Best Cable Companies and Satellite TV Providers in Detroit, MI
Nov. 19, 2019, 10:57 p.m.
The Detroit metro area offers multiple cable and satellite TV options, but choosing one can be tricky. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best cable and satellite TV in Detroit to help you find reliable home entertainment with helpful customer service.
190 channels with 30+ premium channels free for 3 mos.
Free voice remote
Free standard professional installation
13800 W. Warren Ave.
Dearborn, MI 48126
Internet+TV starts at $74.99/mo. for 12 mos. with 2-yr. agreement
Record up to 6 HD shows at once & store up to 500GB
32650 N. Avis Dr.
Madison Heights, MI 48071
Exclusive student offers available
X1 voice remote available
Internet & TV bundles starting at $45/mo.
Premium channels available like HBO, Starz & Showtime
3907 Woodward Ave., Ste. A
Detroit, MI 48201
M-F: 9am - 6pm
Sat: 10am - 1pm
Sun: 11am - 4pm
111 Monroe St.
Detroit, MI 48226
Advanced Satellite Communications
M-F: 7:30am - 5pm
Closed Sat and Sun
12137 Merriman Rd.
Livonia, MI 48150
M-F: 9am - 6pm
Sat: 9am - 1pm
14525 Farmington Rd.
Livonia, MI 48154
M-F: 8am - 5pm
Closed Sat and Sun
3200 Biddle Ave., Ste 200
Wyandotte, MI 48192
M-F: 7am - 2am
Sat and Sun: 8am - 12am
Serves residents in
Open 24 hours
Serves residents in
Choosing a cable company or satellite TV provider in Detroit
When comparing satellite and cable TV service options in Detroit, it’s essential to look past promotional offers. Appearances can be deceiving — providers may offer promotional prices that increase after a few months or premium channels that disappear once a trial period ends. When choosing between satellite and cable companies, consider:
Channel options: Each provider sets its own channel lineup, so consider the networks you watch most. If you’ve just got to have BBC and Telemundo, focus your search on providers who offer both in their extended cable packages.
Reliability: No one wants to deal with intermittent television service. Check reviews and see if people in your area have frequent outages with available cable and satellite TV providers. If your neighbors have cable or satellite, ask them what service they use and how reliable it is.
Contracts: Some companies offer month-to-month subscriptions, but many others require a one- or two-year contract. Be sure you’re not lured by price discounts or additional channels that don’t last through the life of the contract, but be prepared to sign a contract to receive the lowest possible price.
Bundling: If you’re already paying for phone or internet service, look for companies that offer those along with cable or satellite service. Companies offer a discount to customers who bundle services together on one contract.
Customer service: The only thing more frustrating than losing cable service is not being able to reach anyone who can help solve your problem. Check reviews to see if a company has a reputation for responsive customer service and quickly handling outages.
For more information on satellite and cable TV providers, check out the 2018/2019 American Customer Satisfaction Index. The ACSI analyzes customer satisfaction on picture quality, reliability, outages, range of channels, customer service and even the quality and ease of use of remotes, websites, on-screen menus and mobile apps.
Types of cable and satellite TV
When you’ve identified two or three providers in Detroit that meet your must-have channels and budget, take a moment to consider channel packages and features offered by each.
Basic cable includes ABC, CBS, FOX, PBS, The CW and local public access channels. Basic cable varies a bit between providers, with some offering 30 or more channels on their basic packages. These packages often don’t include HD picture quality or DVR capability.
Extended basic packages include some of the most popular channel packages, including ESPN and cable news networks.
Premium channel packages add a wide variety of channels, including special-interest channels like HISTORY and Food Network. These packages may also include movie channels such as STARZ and HBO, or these channels may be available at an additional cost.
Besides channel offerings, it’s crucial to look at other features offered by cable and satellite TV providers in Detroit. As the market becomes more competitive, companies are looking for new ways to attract customers. Some of the options providers offer include:
HD picture quality
Video-on-demand movie libraries
On-the-go television through mobile apps
DVR capabilities with cloud storage
Cable vs. satellite TV
While satellite and cable TV providers in Detroit offer similar services, each transmits signals differently. Cable TV uses a physical connection, which requires you to be in the provider’s service area. Satellite TV companies transmit a wireless signal that can be received nearly anywhere, but you must install a south-facing dish for service.
Pros and cons of satellite and cable TV in Detroit
Reliable service in all weather conditions
Higher cost per channel
Speed and availability issues in some metro Detroit areas
Better picture quality
Generally offers more HD channels
Service can be affected by weather
Apartment residents may not have location to install south-facing dish
Alternatives to cable and satellite TV
Most homes in Detroit have internet service, and streaming services that transmit programming through the internet rather than a cable or satellite signal are becoming more popular. Some services, such as YouTube TV and DIRECTVNOW, offer live programming similar to cable and satellite companies. Other companies, like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, provide access to an on-demand library of shows and movies.
These services do not require equipment from the company, but you must access the services through an app. To watch on a television, you need a smart TV or device that can run apps, such as a Roku or Kindle Fire TV. You can also access the programming through smartphones, tablets or other compatible devices.
Streaming services are often a little cheaper than cable or satellite TV, but you must pay internet access. These companies offer month-to-month subscriptions instead of contracts, so prices can also increase unexpectedly.
How much does cable and satellite TV cost in Detroit?
The average satellite and cable TV customer in Detroit pays between $85 and $160 for service, but costs vary depending on what package you select. Cable TV in Detroit starts at around $30 for a 10+ channel basic plan but increases to $150 or more with bundled packages that include internet, phone and extensive channel lineups.
DIRECTV and DISH, the nation’s two largest satellite TV providers, are available in Detroit. Both contracts require two-year deals, with DISH providing locked-in prices for the life of the contract and DIRECTV offering lower rates in the first year and increasing them in the second.
Don’t forget to budget for additional costs — companies may charge up to $200 for installation, although some companies waive this cost during promotions. Equipment fees can also bump up your monthly bill between $5 and $15 per device.
Mediacom provides cable and internet services with its Xstream platform, which integrates both services into an all-in-one, integrated platform. The company offers night and weekend appointments, 30-minute appointment windows and a 90-day satisfaction guarantee. Detroit customers praise the company for providing service packages tailored to their needs.