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Optimum Cable TV Review: Your Guide to the Top Plans and Packages

Our TV experts explain how Optimum TV may look tempting, but often provides a lesser experience.

420+ channels
Optimum
Pro
No contracts
Pro
MAX, SHOWTIME, and STARZ included in Premier TV
Con
Limited Availability
Con
Limited DVR storage
Con
DVR fees
Pro
No contracts
Pro
MAX, SHOWTIME, and STARZ included in Premier TV
Con
Limited Availability
Con
Limited DVR storage
Con
DVR fees

Data effective as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Are Optimum TV plans worth it?

We think that Optimum TV isn’t worth it for most folks. Optimum doesn’t offer standalone TV, but it does sell bundles with high-speed internet service (cable or fiber), cable TV, and home phone lines.

You can mix and match internet and TV plans to create a bundle that meets your needs, and the pricing is reasonable.

A TV plan will add between $35 and $125 to your monthly internet bill, but you won’t get a bundle discount on your TV service.

Unfortunately, Optimum no longer offers Price for Life. It also has expensive equipment, limited availability, low DVR storage, and high DVR prices. But that aside, Optimum TV service looks more optimal than ever.

Why you should trust us. Our expert editors surveyed hundreds of Optimum cable TV customers, researched pricing and channel counts, tested Optimum TV, and then rated Optimum on a five-star scale according to four essential criteria:

Editorial star rating: 3.60/5.00

Find out if Optimum TV is available in your area

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Save money with mobile bundles and gift card promos

Bundle deals: Get discounts on Optimum Internet + Mobile bundles with a 2-year price guarantee and get up to $300 worth of free gifts. Check out our Optimum deals page for more details.

Optimum’s TV deals often change month to month. For details on all of Optimum’s promotions, check out our Optimum deals page.

Want Optimum TV? You’ll need an internet plan first.

When you sign up with Optimum online, you’ll be given a menu of internet and TV plans. The idea is for you to mix and match, creating your own bundle based on your TV and internet needs (and budget).

1) Choose an Optimum internet plan

Plan name Price Details
Optimum 300 $40.00/mo. View plans
Optimum 500 $60.00/mo. View plans
Optimum 1 Gig
Fastest
$80.00/mo. View plans
Fiber Internet 300 $40.00/mo. View plans
Fiber Internet 500 $60.00/mo. View plans
Fiber Internet 1 Gig
Fastest
$80.00/mo. View plans
Fiber Internet 2 Gig $100.00/mo. View plans
Fiber Internet 5 Gig $180.00/mo. View plans

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
Wired connection speeds. WiFi speeds may vary.

Depending on where you live, you’ll get either cable or fiber internet connections from Optimum. There is no difference in  download speeds, but fiber connections are better because they have symmetrical upload speeds—you can upload as fast as you download.

But the speed you need depends on what do you do online, and how much of it you do.

Optimum 300 ($40.00 a month, 300 Mbps) is good for most households with multiple devices, streaming TV in HD, casual/recreational online gaming, and downloading large files frequently.

At the other end of the spectrum, a large household with multiple TVs streaming in 4K, multiple serious online gamers with their own devices, and everyone on their phones, will want to go with Optimum 1 Gig ($80.00 a month, 940 Mbps).

Now let’s assess your TV needs.

"After the first year at 90 dollars, the price increased to almost 200 dollars, which has me upset."

Optimum customer in Texas

2) Choose an Optimum TV plan

Plan name Price Details
Basic TV +$35.00/mo. View plans
Core TV +$85.00/mo. View plans
Select TV +$105.00/mo. View plans
Premier TV
Most Channels
+$125.00/mo. View plans

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
Wired connection speeds. WiFi speeds may vary.

We don’t recommend basic cable plans from any provider. That’s because you can get all your local broadcast channels and subchannels with an over-the-air (OTA) antenna. Antennas cost $25–$60 once, while basic cable plans cost $20–$50 monthly. You see what we’re getting at, here?

With Optimum Core, you’ll get 220+ basic cable channels like HGTV, Disney Channel, and ESPN. At only $85 per month, the package will work best for most households who just want cable TV service.

Optimum Select ($105 a month) ups your lineup to 340 channels with additional networks including NFL Network, Disney XD, and MTV. Your household will get the most out of Optimum Select if you have multiple family members who want to watch the package’s sports, kids, or news channels.

If you want the best of everything, Premier TV is our bang-for-your-buck pick. It has 420+ channels—including MaxTM, SHOWTIME®, STARZ®, and STARZ ENCORE®. At $115 per month, that’s only $0.30 per channel, which ain’t bad at all.

Optimum’s highest-tier TV plan comes with a lot of channels

Optimum’s highest-tier TV plan, Premier TV, has 420+ live channels. That’s second only to Verizon, which has up to 425+ channels.

Here’s a rundown of Optimum’s popular channels, premium channels, and channel add-on packs. For even more information, check out our Optimum channel lineup guide.

Optimum offers the same premium channels as most other providers

If you want the premium stuff, Optimum has it, with all the best movies and TV series.

  • CINEMAX® ($9.99/mo.)
  • Max ($15.99/mo.)
  • SHOWTIME and The Movie Channel ($10.99/mo.)
  • STARZ and STARZENCORE ($9.99/mo.)

Don’t forget—we recommend Optimum Premier ($125.00 a month, 420+ channels) because it already includes Max, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and STARZENCORE.

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Optimum channel add-on packs

If you’re into add-on channel packs, Optimum has two: one for Spanish speakers and one for sports fans.

  • Optimum en Español ($15.00/mo.): 55+ channels, including Antena 3, CNN en Español, Discovery en Español, ESPN Deportes, FOX Deportes, History en Español, and NBC Universo
  • Optimum Sports Pack ($15.00/mo.): 24 channels, including NFL Network, NFL RedZone, NHL Network, MLB Network, NBA TV, Golf Channel, and more.

Optimum’s main TV packages include a handful of Spanish-language channels. Those will suffice when your abuela is visiting. But if she’s gonna move in—or if a bilingual familia is your priority—go for Optimum en Español.

The Select ($105 a month, 340+ channels) plan already includes MLB and NFL Network at no extra cost. But if you have room in your budget, the Optimum Sports Pack is a sweet deal for the price.

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Want to make sure Optimum has your favorite channels?

View our Optimum channel guide.

Optimum DVR service and TV equipment

Your Optimum service equipment will vary depending on whether or not you have a standalone TV package or a bundle. Let’s talk boxes.

Optimum TV boxes

When you bundle with Optimum internet, you’ll get the Optimum TV Box (First box free, $12 a month for additional units) as your cable box. It has a voice-activated remote, supports 4K Ultra HD, and is compatible with streaming apps, including the Optimum TV mobile app.

For multiroom TV, you can choose the Optimum TV Box or an Apple TV device (both are $10 a month). If you go with the Apple TV, it’s a rent-to-own deal: the device is yours to keep after 13 months.

A Suddenlink cable box: a horizontal rectangular device with the Suddenlink logo.
Optimum acquired Suddenlink in 2022, so many customers still have Suddenlink-branded equipment. Image credit: CableTV.com

Optimum with Apple TV

Interested in the Apple TV streaming device? Check out our Apple TV 4K review.

Optimum cloud DVR service

Optimum’s cloud DVR plans cost way too much for way too little storage—especially when you’re already paying $10 a month for the TV box.

Pro tip: Optimum’s Service Protection ($6.99/mo.) and Home Entertainment Protection and Support ($9.99/mo.) programs will waive service visit fees and provide support coverage for your Optimum hardware.

Optimum DVR plans and pricing

Optimum DVR plan Price Storage
Cloud DVR $9.99/mo. 25 hrs.
Cloud DVR Plus $17.99/mo. 75 hrs.
Cloud DVR Max $21.99/mo. 150 hrs.

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Paying $22.00 a month for a TV box and 150 hours of storage stretches our idea of a decent deal. But it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker. On the bright side, Optimum’s Cloud DVR is included at no extra charge with their 1 Gig Internet + TV packages.

Optimum modem/router

For the internet part of its bundles, you get the Optimum Gateway 6 modem/router ($12 a month), which comes with in-home Optimum Wi-Fi and 24/7 tech support. Or, if you can do without the in-home Wi-Fi and tech support, you can go buy an Optimum-compatible unit—the cheaper option, in the long run.

Don’t forget Optimum’s equipment fees

Like with any service provider, Optimum has its share of hidden equipment, installation, and late equipment return fees. Check out our Optimum hidden costs guide to learn more about Optimum’s extra charges.

Optimum TV app

The Optimum TV app (for Amazon Kindle Fire, Android, and iOS) allows you to watch your Optimum channel package and on-demand content anywhere. You can also watch, manage, and schedule DVR recordings—and even use your phone as your remote control.

Optimum customers give the app solid marks, though—3.6 stars on Google Play and 4.6 on the Apple Store.

Optimum vs. streaming TV

You could always skip Optimum’s TV plans and get into live TV streaming. Live TV streaming services are simpler—no contracts, easy DIY installation, and (generally) better prices than cable or satellite TV. Streaming packages do have fewer channels, but the ones they have are mostly popular ones.

Compare these streaming services to Optimum’s cheapest TV plan, Core TV ($85.00 a month, 220+ channels).

  • Hulu + Live TV: 95+ channels, 50-hour cloud DVR, and two streams for $76.99–$89.99/mo.
  • Sling TV: 30–45+ channels, 10-hour cloud DVR, and up to four streams for $40.00–$55.00/mo.
  • YouTube TV: 100+ channels, unlimited cloud DVR, and three streams for $72.99/mo.

What do real Optimum customers think of Optimum TV?

Optimum, like most TV service providers, comes with a lot of hidden fees and price hikes. So while the company’s TV prices can be steep, they’ll get even steeper in subsequent years.

Customers might be more willing to forgive the extra fees if the service was worth it. However, Optimum ranked historically bad in our 2024 customer satisfaction survey. Customers reported high prices, poor customer service interactions, and poor service quality.

"With multiple channels, we have a lot of glitching where the voice cuts out and seems to pause. We end up having to switch channels because you can’t hear what’s going on. That is extremely frustrating—especially when you’re in the middle of watching a show and it starts happening. There’s nothing we can do to fix it, so we end up not being able to finish the show."

Optimum customer in North Carolina

Optimum TV FAQ

What channels does Optimum have?

Optimum has 420+ channels available in four packages: Optimum Basic ($35 a month, 50+ channels), Optimum Core ($85 a month, 220+ channels), Optimum Select ($105 a month. 340+ channels), and Premier TV ($125 a month, 420+ channels). Select is the best value, while Premier has the best bang for your buck.

For more information on Optimum TV channels, check out our Optimum Channel Guide.

How much is Optimum’s basic package?

Optimum offers basic TV only in the Basic TV plan, which costs $35 a month for one year and has 50 channels. But we don’t recommend basic TV packages from any provider. An over-the-air (OTA) antenna should pick up all the same channels—without a monthly payment.

What is the cheapest Optimum package?

Optimum’s cheapest cable TV package is Basic TV, which has 50+ channels for $35 a month on top of your internet plan.

What is on Optimum On Demand?

With Optimum On Demand, you can watch your rented or purchased movies, plus tons of free movies and shows. You can also watch on-demand content from premium channels like HBO or SHOWTIME if you subscribe to them through Optimum.

What is Optimum TV to Go?

Optimum TV to Go is when you watch your Optimum TV channels, on-demand content, and DVR recordings on your mobile devices with the Optimum TV App (available for Android, iOS, and Kindle Fire).

Does Optimum have Spanish channels?

Optimum has 50+ Spanish language channels in its add-on pack, Optimum en Español, which costs $15.00 a month. But if you happen to subscribe to Optimum Broadcast Basic, then Optimum en Español costs $20.95 per month.

How much does Optimum cable cost?

Optimum cable TV packages cost $35.00–$125.00/mo. for 50–420+ channels.

What channels are in Optimum’s Premier TV package?

Optimum’s Premier TV package ($125 a month) has 420+ channels, including 29 of the 30 most-watched channels (according to Variety) plus HBO, Magnolia Network, NFL Network, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and STARZ ENCORE.1

What are Optimum’s HD channels?

Around 150 of Optimum’s 420+ channels are in HD. These include 29 of the 30 most-watched channels, along with these channels:

  • CNN
  • ESPN channels (except ESPN Deportes)
  • FS1
  • HBO channels
  • MLB Network
  • NFL Network
  • NFL RedZone
  • NHL Network
  • MSNBC
  • SHOWTIME channels (except SHOWTIME Next, SHOWTIME Family Zone, and SHOWTIME Women)
  • STARZ (except STARZ Cinema)
  • STARZ ENCORE
  • TMC channels
  • Vice TV
  • . . . and more

How do I get a new cable box from Optimum?

To get a new cable box from Optimum, call the general customer support line (1-866-218-3259) or call your regional customer service department directly.

For help with other Optimum customer or tech support questions, check out our Optimum Customer Service guide.

How do I program my Optimum remote to my TV?

You can learn how to program any of Optimum’s five different remotes using Optimum’s “Program your remote control” page.

What is the Optimum value package?

Optimum no longer offers Value TV, which was a cable TV package that offered 255+ channels. Instead, we recommend Core TV, which provides 220+ channels for $85 per month on top of your internet bill. If you want more channels, like TCM, Nat Geo Channel, and Nick Jr., you can upgrade to Select TV, which provides 340+ channels for $105 per month on top of your internet bill.

For more value TV packages, check out our guide to free and low-cost cable TV options.

Why you should trust us

Our experts broke down each Optimum cable TV plan, rating how each package’s features and price stacked up against the competition. We also referred to our annual TV customer satisfaction survey, which asks customers how responsive companies like Optimum are to their concerns.

For more information on our methodology, check out our How We Rank page.

Disclaimer

‡PREPAID MASTERCARD: Offer is not available to individuals who have previously participated in a Prepaid/Reward Card promotion within the past 12 months. Must maintain promotion and remain in good standing with no past due or returned payments throughout first 90 days after account activation in order to receive Prepaid Card. Card will be mailed 4-6 weeks after 90-day period or customer may elect to receive virtually. Limit 1 per customer. Prepaid Mastercard cannot be used to pay Optimum monthly bill. Card/Virtual card is issued by Pathward®, N.A., Member FDIC, pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated. Mastercard and the circles design are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated. No cash access or recurring payments. Card can be used where Debit Mastercard is accepted. Virtual card can be used where Debit Mastercard is accepted online, for phone/mail orders or in stores that accept mobile wallet. Card/Virtual card valid for up to 12 months; unused funds will forfeit after the valid thru date. Terms and conditions apply.
Optimum Sports Package available for 4 mos. with Select TV and Premier TV. NFL Games on local channels in participating team markets in TV package. All trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners. NFL RedZone is included with Sports Package. Blackout and other restrictions may apply. May not be available in all areas. Optimum Sports Package details available at optimum.com/tv/sport-packages and is subject to change.

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