Best Cable Companies and Satellite TV Providers in Omaha, NE
Dec. 13, 2019, 12:13 a.m.
Watching TV is a staple of American culture. Whether it’s reality TV, sports or nightly news programs, everyone has a favorite show. Subscribing to a top satellite or cable TV provider guarantees reliable service and a variety of channels. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best cable companies and satellite TV providers in Omaha to explain different types of service, the relative costs and what to look for in a provider.
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Choosing a cable company or satellite TV provider in Omaha
Omaha residents have several choices for satellite and cable TV providers, though where you live affects your options. Cable TV providers have specific service areas, but satellite TV uses a wireless signal available everywhere. When choosing between television providers, there are several factors you should compare:
Channel availability: Each TV provider negotiates contracts with broadcast networks, so some channels may not be available with every provider. Channel availability is deciding factor if you only watch specific channels and a provider doesn’t carry the channels you want or only includes them in expensive channel packages.
Reliability: You don’t want your TV service to go out during the final seconds of Game 7 of the NBA finals, so find out if outages are common in your neighborhood. Cable tends to be more reliable than satellite TV in bad weather — most cable wires are buried underground, but a satellite’s wireless signal is subject to outdoor elements.
Contracts: Review each provider’s contract terms before choosing one. Some satellite and cable companies don’t require service contracts; however, the trade-off is that the business may change its rates unexpectedly without one. Most contracts lengths are at least a year. Before you select a provider, study the contract and find out if there are additional costs for installation and equipment rental.
Service bundling: You may only be shopping for a TV provider, or you may be looking for full service that includes TV, phone and internet. It’s common for satellite and cable companies in Omaha to package these services together in bundles. Bundles are usually discounted, and most require a contract to lock in a lower rate.
Finally, if you’re on the fence about what provider to choose, ask your friends and neighbors which company they use and if they’re satisfied with the service.
Types of cable and satellite TV
The types of cable and satellite TV service available in Omaha are:
Basic cable includes local channels, national broadcast networks such as ABC, CBS and PBS, and other Federal Communications Commission-mandated stations such as public-access and local government channels. The FCC has more information on cable TV regulation.
Expanded basic packages include some of the most popular pay channels, such as ESPN and cable news networks. These packages usually include HD channels and DVR capability.
Premium cable provides a wide range of channels dedicated to news, sports, entertainment, kids’ programming and music. Movie channels, such as HBO, Starz and Showtime, are often add-ons to premium cable that come with an additional monthly cost.
Cable vs. satellite TV
When deciding whether cable or satellite TV is right for you, consider where you live, the channels you watch and your budget. If you live in a rural area, satellite TV may be your only option. Satellite TV reception requires installing a south-facing satellite dish, however, and Omaha residents who rent an apartment may not have an appropriate installation location.
Satellite service in Omaha generally has better picture quality and more HD channels than cable service, but cable is easier to install and requires less equipment. Cable companies are also more likely to offer month-to-month contracts, while satellite TV providers typically require a one- or two-year contract.
Another factor may be other packages offered by the company — satellite companies often carry packages that allow you to watch additional sporting events, such as DIRECTV’s NFL SUNDAY TICKET.
What is internet cable?
Despite the commonly used name, internet cable transmits television programming over the internet and does not require any physical cable boxes or satellite dishes. Customers access the service through an app on a television, smartphone, tablet or other compatible device.
Some services, including DIRECTVNOW, YouTube TV and Sling TV, are almost identical to traditional cable or satellite providers in terms of available channels. These companies include major networks, other popular cable channels and premium add-on channels. You can watch shows live or on demand, but you must have a fast, reliable internet connection for the best results.
Other internet-based services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, offer a library of on-demand shows and movies. These services are usually available for between $10 and $20 a month, and many people subscribe to them as a complement to cable or satellite TV.
Some cable and satellite TV providers in Omaha also offer internet-based services that allow you to watch TV on the go from your smartphone or tablets.
How much does cable and satellite TV cost in Omaha?
The average person spends between $85 and $100 for satellite and cable TV services, according to the FCC. A basic cable plan in Omaha costs as little as $20 to $25, but more extensive packages cost up to $100 or more. Cable and satellite TV prices are usually similar, but satellite often offers a lower price per channel.
Both DIRECTV and DISH, the two major satellite providers in the U.S., provide service in Omaha. DISH’s packages start at $60 a month for 190 channels, and DIRECTV’s packages start at $35 a month for 155 channels. Both companies require a two-year service contract, but DISH locks in its prices for both years while DIRECTV’s monthly cost increases dramatically in the second year of the contract.
Companies may charge up to $200 for installation, but many satellite and cable TV offer promotions for free or discounted installation. Ask about any current deals before committing to a contract. Cable companies and satellite TV providers may also charge an equipment rental fee between $5 and $15 per device per month.
Satellite Central is an authorized cable and satellite retailer that has served Omaha residents for more than 20 years. Satellite Central also provides internet and phone services. Local customers say the company’s technicians are knowledgeable and take the time to explain the installation process. Customers also appreciate the outstanding customer service.
Kickertek is an authorized cable and satellite TV retailer in Omaha that works with multiple providers to find the perfect service for you. The company also offers phone, internet and home security services. Omaha customers appreciate the friendly customer service and attentive staff that takes time to answer all questions.
Cox Communications is a telecommunications company that has provided cable television, internet and phone services to the Omaha area since 2010. The company receives mixed reviews, with some customers reporting outstanding customer services and others saying they have trouble receiving help when needed and that the company raises prices too often.