Spectrum TV Essentials Review
Spectrum TV Essentials is a live TV streaming service that includes live entertainment, lifestyle, and news channels for only $15/month. This service is only available to Spectrum Internet customers.
It is most similar to Philo with entertainment channels from A&E Networks, AMC Networks, Discovery, Scripps Networks, Viacom — but also includes channels like Bloomberg TV and The Weather Channel, and some of those in Philo ($25) like American Heroes, Cooking Channel, and Destination America.
If you are looking to subscribe to a more full featured service today, we suggest checking out Hulu Live TV for a full streaming service or Philo for a similarly priced entertainment-only option with an Unlimited DVR.
No Cloud DVR
Unfortunately, Spectrum TV Essentials does not include a DVR. The company plans to launch a Cloud DVR in the coming months, but it may be an additional fee.
Single Device Only
You can only watch content on one device at a time.
TV Everywhere Apps
If you prefer to watch if your favorite channel app, you can log-in with your Spectrum TV Essentials credentials.
If you missed watching your favorite show live, you should be able to catch up by watching it On Demand.
Spectrum TV Essentials is compatible with these devices:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Apple TV
- Google Chromecast (Google Cast)
- Android TV (Google Cast)
- Android Phone/Tablet
- LG Smart TV (AirPlay)
- Samsung Smart TV (AirPlay)
- Sony Smart TV (AirPlay/Google Cast)
- VIZIO Smart TV (AirPlay/Google Cast)
Spectrum TV Essentials provides live streaming of many major entertainment and news channels.
Top Cable Channels
Spectrum TV Essentials offers top cable channels from A&E Networks, AMC Networks, Discovery/Scripps, Hallmark, and Viacom.
You get 18 of the top 35 cable channels as part of the TV Essentials package. The top 35 cable channels are listed below.
Spectrum TV Essentials doesn’t currently offer the ability to add premium channels.
- Most shows will stream in 720p HD.
- Don’t expect Dolby Digital 5.1, but should have stereo audio.
- Will offer adaptive streaming to match network connection.
(Up to 1080p HD)
While most streams are available in 720p HD, some shows may stream in 1080p HD.
To reduce playback interruptions, Spectrum will adapt the stream quality to match your network connection.
It is unlikely Spectrum TV Essentials will offer Dolby Digital 5.1, but all shows and movies will stream with stream with stereo audio.
We recommend for these services having at least a 1.5 Mbps internet connection for standard definition content (480p).
For High Definition (HD) content, they require 3 Mbps (720p HD) or 6 Mbps (1080p HD).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much does Spectrum TV Essentials cost?
Spectrum TV Essentials is available starting at $15 / month. See the full list: Spectrum TV Essentials Pricing & Plans
Does Spectrum TV Essentials have a free trial?
Spectrum TV Essentials is not available to sign up.
Does Spectrum TV Essentials have a DVR?
Spectrum TV Essentials does not have a DVR.
What channels are on Spectrum TV Essentials?
Spectrum TV Essentials includes 60 channels including 18 top cable channels. See the full list: Spectrum TV Essentials Channels.
How many streams are allowed at once on Spectrum TV Essentials?
Spectrum TV Essentials only allows one device at a time. See more details: Spectrum TV Essentials Simultaneous Streams
Does Spectrum TV Essentials have local channels?
Does Spectrum TV Essentials have live sports?
Sports channels are not available on Spectrum TV Essentials.
Does Spectrum TV Essentials offer premium channels?
Premium channels are not available on Spectrum TV Essentials.
Does Spectrum TV Essentials offer on demand content?
Spectrum TV Essentials includes on demand content from most of the channels they offer. Unlike content on your DVR, you won’t be able to skip ads.
Does Spectrum TV Essentials support TV Everywhere apps?
You cannot access TV Everywhere apps with Spectrum TV Essentials.
Does Spectrum TV Essentials have a TV Guide?
Spectrum TV Essentials includes a TV Guide similar to what you would get with your cable or satellite set-top box.
Does Spectrum TV Essentials have ads?
Spectrum TV Essentials includes ads during live viewing of shows, as well on all on-demand content. You can skip ads when you watch shows recorded to your DVR.
Does Spectrum TV Essentials offer 4K streaming?
Spectrum TV Essentials does not include 4K content as part of the service.
Does Spectrum TV Essentials offer Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound?
Spectrum TV Essentials does not include Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound as part of the service.