best TV and Internet Package

ATT-logo

The Specs

  • Channels: 550+
  • Introductory Price: $190.00/mo.
  • Price per Channel: $0.20/mo.

Pros

  • Most channels on the market
  • Ultra fast download speeds
  • Premium channels included

Cons

  • A major expense

This bundle from AT&T U-Verse is the crème de la crème—it’s precisely what you need when you must have the best of all things. AT&T U450 has the most channels of any TV package on the market, and when you combine it with Internet 1000, it comes with a DVR that stores 330 HD hours. That’s enough space to record every Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and Friends episode, with room to spare.

As far as Internet 1000 goes, it’s fast enough to download Fortnite on your PC in less than a minute, and its high ping rate will help you avoid those pesky snipers at the last millisecond. Or, if you’re more of a movie person, streaming Avengers: Infinity War in all its 4K Ultra HD glory will be a buffering-free delight.

The introductory price of $190 per month is a lot of cash, but you’ll be getting some seriously high-end TV and internet with this bundle.

Hulu + Live TV

Best Streaming Package

Hulu Logo

The Specs

  • Channels: 59+
  • Introductory Price: $39.99/mo.
  • Price per Channel: $0.68/mo.

Pros

  • Access to Hulu’s streaming library
  • Included Cloud DVR with 50 hours and an available upgrade to 200 hours

Cons

  • Expensive premium add-ons

Whether you’re a longtime cord-cutter or just want to test the waters, Hulu + Live TV is a pretty sweet offer. Its live channels are available in Full HD (1080p) instead of just HD Ready (720p) like most other streaming services, which means the picture is much clearer than the competition.

20/20 Streaming: HD Ready is fine if you’re streaming on your phone or tablet, but Full HD will make a big difference on your smart TV. If you’ve got an old 720p TV, upgrade your TV for the full experience.

What sets Hulu + Live TV apart from other contenders is its expansive streaming library, which includes popular TV shows and original series like The Handmaid’s Tale and Castle Rock. And you can record any of your favorite new shows with Hulu’s Cloud DVR. It comes with 50 hours and upgrades to 200 hours for $14.99 per month.

While Hulu + Live TV has a small channel count, you’ll find that they’re some of the top channels out there—local channels included. But if you’re more interested in channel count than image quality, the DIRECTV NOW Gotta Have It package has 134+ channels available in 720p.

What to Look For in TV Packages

Not convinced our showpieces are for you? Come—sit on our tiny modern sofa, and we’ll explain what to look for on your quest for the perfect TV package.

Channel Lineup

The perfect package for you might look completely different from anyone else’s because you have your favorite channels you don’t want to miss out on. Look for packages that include all the channels you want at a good price.

If you’re willing to invest time in examining each package from providers that service your area, you’re much more likely to find exactly what you want.

Area Availability

Unfortunately, even when you’re on the hunt for the best TV package in all the land, you’re limited by what you have in your area. Unless you want to move to a place with all the best TV providers (like Wake Forest, North Carolina), you’re stuck with what you got.

Discover the providers that offer TV in your neighborhood by entering your zip code below:

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Join the upper echelons of TV viewing.

It’s been lovely to have you in our showroom today. We hope you have been transported to the lap of luxury, if only for a moment. For those ready to commit to a superior experience, follow the links included with the packages above to sign up for your best TV package. The finer things await you.

FAQ about TV Packages

Which is the best TV provider?

According to our “2018’s Best TV Providers in Customer Satisfaction” survey, AT&T is the top provider when it comes to overall customer satisfaction. It came first in all five categories: installation and setup, channel selection, signal reliability, monthly bill, and technical support and customer service.

How much does it cost to get a basic cable package?

Basic cable packages cost around $30.00 per month, though this varies by provider and service area. Learn more about what to expect from basic cable with our article “Basic Cable Channels.”

About the Author

Rachel’s catchphrase is “I’ma Google that.” This go-getter writer has a talent for finding incredible and bizarre facts on the web, and she is happy to pass her knowledge on to you.

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