The Best Guide to Cable Packages and Alternatives

Cablevision Packages

Cablevision packages are most commonly available in New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

Cablevision is one of the oldest dedicated cable companies in the United States of America. By “dedicated”, I mean that it was not grown as an arm of a larger telecommunications company like AT&T nor from a different industry entirely like Time Warner Communications. Instead, it was founded simply to be a cable company.

This historical origin actually still finds its way into the corporate culture of Cablevision. They don’t have a history of monopolies like some of the telecommunications companies, which has led those other companies into some unfortunate incidents in terms of customer relations. However, it has had the side effect that they are not straightforwardly connected to many of the content-production companies in the way that other companies are. Fortunately, most of these content disputes have been resolved in recent years.

One of the nicest things about Cablevision is the way that it is enmeshed in the cable industry with few distractions. In fact, the founder of Cablevision, Charles F. Dolan, was also the founder of HBO (Home Box Office). While he has since sold HBO to Time Warner, the understanding of what cable viewers are looking for is still prevalent within the company. Dolan is also the founder of Madison Squre Garden, Inc., and the wide range of available sports channels shows the continued interest in sports fans.

Cablevision Features

Cablevision has a number of unique features that aren’t seen with other cable companies:

  • Free High-Definition Television: Okay, so we know that it isn’t really free, but rather included in the basic price. Nonetheless, Cablevision provides HDTV standard with all of its cable packages. Why is this important? It is a common practice of other companies to advertise a rate, only to have you find out later that the cost for HDTV is even higher (or in the worst case, requires also upscaling your telephone and internet as well). Having it standard takes out some of the headaches with choosing a package and, with high-definition televisions basically standard these days, is highly desireable.
  • iO TV: “Interactive Optimum” cable service (formerly called simply “Optimum”) is a full-service, interactive cable interface. When services are combined with Cablevision, it isn’t simply a matter of getting a good deal and having a single convenient bill. Instead, all of your services can be easily combined into a single interface. For example, you can have call display on your television, or play games on your television. Cablevision has put a lot of effort into making their service seem like a single service, and having that level of interactivity makes you feel like all of your telecommunications are a part of a single unit.
  • Search Options: One of the annoying thing about having so many television channels is that it can take up to ten minutes just to surf through them all. Cablevision has put together a highly specific search engine for all of their programming. You can search movies and television shows not only by name, but by actor and even type of programming. For instance, if you wanted to watch wrestling, you’d normally need to type in “wresting” and hope the show wasn’t called “WWE”. Cablevision provides a separate option for searching for your specific type of show.

Cablevision Package Options

Cablevision offers a wide range of highly customizable package options. In fact, one of the nicest things about their service is that you can either get a scaled package or a customizable package. In fact, you can even get a scaled package and then add additional services. (A scaled package is one in which all services increase simultaneously at each tier).

The Ultimate Triple Play: Cablevision has created quite a nice deal for new members. It is called Ultimate Triple Play and is, as you might have guessed, a package that includes all three of television, telephone and internet. The television includes high definition and several local sports channels, unlimited calling in the United States and 50 Mbps of internet speed. The package costs $99.95 for the first twelve months. The downside of this package is that your price will increase to “regular price” after one year, which will depend on your local area. Since it is a three-year contract, be sure to contact your local Cablevision representative and ask them exactly what you will pay for your second and third year. The Ultimate Triple Play package also includes a $19.95 installation charge.

A la Carte: Curiously, Cablevision does not offer any other triple play package. Instead, you can select your own package a la carte from various tiers of television, telephone and internet. This provides highly customizable service. Further, everytime you purchase a service, you get what are called Optimum Rewards which provide savings to other services. This is quite complex, but the idea is to provide maximum flexibility. Nonetheless, be sure that you speak to someone directly about the cost of your Cablevision service before purchasing, especially if you are purchasing specials for your first year.


Cablevision provides some of the highest quality cable service available in the United States. Their combination of a very well designed interface with numerous local sports options makes them well worth considering. The main downside is that their pricing structure is very complex, and you will need to shop carefully so that you don’t accidentally lock yourself into an expensive contract for two extra years.

For more information, you can visit their official site.

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Mid-Hudson Cable: Cablevision Service in Eastern New York State.