Optimum TV Review

Optimum gives you lots of channels for decent pricing, but you’ll have to watch out for hidden fees.

Optimum
Optimum
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
  • pro
    Optimum doesn't require a contract
  • pro
    You can DVR 15 shows or movies simultaneously
  • Fire Emoji
    2-year price lock when you bundle
  • con
    Optimum has very limited availability
Chantel Buchi
Dec 13, 2023
Icon Time To Read6 min read

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Optimum TV has limited availability, but this cable TV provider is a solid choice for those who live on the East Coast.

Ranging from $35–$125 per month, you’ll get one of the highest channel counts in the industry (seriously), and families will love its Multi-Room DVR, which can record up to 15 programs at once. 

Even though the DVR is highly capable, you only get 25–150 hours of DVR storage. And you’ll also have to watch out for Optimum’s hidden fees.

Let's get into the details to find out if it's your next service.

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See if Optimum is available in your area.

How much does Optimum cost?

The dollar-to-channel ratio is one of the best in the industry

To give you an idea of how great Optimum’s pricing is, we’re going to compare it to Xfinity, our favorite cable TV provider.

Xfinity’s dollar-to-channel ratio is about .46 cents, while Optimum’s is about .30 cents! Optimum hands out a huge number of channels, so if you live in one of the areas it’s available, you’re one of the lucky ones.

Optimum could be our favorite cable provider if it were more widely available (just sayin’).

How much are Optimum’s packages?
Plan
Price
TV channel count
Details
Basic TV$35/mo.*50+
Core TV$85/mo.*220+
Select TV$105/mo.*340+
Premier TV$125/mo.*420+
* Offer for new residential customers. Plus taxes, fees and other charges. Includes Auto Pay and Paperless Billing.

Does Optimum have a contract?

One of the best things about Optimum is it doesn’t have a contract! So you can cancel with no repercussions if you’re moving or want to switch to a live TV streaming service.

Does Optimum have fees?

Optimum TV has the normal cable TV fees, but this provider bypasses some for you.

You'll have to pay a DVR fee, but your first Optimum TV box and modem are included. Not many companies give you a set-top box and a router for free without a monthly charge. 

The DVR fee is a little pricey for the amount of (or lack thereof) storage hours you receive. But we have to point out that Optimum decreased its DVR pricing, making it more of a fair price for what you get. 

As far as installation goes, Optimum's website now says, "For online orders, standard rates for professional installation may apply where free self-install is available." So, if those standard rates remained the same, budget for a $100–$150 installation. 

How much are Optimum’s fees?
Fee
Monthly price

Installation cost

$99.00-$149.99 (one time)

First Optimum TV box feeIncluded
Additional set-top box fee$12.00/mo.
Internet modem feeIncluded
25-hour Cloud DVR fee$8.00/mo.
75-hour Cloud DVR fee$10.00/mo.
150-hour Cloud DVR fee$20/mo.

Data effective 12/13/2023.

Which Optimum bundle is the best?

The package we most recommend is the Optimum 300 and Core TV bundle. Core TV is already $85 by itself, and for $40 more, you can get internet with 300 Mbps download speeds. This is enough speed for smaller households to stream 4K video, work from home, and game casually. 

The Optimum 300 and Basic TV bundle is a great option for those looking to save money and needing only 50+ channels, including local ones. 

If you'd like 420+ channels, including premium channels in your lineup like HBO and SHOWTIME, you won't go wrong with the Optimum 300 and Premier TV bundle. 

Optimum Internet offers 500 Mbps and 1 Gbps download speeds if you're a heavy internet user or have a large household. 

While Optimum’s prices may change over time, the good news is that you can cancel anytime you want.

Data effective 12/13/2023. Offers are subject to change.

Which channels does Optimum have?

Optimum’s plans are pretty well-rounded and have all of the channels you’ll likely want. You’ll get all of the popular channels in the Core TV plan, but when you upgrade from one plan to another, you’ll get more premium channels.

And a bonus is that about 30% of each package’s channels are in HD.

The Basic TV plan ($35/month) includes the following channels:

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • C-SPAN
  • FOX
  • HSN
  • MeTV
  • NBC
  • News 12
  • PBS
  • Telemundo
  • The CW
  • Univision

The Core TV plan ($85/month) includes all the channels above and the following:

  • AMC
  • BBC America
  • Cartoon Network
  • CNN
  • Disney Channel
  • Food Network
  • FOX News
  • FX
  • HGTV
  • Lifetime
  • MSNBC
  • Nickelodeon
  • Paramount Network
  • TBS
  • TNT
  • USA Network

For $20 more per month, you can get an additional 120 channels with Select TV than you would with Core TV.

The Select TV plan includes all the channels above and the following:

  • A&E
  • Animal Planet
  • Boomerang
  • CMT
  • Cooking Channel
  • Destination America
  • Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Family Channel
  • Disney XD
  • FX Movie Channel
  • FXX
  • Galavisión
  • GSN
  • Hallmark Channel
  • Hallmark Drama
  • Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
  • History Channel
  • Investigation Discovery
  • National Geographic
  • Nick Jr.

The Premier TV plan ($125/month) includes all the channels above and the following:

  • HBO
  • HBO Comedy
  • HBO Family
  • HBO Latino
  • HBO Zone
  • HBO2
  • Lifetime Movie Network (LMN)
  • MGM HD
  • SHOWTIME
  • SHOWTIME Extreme
  • SHOWTIME Family Zone
  • SHOWTIME Showcase
  • Sony Movie Channel
  • STARZ Cinema
  • STARZ Comedy
  • STARZ Kids & Family

Scroll down a little further for the sports channels (because, if you’re like us, you think those are the most important too).

Does Optimum have premium channels and add-ons?

Optimum offers all of the premium channels, aside from MGM+.

A subscription to Max through Optimum also includes a subscription to HBO channels and HBO On Demand (and we definitely recommend it).

The Select TV plan gives you eight STARZ channels, including STARZ Encore Action, STARZ Encore Classic, and STARZ Encore Family. The Premier package includes Max and seven HBO channels, eight SHOWTIME channels, and 14 STARZ channels.

How much are Optimum’s premium channels and add-ons?
Channel
Add-on monthly price

Max

$15.99/mo.

SHOWTIME

$10.99/mo.

STARZ

$9.99/mo.

CINEMAX

$9.99/mo.

The Movie Channel (TMC)

$9.99/mo.

Optimum Sports Pack$10.00/mo.
Español TV$5.00/mo.

Data effective 12/13/2023.

You’d only need the Sports Pack if you get the Core TV package or if you’re an NHL fan, but as NFL fans, we believe the Sports Pack is worth it from September through December.

The NFL RedZone Channel, our favorite sports channel, will show you all of the exciting moments in real-time of every Sunday morning and afternoon game during the regular season.

NFL RedZone will jump to whichever team is inside the 20-yard line with a chance to score, and it’ll also show replays of phenomenal pick-6s, tackles, one-handed catches, and Hail Marys.

If you order the Select TV or Premier TV packages, you'll get this Sports Pack for free for four months. 

Optimum only reveals that the Sports Pack includes NFL Network, MLB Network, NBA TV, the Golf Channel, "and more." But according to the channels Optimum offers, we believe the add-on also includes the following channels:

  • NFL RedZone Channel
  • NHL Network
  • FOX Soccer Plus
  • Game+
  • Sportsman Channel
  • MavTV Motorsport Network
  • Stadium

The Optimum en Español add-on includes the following seven channels:

  • Antena 3
  • CNN en Español
  • ESPN Deportes
  • Fox Deportes
  • History en Español
  • Universo

Which Optimum package is best for sports?

Although the Core TV plan has a decent channel lineup for entertainment, kids, and news channels, this plan is lacking in the sports area. So, if you’re a big sports fan, we highly recommend the Select TV or Premier TV plan.

You’ll get 21 sports channels and front-row seats on your couch.

The Core TV plan includes the following sports channels:

  • CBS Sports Network
  • ESPN
  • ESPN2
  • FOX Sports (FS1)
  • MSG
  • MSG Sportsnet
  • SportsNet New York
  • YES Network

The Select TV plan includes the sports channels above and the following:

  • ACC Network (ACCN)
  • Big Ten Network (BTN)
  • ESPN Deportes
  • ESPNews
  • ESPNU
  • Fox Deportes
  • FS2
  • MLB Network
  • NBA TV
  • NFL Network
  • SEC Network
  • Tennis Channel
  • The Golf Channel
  • TUDN

The Premier TV plan has all of the sports channels above plus the following three:

  • beIN Sports
  • BeIN Sports Español
  • GolTV
  • Fight Network
  • TVG Network
  • World Fishing Network

Which devices are compatible with Optimum?

You need to know if your device is compatible with Optimum because we all like to stream on the go.

You know you’ll need to watch the Hallmark Channel while on the train, the Cleveland Browns vs. Kansas City Chiefs game while at work, or the Disney Channel to distract your little one.

If you want to use the Optimum TV to GO app, Optimum lists the following streaming devices as compatible:

  • iPhones, iPads
  • Android smartphones and tablets
  • Kindle Fire

But Optimum says you can download the app on most smart TVs and through the Apple App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon Appstore.

Optimum’s DVR storage is lacking

As we mentioned above in the fees section, Optimum’s DVR storage space is insufficient.

Think about it: 25 hours lets you record 10 TV show episodes and seven movies. It might sound like enough (and it may very well be for you), but the hours add up if you want to save those movies to watch them at any time in the future.

And we have to mention how important it is for families that you can record 15 shows simultaneously.

But if you want to refrain from any family drama (because your storage space is full, but you want to record the new Celebrity Wheel of Fortune episode and your spouse claims you can’t delete the eight This Is Us episodes), get more storage space.

How much storage space does Optimum’s DVR have?
DVR storage space
Monthly price

25-hour Cloud DVR

$8/mo.
75-hour Cloud DVR$10/mo.
150-hour Cloud DVR$20/mo.

Data effective 12/13/2023.

Recap: Is Optimum worth it?

Optimum is worth it if you live in one of the areas it’s available.

There is only one obvious reason you shouldn’t get Optimum: if it’s not available in your area. And our only complaint is the low DVR storage space.

But if Optimum TV is available in your area, we say jump on it for these reasons: 

  • Optimum doesn’t require a contract.
  • Each plan has lots of channels at a fair price.
  • The fee list is small. 
  • You can bundle your TV service with internet and mobile. 

It’s perfect for families, sports lovers, and entertainment & movie buffs.

Chantel Buchi
Written by
Chantel Buchi
Chantel is all about finding the best tv or streaming service to watch as many football games as possible to keep her Fantasy Football team in check. Prior to being a TV and Streaming Tech Reporter for Reviews.org, she worked for NFL Network and The Alliance of American Football. Before that, she received a B.A. of Communication at the University of Utah and an M.S. in Sports Journalism at USC. Go Utes and Fight On. Contact her at chantel@reviews.org

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