Hargray offers solid TV features and fast internet, but it’s expensive for what you get. On top of that, it competes against Xfinity and DIRECTV, both of which offer outstanding service. This makes Hargray a tough sell—unless you just don’t have any other options.
Hawaiian Telcom is a solid choice for TV service for Hawaii residents—with a couple caveats. You have to be on Oahu to get TV service, and there aren’t any standout features to help it rise above competitors DISH and DIRECTV.
Hargray’s strengths are its news and sports channels, but it also has decent local channels, family-friendly channels, and entertainment channels. However, its Spanish-language options are lacking, so if you have a Spanish-speaker in your family, consider a different provider instead.
While the number of locals can vary from area to area, Hargray offers almost all of the English-language locals, including ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX. But if you’re looking for Spanish-language local channels, you’ll probably be disappointed.
While Hargray has only about half of the most popular sports channels, it makes up for that somewhat by going above and beyond with its breadth of ESPN channels, outdoor channels, and regional sports networks.
Family and education: 3/5
Hargray has about half of the most popular family and educational channels, including both Nat Geos, Discovery and Investigation Discovery, and Disney and Disney Junior. But it’s lacking Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., TV Land, and some others.
News and politics: 4/5
Hargray has nearly all of the most popular news and political channels. However, if you’re looking for extras—like financial or international news—this might not be the provider for you.
Entertainment and lifestyle: 3/5
Hargray has more than half of the most popular entertainment and lifestyle channels, including HGTV, the Hallmark channels, TLC, and TNT. But it’s missing Bravo, BET, CMT, MTV, and Comedy Central.
Hawaiian’s best content is its family-friendly channels. You’ll also get some decent sports content and news content, but its international content is what stands out most.
Hawaiian has about half the local channels you’d expect. You’ll get the big ones like ABC, CBS, The CW, FOX, NBC, and PBS, but you won’t get any Spanish-language locals.
Hawaiian Telcom offers a pretty standard sports channel selection. You get the usual ESPN, FS1, NFL Network, and other common channels, but not MotorTrend or NBA TV. That said, we think most sports fans will be able to find something to watch here.
Family and education: 4/5
If you have kiddos (or just love cartoons and educational content yourself), Hawaiian Telcom is a great provider. It has more family-friendly channels than most TV providers, including Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, both Nat Geos, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr., and Disney and Disney Junior. History and science lovers will be satiated, too. But you might miss Cartoon Network and Family Entertainment TV.
News and politics: 3/5
You’ll get most of the news coverage you want, including CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and Fox News. But if you want Newsmax, the Weather Channel, or Spanish-language news, you’re out of luck. We also love how much international content you get, especially channels from Japan, Korea, and the Philippines.
Entertainment and lifestyle: 3.5/5
Whether you like movies, prime-time programming, reality shows, or cooking, Hawaiian has some channels for you. But you won’t get everything. You’ll get Comedy Central but not Laff, for example, and Grit but not INSP. But we think most households will be mostly happy with the lineup.
Hargray service falls a bit short in the value department. Packages start low, at around $30 per month, but this is just for basic cable. To get a decent channel count, you’ll need to pay more than $100 per month—and even then, the channel selection is mediocre. You’ll get the basics covered, along with more than half of the more popular channels, like ESPN, Fox Sports, and the Disney Channel, but we wish there was more for the money here.
The bundle situation is a little better, but not much. There’s just no way around it—if you want a decent channel count and respectable internet speed, you’ll have to pay a premium with Hargray.
For a small local TV provider, Hawaiian Telcom offers a really great value. The channel count is quite high, with some plans offering 395+ channels. Best of all, you can bundle both TV and internet together for well under $100 per month, depending on the specific plan details. Compared to some other providers, that’s a steal—particularly regional providers, which tend to charge more than major national brands like Xfinity.
Watching TV with Hargray is a decent experience. Its greatest downfall is its disappointing DVR features, but we'd also like to see Hargray offer a voice remote to make it easy to find shows if you don't have Google Home or Alexa.
Ability to watch: Great
Hargray’s equipment is surprisingly solid for a regional provider. TV boxes are inexpensive at just $8, but your first one isn’t free like with a lot of other providers. Hargray also has an app you can use to watch shows on the go.
Ability to record: Bad
There’s a steep monthly DVR charge, and you get just 50 hours of DVR storage (less if you record in HD). The good news is, if you try to catch a show within 24 hours of it airing, you can watch it without recording it. When you do record, you can capture up to six shows simultaneously.
Ability to find: Good
Hargray doesn’t provide a voice-control remote, but if you have Google Home or Alexa, you can use them to find shows and channels. Hargray's parental controls are also decent. You can block content by channel and rating, but you’ll have to do so on each device your kids use. And the only way to block previews and descriptions in the channel guide is to block entire channels—you can’t block them based on rating level.
Hawaiian's equipment covers all the basics and provides a decent experience, but it doesn't offer any exceptional features.
Ability to watch: Fine
Hawaiian Telcom equipment is pretty standard. You’ll pay around $9 per month for every cable box you rent. It also offers the usual selection of TV apps (for watching content and managing your DVR on the go), TV Everywhere support (for streaming your favorite shows wherever you are), and on-demand programming.
Ability to record: Fine
The DVR is fairly average—you can watch and record up to six shows at once, and then manage your recordings online or on your smartphone with an app. Unfortunately, it can only store up to 130 hours of HD content, which is far less than the best DVRs on the market.
Ability to find: Good
Hawaiian Telcom doesn’t have a voice remote to help you find your shows, but otherwise the interface is pretty good. You can sort your recorded shows by date, by channel, or alphabetically, for example. Parental controls are easy to set up and you can block content by channel or rating.
Hargray provides a decent customer experience with 24/7 phone support and live chat, but self-help troubleshooting content on its website is hard to search. First-hand customer reviews about Hargray’s TV service are hard to find, but internet customers seem to have a great experience overall.
Installation is less exciting. The provider charges a flat installation fee of $50, which isn’t terrible. However, there’s also a $99 activation fee, and the two together make the installation one of the most expensive we’ve seen.
Hawaiian Telcom customers seem pretty happy with their service. The website has a great support section with lots of troubleshooting help, and live chat and 24-hour phone help are also available. We don’t love how many equipment fees aren’t included in advertised prices, but at least they show up before you enter your payment details.
Installation itself is pretty standard, and the process is relatively straightforward. There’s a one-time activation fee of $34.99, but you may be able to waive it by activating online.