More people are purchasing cable television now that the media has gone digital and most television sets come with high-definition screens. While companies such as RCN and Comcast will offer you the same basic features in their simplest cable packages, there are significant differences between the two in what channels they offer, how much HD programming they provide and how much their service will cost you.
The best cable package for you could be hard to find
Comcast is available in about 40 states from Alabama to Washington. But while it may be located in Texas, it only has coverage in a few Texas cities. RCN Cable is only available in a few cities, including Chicago, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and the metro D.C. area.
The Comcast Digital Starter package offers over 80 digital cable channels to subscribers. This package also comes with access to On Demand programs and movies, many of which are free, as well as nearly four dozen digital music stations. The RCN Signature Digital Cable package offers over twice as many digital channels, with about 44 of them being HD. This cable package also offers access to On Demand programming and movies, as well as 45 digital music channels.
While the Comcast Starter package does provide local networks as well as basic cable offerings such as MTV, ABC Family and the Sci Fi Channel, there are some popular stations that aren’t available. These include Comedy Central, Cartoon Network and Animal Planet. The RCN Signature package, while a basic cable package, includes local networks, basic cable regulars, as well as news channels like C-SPAN and CNN, arts channels such as A&E and Bravo and popular favorites such as the Sci Fi channel and Animal Planet.
With Comcast you often have to choose an entirely different package in order to upgrade your available channels, add digital recording abilities or sign up for sports channel packages or movie channel packages. RCN offers a la carte style upgrade options, where you can add an HD/DVR converter box, sign up for movie channel or sports channel packages or sign up for special On Demand viewing packages.
The Comcast Digital Starter package begins at $29.99 a month for new customers. After six months this jumps up to $57.45 a month. You may get another 20+ channels from Comcast when you begin paying their full monthly price. The RCN Signature Cable TV package begins at at $29.99 a month as well. After six months this cost will go up to $55.05 a month.