Spectrum’s latest attack ads just aren’t true

Just like all of you, I see the attack ads from other pay-TV providers. They make me pretty angry when they lie about their advantages over satellite. I was watching last night and saw an ad for Spectrum, and wrote down a few notes.

Spectrum internet isn’t always faster

While Spectrum’s lowest tier is 100Mbps, that’s true, they oversell their lines. People I know with Spectrum internet usually get about 30-40Mbps during the day and 10Mbps at night. That’s slower than most other providers. The difference between what they promise and what they deliver? Too many people using the line. You can probably get 100Mbps at 2 in the morning which is great if that’s when you’re online.

DIRECTV On Demand is just as fast (unless)

Spectrum ads love to say how their On Demand is instant and DIRECTV’s On Demand has to fully download before you can watch it. That’s absolutely true if you live in 2009. DIRECTV’s On Demand system relies on your internet connection. Technically Spectrum’s does too. If you have 25Mbps or faster internet, then on demand should start fairly instantly. DIRECTV even offers a lower-quality stream that can start playing instantly even if your internet is super slow.

Unless, of course, you have Spectrum Internet and then who knows when your on demand program will load. But can you really blame DIRECTV for that or should you blame Spectrum?

Spectrum isn’t the only place to get SportsNet.

Spectrum runs ads throughout the Southwest that say if you want to see the SportsNet channels you need Spectrum. That’s not true. SportsNet (The “Lakers Channel”) is available on pretty much every cable and satellite provider. If you’re talking about SportsNet LA (The “Dodgers Channel”) It’s true that DIRECTV doesn’t carry it. Practically no one else does, except MLB.TV, the streaming baseball package. That package is FREE with an MLB Extra Innings subscription or you can subscribe separately if you want. If you’re a Los Angeles local you might get blackout messages but you’ll get those on Spectrum too. (And I’m not saying that a VPN could help with that.)

Spectrum isn’t more reliable.

Cable companies love to talk about rain fade. And I get it, because rain fade is a pain. It’s a pain when you want to watch your favorite show and a heavy shower comes in and you lose reception.

Most rain fade can be cured by carefully aiming the dish, but I’ll admit there are times and places when it’s inevitable. When you look at the big picture though, satellite’s reliability is over 99.5%. More importantly rain fade goes away when the sun comes out. If you’re dealing with a broken cable then you could be waiting days. That broken cable could be your internet connection, too.

Overall cable’s reliability is lower than satellite. You may have a great cable company in your town but not everyone does.

Fair is fair, they got a few things right.

Satellite does have contracts, and cable doesn’t. That’s true. I wish I had a pithy reason for it, but I don’t.

A bundle of phone, internet, and cable TV is probably going to cost you less the first year, unless you add things like multiple DVRs and setup in a lot of rooms. Then it depends on the rental rates for those boxes. By the way, DIRECTV has “first year” rates for people who switch, too. They’re really awesome.

That’s about all I could think of that they actually got right. I thought there would be more when I started typing.

Call Solid Signal for great satellite TV.

The one thing that Spectrum really does poorly is customer service. They’re almost always on the list of “most hated” service providers of any type. I mean, their approval level is lower than Congress. On the other hand, if you call Solid Signal at 888-233-7563 you get everything that’s great about DIRECTV plus great personal service from a rep in our 100% US-based call center. Have a problem? Call that same rep back anytime. Try that with Spectrum — good luck.

Spectrum may try to attack DIRECTV but when you know the facts, their claims just don’t add up.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.