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Spectrum Installation Guide

The coronavirus outbreak has affected Spectrum installation. Find out how you can install Spectrum Internet and TV yourself.

Bottom line

Because of precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Spectrum has temporarily suspended its professional installation. That means you’re on your own to install Spectrum internet.

But luckily, you don’t need technical know-how to self-install your Spectrum internet—it’s all about plugging cords into the right places.

In our 2020 survey, Spectrum was named a top provider for customer satisfaction in installation and setup. If you’re excited to get started with Spectrum, enter your zip code below to see if it’s available in your area.

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How to install Spectrum services

Spectrum installation is about as easy as opening the self-install kit, plugging a few things in, and logging in with your devices.

What does my Spectrum installation kit include?

When you sign up for Spectrum, the company ships a self-installation kit to your address. What you’ll find inside depends on which Spectrum services you have.

Spectrum TV kit

  • Instructions
  • Coax cables
  • Coax splitter
  • HDMI cable
  • Spectrum receiver
  • Remote
  • 2 batteries

Spectrum internet kit

  • Instructions
  • Coax cables
  • Coax splitter
  • Ethernet cable
  • Modem
  • Wi-Fi router (with Wi-Fi service add-on)
  • Phone cable (with phone service add-on)

How to install Spectrum TV

Antenna In Port Illustration

To begin your Spectrum installation, find a working coax outlet in your home. The coax outlet—sometimes called a cable outlet—has a small cylinder that extends from the wall. You’ll be able to thread one of your coax cables onto it.

You have a couple of coax cables in your kit. Either will work for this step—choose the one that’s the best length to reach from the coax outlet to where you plan on placing your Spectrum TV receiver.

If you’re installing both Spectrum TV and internet, you’ll need to attach a coax cable to your outlet, then attach the coax splitter to the free end of the coax cable.

From there, attach two more cables to the splitter’s ends, connecting one to your receiver and one to your modem.

But when you’re installing only TV, you probably won’t need a cable splitter—unless you want to mirror your channels on other screens in your house.

HDMI Illustration

Once you’ve attached the coax cable to your Spectrum receiver, plug the HDMI cable into the receiver and TV.

What if my TV doesn’t have an HDMI port?

HDMI ports have been standard in TVs for almost two decades, so if your current TV doesn’t have an HDMI port, you have a great excuse to upgrade to a new TV (this link and the following ones are paid links—since CableTV.com is an Amazon affiliate, we may get a kickback if you buy from our links).

Buying a new TV is really the best option since HDMI offers the highest quality picture. Your Spectrum TV service will look superb.

If you’re not looking to upgrade, check your Spectrum receiver for component ports. You may have a component cable in the wire drawer, or you can pick one up on Amazon.

But if your Spectrum receiver doesn’t have component ports, you’ll need an HDMI to component converter. Those usually run about $20, which could be money going toward your new TV instead.

Really, please, get a new TV. After putting up with an old TV for so long, you’ve earned it.

For last physical step to installing your Spectrum TV service, remove the battery cover on the back of the remote and put in the two batteries that came with your kit.

If you have multiple receivers, repeat these steps to install each one to a TV in your home.

Then it’s time to turn on your TV and your receiver. Use your remote or TV buttons to select the HDMI input or source you used for your receiver. (If you connected to the component port, choose that one instead.)

You may see a firmware update screen—that’s perfect. It means your receiver is upgrading so it can do its best for you.

After upgrading, your Spectrum receiver should turn off. Turn it back on, and wait for your TV to display a new message. It could take about six minutes, but once it shows up, you can activate your Spectrum TV service.

How to activate Spectrum TV

Before you can start watching shows, head over to Spectrum’s activation page and answer the questions there to verify your account. Once that information processes, you’ll see a welcome screen on your TV.

Once you click through the welcome screen, the Spectrum TV guide will show you all the ins and outs of how it works. If you find that you can’t click through the welcome screen, you’ll need to program your remote and follow our steps in the box below.

When you’ve finished clicking through the Spectrum TV guide intro, you’re set to enjoy your new Spectrum TV service—mostly. Some channels might not work right away since full Spectrum activation can take up to 20 minutes.

How to program your Spectrum TV remote

Usually, the Spectrum guide in your TV receiver programs your remote right away. But if it doesn’t, the programming process is simple. With your TV on, complete the following steps:

  1. Press and hold the OK and Menu buttons at the same time for 3–5 seconds. The input button should blink twice when finished.
  2. Click the TV power button once. The input button should light up solid.
  3. Using the list below, press and hold the number button that matches your TV brand. Keep holding the number down until your TV turns off.
    1. Insignia/Dynex—1
    2. LG/Zenith—2
    3. Panasonic—3
    4. Philips/Magnavox—4
    5. RCA/TCL—5
    6. Samsung—6
    7. Sharp—7
    8. Sony—8
    9. Toshiba—9
    10. Vizio—0

Once your TV turns off on its own, you’re all set to go. Turn the TV back on, and get to watching your favorite shows.

How to install Spectrum internet

Just like installing Spectrum TV, you’ll start installing your Spectrum internet by finding a working coax outlet (also called a cable outlet) in your home. Choose the coax cable in your kit that’s the right length to reach from the outlet to where you want to set up your modem.

If you’re also setting up Spectrum TV, connect the coax splitter to the coax cable as described above. Otherwise, just thread the coax cable straight from the wall outlet to the modem.

Once your coax cable is in place, go ahead and plug in the modem’s power cable into the modem and an electrical outlet.

Wait for the Online light on the front to go from flashing to solid. You shouldn’t have to wait too long, but if your modem requires a firmware update, it could take up to 20 minutes before the light turns solid.

If you’re using a wired internet connection in your home, you can connect to the internet by plugging a computer into the modem with an Ethernet cable. Go ahead and skip down to “How to activate Spectrum internet.”

But if you’re using Wi-Fi, it will make more sense to install your router before you activate your internet.

How to install Spectrum Wi-Fi

Go ahead and grab the Ethernet cable from your Spectrum installation kit. Plug one end into the Ethernet port on your modem and the other into the Internet port on your router.

Then, plug the router power cord into the router and an electrical outlet. The front of your router has an unlabeled Wi-Fi status light on the lower right. Wait for the light to change from blinking to a solid blue. This can take anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes, based on if your router needs a firmware update.

When the light on your router is solid, the router is updated and ready to go.

On your router’s back, you’ll find two Wi-Fi networks (connecting to either will work) and a password. Use a wireless device (like your phone or laptop) to select a network and put in the password to connect to your Spectrum Wi-Fi.

Why are there two networks on my router?

Modern Wi-Fi routers usually use both 2.4 GHz (labeled 2G) and 5 GHz (labeled 5G) networks. You may have heard of 5G phone networks—but this isn’t that.

The 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks simply use different frequencies to transmit the internet from your router to your devices.

Go for the 2.4 GHz network to connect most smart home devices. The 2.4 GHz network’s wide-reaching frequency also works better than 5 GHz for computers that are far away from your router.

Choose the 5 GHz frequency for devices that are closer to your router. At close range, 5 GHz provides a much stronger signal that helps support the heavy internet usage of computers, gaming consoles, and smart TVs.

How to activate Spectrum internet service

Now that your devices are plugged in, use a computer or phone to go to Spectrum’s activation page. Answer the questions on the page to verify your account and activate your service.

Once you’ve answered all the questions, your Spectrum internet service is ready to go. Get to chatting with your friends on social media and streaming your favorite shows. Time’s a-wastin’.

How to install Spectrum phone

If you signed up for Spectrum’s voice service with your internet service, go ahead and plug your phone into an electrical outlet now.

Then grab the black phone cable from your kit. Plug one end of the phone cable into your phone and the other into your modem’s port labeled Voice 1.

That’s all you need to do for Spectrum phone installation. Pretty simple, huh?

Final take

Even if you wouldn’t call yourself technically savvy, there’s not much to installing Spectrum TV and internet. Plug a few things in, log in to the Spectrum activation page, and you’re all set.

Not sure if Spectrum is in your area or if you have other options? No problem. Enter your zip code below, and we’ll find all the TV and internet providers near you.

Please enter a valid zip code.

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