Mediacom offers a decent value in TV, but it’s far from perfect. First, you must bundle it with internet—standalone TV isn’t available. A thin sports selection and lots of fees also hurt. That said, Mediacom internet isn’t bad, so if you’re going with that, it probably makes sense to go with Mediacom TV, too.
Mediacom offers pretty standard fare to its TV customers. It's not wonderful, but it isn't horrible either. Depending on your chosen package, you get 50+, 125+, or 170+ channels, along with internet speeds up to 1 Gbps. The channel selection is good, with popular networks available. Channel selection varies quite a bit based on where you live.
While your exact channel lineup depends on your exact address, Mediacom does a decent job of providing local channels in most of the markets it serves. You can get your standard CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX channels at the lowest package price, and often a handful of other local options like PBS and Antenna TV (but not Telemundo and Estrella). For local news, sports, and network TV in English, Mediacom is a decent option.
We don’t usually recommend Mediacom TV for households that watch a lot of sports. While you can get Fox Sports 1 and TNT plus your local channels for some pro games, the Golf Channel and NFL Networks are available only as add-ons and there’s no MLB coverage available at all. You'll need the third tier for ESPN, TUDN, and most regional sports networks.
Family and education: 3.5/5
It’s possible to get a great selection of family and educational shows from Mediacom TV, but some of the best options aren’t available in any package tier. Instead, for channels like Smithsonian, Science, Nat Geo Wild, and the Cooking Channel, you have to pay extra every month for the “Kids and Variety Digital Pak.” It’s unusual to have to pay extra for family-friendly shows that come standard with most cable TV competitors.
News and politics: 4/5
Mediacom has a lot to offer when it comes to news, but it's not available in the basic package. At the second tier, you get CNN and Fox News, but you have to bump up to the third tier for MSNBC, Newsmax, CNBC, and Fox Business. If you go with the “Sports & Information Digital Pak,” you can also catch Cheddar News, BBC News, Bloomberg, and China Global Television Network.
Entertainment and lifestyle 3.5/5
From blockbuster movies to reality TV and travel shows, Mediacom has a lot of the most popular channels available. The only caveats are that you may have to pay add-on prices for channels like HBO and Reelz, and these prices tend to be more expensive than what you would find with national cable TV competitors. The premium channels are also usually more expensive than going with streaming services from each brand name.
Mediacom offers reasonable value to TV customers. It’s not the most affordable TV provider and doesn’t offer the highest channel count or fastest internet speeds, but it’s also not outrageously expensive. It’s just…reasonable. The average price per channel is a little higher than most, and the company offers about two-thirds of the nation’s top 100 channels, which is a little worse than average.
It’s worth noting that Mediacom does not offer a standalone TV service. That means you have to pay for Mediacom internet if you want Mediacom TV, with plans (which go up after the first year) starting at $69 per month. There’s also a modem fee, a broadcast fee, and a regional sports fee to worry about. In our tests, the average monthly bill was about $50 more than the original quoted price.
The everyday experience with Mediacom TV is about average compared to other TV services we review. We like the familiarity of the TiVo system, just wish it cost less every month.
Ability to watch: Great
Watching shows and games on Mediacom TV is a pretty standard experience. You can channel surf, record to DVR, and catch a lot of shows and games in HD. It’s easy to see what’s coming up next without leaving your current show, and we like how the set-top box learns what you like and changes its suggestions at different times of day. You can even use your login on different platforms with the Mediacom TV Everywhere service or watch from your mobile phone on Mediacom’s Xtream mobile app.
Ability to record: Great
Remember TiVo? Well, it lives on with Mediacom as the provider’s DVR of choice. Mediacom subscribers get a TiVo DVR box that can record up to 150 hours of HD content (or 1,000 hours of standard definition), which should be plenty for most users.
We particularly like bonus features like QuickMode, which lets you speed up live TV by 30%. It means you can easily get caught up if you start a show or game late. Monthly DVR access fees are pricey and you can’t upgrade your DVR, but once you get the DVR set up and start using it, we think you’ll be pleased with the experience.
Ability to find: Great
From the TV guide on your screen to your Xtream remote, Mediacom makes it easy to find what you’re looking for. We particularly like the voice remote, which lets you ask for a specific show, genre, or channel. It even works with your DVR library and separate streaming apps (but a few extra steps may be required). Parental controls are pretty standard and seem to work well. We only wish the mobile app were more highly rated.
Installation of your new Mediacom service will cost at least $35, and there’s no option to self-install. This fee can sometimes be waived with certain promotions, and we highly recommend hunting one down or discussing it with your sales rep. There’s also a $10 activation fee that’ll show up on your first bill.
The first TiVo DVR is included in your monthly price, but you'll have to pay at least $15 per month to use it. Additional boxes cost about $9 per month. Finally, since you have to bundle with internet, you’ll be on the hook for a $14 modem fee each month, plus broadcast and sports surcharges. There’s also a standard $10 monthly fee for an eero Wi-Fi router system, but you might be able to get it free with certain promotions.
There are also contracts to worry about, and they can be for 12, 24, or 36 months. Depending on how many months left in your contract, you could be charged up to $240 if you quit early.
The upsides are that Mediacom is available where a lot of other providers aren’t, and customer service scores are about average among cable TV providers.