Optimum offers exceptional value. You get tons of channels, a solid DVR, and a good selection of sports and premium channels for a very reasonable price. Despite some additional fees, Optimum is an excellent choice.
Verizon Fios TV offers an excellent value TV service. The customizable Your Fios plan is particularly attractive, but all tiers offer a lot of TV for the money. Add in outstanding internet, and it’s hard to go wrong with Verizon.
Optimum offers a great selection of channels, and pricing at each of its tiers is reasonable. If you’re part of a big family with diverse TV tastes, Optimum is easy to recommend.
Optimum offers a fantastic selection of local channels in each of its four package tiers. You get access to the four basic broadcast channels (NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX) plus Univision and Telemundo. That means local news and sports, big national games like the Super Bowl, and primetime favorites.
Not only does Optimum offer a ton of great channels for sports, you can get most of it at either the Basic TV or Core TV packages. In addition to wrestling on USA Network and all that ESPN has to offer, you get TNT, Fox Sports 1, MLB Network, and NBA TV. NFL Network is available on the highest tier, and you can get NFL RedZone as an add-on. Sports aficionados should opt for at least the Select TV plan to get the best selection.
If Optimum's offerings aren't quite right, you're in luck! A lot of games and matches are now available via streaming or over the air. Find out how to watch the MLB, how to watch pro football, and how to watch the NHL.
Family and education: 5/5
Optimum TV truly offers something for everyone, and that includes all kinds of shows for kids and channels focused on education. You can get PBS, Disney, and Nickelodeon at the Core TV price. If you bump up to the next tier, you can get History, Discovery, NationL Geographic, Travel, Animal Planet, and more. There’s no Family Entertainment TV (FETV) or Me TV, but we aren’t too mad about it.
News and politics: 5/5
Optimum TV keeps hitting homers when it comes to news. You get a selection of US political news from both sides of the aisle plus international news, Spanish-language news, business news, and even sports news.
Entertainment and lifestyle: 4.5/5
When it comes to watching great movies, reality TV, and home improvement shows, Optimum TV has you covered. At the highest tier, you get a selection of premium channels including Reelz, HBO, and SHOWTIME, plus both Hallmark and Lifetime. A number of the top 100 channels in the US are missing, including Game Show Network, Grit, INSP and Ion Mystery, but all the most popular content is easy to find. (1)
Great prices meet high channel counts and easy ways to pay for just what you want to watch with Verizon Fios TV. If you live in a coverage area, you’ll benefit from some of the best pay TV on the market.
Verizon has you covered when it comes to channels, with all the standard options in both English and Spanish. The exact selection and channel number varies based on where you live, but there’s a good chance you can get broadcast favorites in HD quality. You also get a variety of local public access stations and less-common but still-popular options like Comet, Bounce TV, Antenna TV, and StartTV. (1)
Verizon TV’s premium package has a lot to offer for anyone who loves sports. In addition to your local channels, you can watch pro golf, baseball, football, and basketball, plus a variety of college games. The only downside is no Showtime (unless you buy an add-on).
Family and education: 4/5
When it comes to content for kids and families with Verizon Fios TV, there’s a lot to love. With The Most Fios TV package, you get Nick Toons, Disney XD, Disney Junior, and Boomerang plus Discovery, Nat Geo Wild, Science, Game Show Network, and much more. However, you’ll miss out on Family Entertainment TV (FETV), Me TV, UP, and Cartoon Network.
News and politics: 5/5
Whether you want political talk, international news and analysis, business news, or even sports and local news, Verizon Fios is a great option. It offers every single one of the top 100 channels in the US that offers news, including CNN, Fox News, Newsmax, CNBC, C-SPAN, and even the Weather Channel and Accuweather.
Entertainment and lifestyle: 4.5/5
You can watch all kinds of movies, reality TV favorites, and true crime documentaries with Verizon Fios TV’s premier package. To get HBO and Showtime, though, you’ll have to pay add-on prices. Unfortunately, you can’t get Grit, Ion Mystery, USA Network, Cartoon Network, or Laff with Verizon.
Optimum TV offers excellent value, whether you live in an area that gets only cable internet or one wired for fiber-to-the-home. Internet-based TV packages are available for as little as $35 per month (for basic TV), while the higher-tier plans offer high channel counts for the price. There are as many as 420+ channels available—one of the highest channel counts of any provider.
The internet service is also a fantastic value, offering faster speeds for the money than many competitors. It’s worth noting that an internet plan is required, though, at a minimum price of $40 per month. There’s also a few hidden fees, but they’re lower than what we’ve seen from other cable providers.
There's a 2-year price lock on most plans, which is great! Prices go up in the third year of TV service, though, and the company doesn't say by how much. We've heard customers complain about price hikes in the range of $85–$115, though, and that's just for TV. Since you also need internet, your price could balloon by $200 per month by year three.
You may be able to save on your bill by calling in and threatening to switch to a competitor, so we recommend it!
Verizon isn't the cheapest option for traditional TV—you can get TV service for less elsewhere. It’s also not the best in terms of channels per dollar—although it holds its own. However, the ability to personalize the Your Fios plan means you can get more of the channels you actually want without having to pony up for a more expensive plan. It's a fantastic feature, and relatively uncommon in the cable TV space.
Of course, if you do want all the channels, you can get that, too: the top-tier Most Fios plan comes with well over 400, which is one of the highest channel counts in the business.
Optimum TV is a nice option for channel surfing, watching on-demand, and catching episodes or games you might have missed (whether on a TV set or on your phone or laptop). However, its costly DVR storage may not be worth the money.
Ability to watch: Great
Whether you go with the Optimum cable box, buy an Apple TV from the company, or use your own Apple TV, we think you’ll enjoy watching Optimum TV. Optimum gives you Wi-Fi equipment and the first set-top box for free, but you'll be charged an additional $10 per month for each additional TV box. However, it’s easy to get out of those fees using the sweet Optimum TV mobile app, so that’s what we recommend for most households.
Ability to record: Good
Optimum’s Cloud DVR system offers up to 150 hours of storage for your favorite shows and movies, and you can record up to 15 shows at the same time—perfect for large families or households with lots of roommates. The system comes with all the modern features we expect from a DVR: voice control, an Apple TV app, support for streaming services, and more.
You can also access your DVR and on-demand content from your iPhone, iPad, or Android device with the provider’s app. Our only gripe is that the DVR storage is costly—more than $20 per month for the full 150 hours, in addition to the fee for renting the box. You'll also be charged a DVR service fee for every set-top box you rent, but you can skip the DVR altogether if you want and there’s no charge.
Ability to find: Great
Optimum TV offers thousands of shows and hundreds of channels, and they’re pretty easy to find using the app, the company’s cable box, or an Apple TV. Both the cable box and Apple TV have voice search functionality, and you can enter in credentials for other streaming services like Netflix on either. With the cable box, you can even pause and restart live TV.
The day-to-day experience with Verizon Fios TV is better than with most cable TV competitors, but the company puts less focus on its DVR setup than its competitors in the satellite TV arena.
Ability to watch: Great
Verizon TV comes with your fist set-top box included, and it’s not bad. The signal is delivered over very fast internet, so picture quality is good and reliable. Almost all channels are available in HD. The service also offers a free mobile app for paying customers, so you only really need the one box. If you want more, however, you can lease them for $12 each per month.
Ability to record: Good
Verizon Fios TV comes with all the features you’d expect from a fiber company. On higher packages, it offers multi-room DVR with 100 hours of storage at the base price, and you can record 6 shows at once. For an additional $10 per month, you can double the storage and record up to 12 shows at once. You can record via the remote, the smartphone app, or using a streaming device you already own (like an Apple TV or Fios TV). If you opt for the lowest tier, you’ll have to pay $12 per month for DVR capability and will be limited to just 50 hours of recording space. However, you could also just skip DVR altogether and won’t incur charges.
Ability to find: Excellent
Verizon offers voice remote functionality, easy ways to get to your favorites, and simple parental controls. It also has a mobile app that enables on-the-go streaming of your favorite channels—and it is surprisingly well-rated. (2, 3)
Most Optimum TV customers are happy with the service and self-installation is free if you order online. If you need a pro to come help (and you order online), the charge is $60. If you call in to order, self-install is free, the standard installation costs about $100, and premium installation costs about $150.
The Verizon Fios TV professional installation fee is $99, and there’s no self-install option. However, online ordering and promotions often waive this fee, so you can save some money on your first TV bill. Apart from that, the other major setup costs are the router and the DVR. You'll need the $18-per-month router if you don't already have Verizon Fios internet, and the company recommends against using your own equipment.
Once installation is handled, most customers are happy with the service. Some wish they could pay less, but complaints about the mobile app and channel lineup are relatively rare.