Spectrum vs. AT&T U-verse
At a Glance
Data effective 04/23/2018. Pricing subject to change. Not all offers available in all areas.
Is Spectrum or AT&T U-verse the best TV provider for you? Find out below.
Choose Spectrum for affordable bundles and no contract.
We’ll be honest—from a purely TV-focused perspective, we have a hard time recommending Spectrum over rival AT&T U-verse. It’s not that Spectrum is bad; U-verse TV is just better. However, very few people will want TV-only service and not internet. And Spectrum’s internet is likely to be more consistent and faster across a wider area than AT&T’s. So, if you’re bundling, Spectrum might be worth a look. Just pay close attention to those internet speeds and make sure you’re getting the right number for your needs.
Choose AT&T U-verse for channel variety and value for your money.
AT&T U-verse is a fantastic TV service. It has a huge number of channels, excellent customer satisfaction ratings across the board, and the price is right. Unfortunately, the service is hampered by highly variable internet speeds and limited availability. Still, if you can get it, AT&T U-verse makes an excellent pick for a TV service provider. Check out our comprehensive AT&T review for even more details on this provider.
Installation & Setup
Spectrum and U-verse have similar installation fees and the process should be similar, so the difference in satisfaction here seems to come down mostly to intangibles, like reputation. Spectrum’s installation price is among the lowest you’ll find, and since it’s a cable provider, there shouldn’t be much involved in the process—it’s mostly about configuring the DVR and making sure everything works properly.
AT&T U-verse(4.26 /5)
AT&T tops satisfaction scores in every category this year, and installation is no exception. AT&T, which also owns DIRECTV, has a long history of making setup easy for customers. There’s also no installation fee. Instead, AT&T charges a $35.00 activation fee. It may be possible to get this fee waived if you call in and get ahold of the right representative. It’s worth a shot.
Spectrum Installation Fee: $34.99
AT&T U-verse Installation Fee: $35 activation fee
Spectrum covers the basics in its channel lineup, but that’s about it. 200+ channels used to seem like a lot, but these days it’s lower than nearly every other provider. Adult Swim, home of the popular Rick and Morty, is also absent from the lineup—and that’s a little disappointing. Premium channels like HBO® and Starz® are available, so at least there’s that. Spectrum also offers a large on-demand selection, which might be enough for some viewers.
AT&T U-verse(4.22 /5)
AT&T is the complete opposite of Spectrum when it comes to channel lineups: it’s got more channels than any other provider out there. While some of that big channel count comes in the form of music stations, there aren’t any glaring channel omissions from AT&T’s lineup. HBO, Cinemax®, and other premium favorites are also available.
Spectrum Channels: 200+
AT&T U-verse Channels: 550+
Spectrum had quite a tumble in reliability this year, dropping from fourth place to last. In our experience, Spectrum doesn’t seem to be any less reliable than any other cable provider, with only occasional hiccups here and there. There could be some lingering policy issues from the big merger causing the drop in satisfaction, or it could be a case of other providers simply picking up the slack.
AT&T U-verse(4.18 /5)
AT&T provides a very reliable service. Since the infrastructure is built on fiber-optic lines, data travels fast, picture quality is crystal clear, and interference and service hiccups are rare. Comparing AT&T to Spectrum, we’d expect U-verse to be the more dependable option.
Spectrum Type of Service: Cable
AT&T U-verse Type of Service: Fiber
Spectrum packages start higher than AT&T’s, but both providers’ top-tier plans cost about the same. Of course, when comparing Spectrum’s and U-verse’s top packages, it’s important to know that AT&T gets you more channels for the money. If Spectrum is a must for you, we generally recommend the Spectrum TV Silver package to get the best bang for your buck. TV Silver gives you 175+ channels for $84.99 per month.
Spectrum also offers up to $500.00 in early termination fee credits if you switch from another provider, which sweetens the deal quite a bit (and can help you ditch a provider you’re unhappy with).
AT&T U-verse(3.83 /5)
AT&T U-verse packages start at a very affordable $35.00 per month, which makes the provider a perfect budget choice. AT&T also gets you a lot for your money, with those super-high channel counts and included DVR. Our package pick for U-verse is U300, with over 470 channels for $60.00 per month.
Spectrum Price: $74.99–$104.99 per month
AT&T U-verse Price: $35.00–$110.00 per month
Tech Support & Customer Service
Spectrum’s online support is still a bit of a mess. It has different sites set up, and yours will depend on which provider you had originally—Charter, TWC, or Bright House. The company seems to be aware of this, however, with a disclaimer on the site saying that they’re working hard to iron out the kinks. We expect there to eventually be a single site to handle all the unified customers Spectrum now serves.
AT&T U-verse(4.06 /5)
AT&T offers a much more streamlined online support experience, backed with a long-standing reputation for great service. You’ve also got the usual online chat and telephone options, if you’re not able to solve your problem the DIY way.
Spectrum TV App
More about the Providers
Spectrum is the result of a big merger between Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks. Charter and TWC were already major providers, and this merger makes Spectrum one of the largest in the US with a wide coverage area to match.
AT&T is a Texas-based telecom giant with over 365 million customers in its coverage areas—and that’s just in the US. It offers TV, internet, home security, and phone service. AT&T is also one of the largest mobile phone service providers in the country.
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