Home / Reviews / Suddenlink TV Review

Suddenlink TV Review

Posted by: Trevor Wheelwright       Updated: 1/18/2017

The Bottom Line

Suddenlink doesn’t bring a lot of extra features, but its core service is solid with over 200 channels and a TiVo-powered DVR. However, with only two advanced cable service options, you’re limited unless you pay for additional packages.

  • PROS
  • No contracts
  • Any-Room DVR powered by TiVo
  • CONS
  • Limited choice in packages and DVR
  • Expensive expansions

PRICING 9/10

Location, location, location.

First Year / Promo Rate Regular Rate* Percentage Increase
Avg Package Price $64.50/mo $64.50/mo 0%

*Rates vary depending on your area. We used the maximum rate to calculate the average.

AVAILABILITY 17 States
No Contract
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Regular Rate
$64.50/mo
Availability
17 States

When it comes to pricing, using different ZIP Codes yielded very different results in the checkout process. Your monthly HDTV bill could start anywhere from $47 to $60. That’s before considering premium channels or add-on packages. And while it’s not unusual for companies to charge differently based on location, these differences could cause monthly prices to vary drastically—especially when you consider premium channels, which we’ll talk more about later.

Even if the pricing in your location is on the higher end, Suddenlink is pretty good for a no-contract provider. Here’s a comparison of similar services:

No Contract Package Suddenlink SL200 Optimum TV Value Time Warner Cable Preferred TV Charter TV Gold Verizon Fios Preferred HD
Avg. Monthly Price $60 $64.95 $49.99 $99.99 $89.99
Channel Count 200 182 200 200 245
No Contract Package Comparison
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Avg. Monthly Price
Suddenlink SL200$60.00
Optimum TV Value$64.95
Time Warner Cable Preferred TV$49.99
Charter TV Gold$99.99
Verizon Fios Preferred HD$89.99
Channel Count
Suddenlink SL200200
Optimum TV Value182
Time Warner Cable Preferred TV200
Charter TV Gold200
Verizon Fios Preferred HD245

Additional Fees

Suddenlink charges $5.88 monthly for sports and broadcast fees, which is standard. However, we’d still like to see these prices at least mentioned in the checkout process rather than being an unwelcome surprise on your bill.

If you’ve wondered why TV service providers charge additional fees, here’s what Suddenlink had to say about it:
“...a $3.00 sports programming surcharge will be added to the bills of customers subscribing to this service to cover a portion of the skyrocketing cost of dedicated sports channels and general entertainment networks with sports programming. The broadcast station surcharge will increase $2.88 per month to cover the escalating fees charged by broadcast TV station owners."

Technical Costs

Your one-time installation charge will range from $20 to $40; some companies charge upwards of $100, so this is a pretty good deal. Installation for up to three TV outlets is included with your package. For more than three TVs, there is an additional one-time charge of up to $60 and monthly charges of $3.50 per TV. If you want a protection plan, Suddenlink’s Safeguard covers in-home wire repairs for $4.99/month. This service doesn’t cover accidental damage, but it could come in handy if you run into trouble.

Click here for Suddenlink’s website.

PACKAGES 6/10

Two just isn’t enough.

Suddenlink is limited in packages, and even then it’s unclear what you’re actually getting. After consulting the TV channel lineup, there are roughly 400+ channels included with SL300, but 100 of them are HD versions and 50 are music channels. So for pure variety, you’re looking at about 250 or so channels. If you want to order the SL300 but don’t see it in the buyflow, contact an agent.

PACKAGES PRICING CHANNELS CONTRACT
HDTV SL200 $47–$60*/mo 200* None

"HDTV SL200" Package

Suddenlink’s first tier of non-local programming has 200 channels. They’re popular favorites, so most users can find the shows they want.

Notable Channels:
HDTV SL300 $69–$82*/mo 400* None

"HDTV SL300" Package

The biggest benefit to upgrading is the addition of Pac-12 sports (western division), which seems odd for a company based mostly in the South and East. In many of the tested ZIP Codes, this option did not pop up in the buying process despite the agent confirming its availability in the area. If this poses a problem, contact Suddenlink.

Notable Channels:
HDTV SL200
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
PRICING
$47–$60*/mo
CHANNELS
200*
CONTRACT
None

"HDTV SL200" Package

Suddenlink’s first tier of non-local programming has 200 channels. They’re popular favorites, so most users can find the shows they want.

Notable Channels:
HDTV SL300
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
PRICING
$69–$82*/mo
CHANNELS
400*
CONTRACT
None

"HDTV SL300" Package

The biggest benefit to upgrading is the addition of Pac-12 sports (western division), which seems odd for a company based mostly in the South and East. In many of the tested ZIP Codes, this option did not pop up in the buying process despite the agent confirming its availability in the area. If this poses a problem, contact Suddenlink.

Notable Channels:

The “*” means you might get a few extra channels, but it depends on your area.

Click here to see packages in your area.

CHANNELS 5/10

Bring on the add-ons!

Channel Selection

With only two package options, your real ability to choose channels lies in add-ons. You can add up to 100 special interest channels with packages for sports and info, movies, and family entertainment. Each package costs $9.00/month. Unfortunately, the packages don’t directly spell out which channels are included, so it’s a bit of a shot in the dark.

If you do get all three packages, you’re getting 100 channels for an additional $27/month, but is this actually a good value? Let’s compare:

With DIRECTV, the jump from their Select package with 145 channels to their Ultimate package with 240 channels costs $28.50.

DISH’s America’s Top 120 plan has an average monthly cost of $49.99. For another $20, you get at least 100 more channels in their America’s Top 250 plan.

With these facts in mind, Suddenlink’s add-on pricing seems reasonable, but remember this doesn’t include premium channels like HBO or Encore.

On Demand/HD Channels/Premium Channels

Suddenlink has an impressive On Demand selection with 11,000 titles, many of which are free. You get up to 100 HD channels free with your TV service.

Premium channels are subject to location, along with the pricing. In some locations, you’ll see the premium channels as combined add-ons that do actually save you money. For example, there’s a combined HBO/Cinemax package that’s $20.50/month, which is a pretty good deal. However, in some areas, that package doesn’t exist. Instead, those premium channels are listed for $18–$19/month each, effectively doubling the monthly charge for the exact same thing.

Click here to plug in your ZIP Code and see your Suddenlink TV Channel Lineup

EQUIPMENT & FEATURES 6/10

TiVo is nice, but choice is better.

EQUIPMENT 6/10

TiVo is nice, but choice is better.

Suddenlink DVR Tivo-Premier
Equipment Storage Capacity Recording Hours Equipment/Service Fee Simultaneous Recordings
Any-Room DVR powered by TiVo 300 GB 75 HD / 150 SD $16/mo 3
HD Receiver None None $7/mo None
Any-Room DVR
powered by TiVo

EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Storage Capacity
300 GB
Recording Hours
75 HD / 150 SD
Equipment/Service Fee
$16/mo
Simultaneous Recordings
3
HD Receiver
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Storage Capacity
None
Recording Hours
None
Equipment/Service Fee
$7/mo
Simultaneous Recordings
None

DVRs and Receivers

With the Any-Room DVR, you can record and watch on up to three TVs from a single DVR and also pause and rewind TV in any room. You will need receivers in each room requiring service; mini-DVR receivers are $7/month each. Conveniently, the service is provided by TiVo, so you can access your account anywhere in the world to set and watch your recordings.

Although you have the option to go with a third party DVR, we still think it’s a little unusual to only have one DVR available. The storage capacity and recording hours are weak compared to our top 2016 DVR picks, like the DISH Hopper 3, which features 2 TB of storage with 500 HD/2,000 SD recording hours. Although the Any-Room DVR has options for expanding with additional receivers, it’d be nice to get everything you need in one box.

Features

You can pause and play live TV in any room in your home, which is great if you need to take a break to run errands or make a snack. You can also skip ahead 30 seconds or get an instant replay. More than just for watching, the Suddenlink2Go app allows you to use your smart device as a remote control, set your recordings, and download shows to go. If you’re watching a show on your tablet or smartphone, you can push it to your TV so everyone can enjoy. Between the TiVo app and the mobile website Suddenlink2Go, you’ll be able to take your favorites on the road easily.

Click here to get more info on the Multi-Room DVR powered by TiVo.

CUSTOMER SERVICE 4/10

Convenient and direct, Suddenlink won’t keep you waiting.

ASCI JD Power Blended Rating
57/100 690/1000 6.3

Sources: ASCIJD Power

Online Support

Suddenlink’s live chat is great for answering your questions. The agents are friendly and to the point, as long as you ask your questions directly. They provided helpful links and specific information that wasn’t just copied and pasted, unlike other providers. Of course, they’ll try to add on services or get you to commit to a plan, but that’s expected.

They even go above and beyond with their news blog at SuddenlinkFYI.com, where they inform customers of new movies on demand, new and upcoming TV shows, and technical details.

Click here to keep up with the latest info

CONCLUSION

For most, great service is enough.

With no contractual obligation, decent prices, and all the favorite channels, Suddenlink is a great no-frills service. While you might not get the advanced features you could find with providers like DISH, you have a more-than-capable DVR, great customer service, and device support with on-the-go capabilities.

Our Recommendation

The best bang for your buck is the SL200 package with an add-on package or two catered to your needs (Movies, Sports & Info, or Family pack). If it’s available to you, the HBO/Cinemax combination is a good deal at $20.50/month. And if you need DVR service, a single Any-Room DVR box should be enough for the average family, coupled with a receiver for each TV.

Click here to sign up for service or get more information from Suddenlink.

Blog author for reviews.org

BY: Trevor Wheelwright

Staff Writer

Share this article

Disclaimer: The information featured in this article is based on our best estimates of pricing, package details, contract stipulations, and service available at the time of writing. All information is subject to change. Pricing will vary based on various factors, including, but not limited to, the customer’s location, package chosen, added features and equipment, the purchaser’s credit score, etc. For the most accurate information, please ask your customer service representative. Clarify all fees and contract details before signing a contract or finalizing your purchase.

Our mission is to help consumers make informed purchase decisions. All content remains unbiased and uninfluenced by external compensation including, but not related to, ratings, rankings, and opinions. Our affiliate compensation allows us to maintain an ad-free website and provide a free service to our readers. For more information, please see our disclosures page.