Cheap tv near me: Cheapest Tv Flat Screen : Target

The Hidden Cost of Cheap TVs


Screens have gotten inexpensive—and they’re watching you back.

By Justin Pot

Callaghan O’Hare / Bloomberg / Getty

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The television I grew up with—a Quasar from the early 1980s—was more like a piece of furniture than an electronic device. It was huge, for one thing: a roughly four-foot cube with a tiny curved screen. You couldn’t always make out a lot of details, partially because of the low resolution and partially because we lived in rural Ontario, didn’t have cable, and relied on an antenna. I remember the screen being covered in a fuzzy layer of static as we tried to watch Hockey Night in Canada.

This whole contraption was housed in a beautifully finished wooden box, implying that it was built to be an heirloom. The price implied the same. My parents don’t remember what they paid for the TV, but it wasn’t unusual for a console TV at that time to sell for $800, or about $2,500 today adjusted for inflation. That’s probably why our family kept using the TV across three different decades—that, and it was heavy. It took three of us to move it.

TVs aren’t like that anymore, of course. Like so many other gadgets, TVs over the decades have gotten much better, and much less expensive. But while, say, new cars are priced near where they were 10 years ago, in the same time frame TVs have gotten so much cheaper that it defies basic logic. For example,’s list of the best TVs of 2012 recommended a 51-inch plasma HDTV for $2,199 and a budget 720p 50-inch plasma for $800. I just found a 4K 55-inch TV, which offers a much higher resolution, at Best Buy for under $350. Even 85-inch 4K displays, which cost about $40,000 in 2013—yes, $40,000—can be yours for $1,300 in 2022.

Or take this chart from the American Enterprise Institute comparing the price, over time, of various goods and services. Most things, such as food and medical care, are up from 80 to 200 percent since the year 2000; TVs are down 97 percent, more than any other product. Why are TVs so much cheaper now?

Dirt-cheap TVs are counterintuitive, at first. For $800, you can get an 11-inch iPad Pro, then use it mostly to watch Netflix in bed; less than that amount of money can get you a 70-inch 4K television that you use mostly to watch Netflix on the couch. The difference is that an iPad, computer, or phone has a screen, yes, but that’s not the bulk of what you’re paying for. TVs, meanwhile, are almost entirely screen. “A TV is a control board, a power board, a panel, and a case,” Kyle Wiens, the CEO of iFixit, a company that sells tools and offers free guides for repairing electronic devices, including TVs, told me. “There isn’t much secret sauce in there.” He told me that the most expensive component in a modern television is the LED panel, and that TV manufacturers can buy those panels from third parties at lower prices than ever before because of improvements in the manufacturing process.

One of the biggest improvements is simply a large piece of glass. “TV panels are cut out of a really big sheet called the ‘mother glass,’” James K. Willcox, the senior electronics editor for Consumer Reports, told me. The ones today are huge, roughly 10 feet by 11 feet, and manufacturers have gotten more efficient at cutting that large piece into screens. “A few years ago you would have a lot of waste; now you can punch more screens out of that same mother glass,” Willcox said. This, and various other improvements, can be thought of as a Moore’s law for televisions: Over time, the companies that make components can dial down their manufacturing process, which drives down costs.

These developments affect most gadgets, of course, but the TV market has another factor that makes it different from the rest of tech: massive competition. Unlike in the smartphone market, which is dominated by a handful of big companies, low display prices allow more TV makers to enter the market: They just need to buy the display, build a case, and offer software for streaming. Newer companies such as TCL and Hisense “have taken a lot of market share in the past couple of years from more established brands,” Willcox said. Basically, a new company trying to enter the U.S. market will do so by being cheaper than established companies such as Sony or LG, which forces those companies to also lower their prices.

But the story of cheap TVs is not entirely just market forces doing their thing. Perhaps the biggest reason TVs have gotten so much cheaper than other products is that your TV is watching you and profiting off the data it collects. Modern TVs, with very few exceptions, are “smart,” which means they come with software for streaming online content from Netflix, YouTube, and other services. Perhaps the most common media platform, Roku, now comes built into TVs made by companies including TCL, HiSense, Philips, and RCA. But there are many more operating systems: Google has Google TV, which is used by Sony, among other manufacturers, and LG and Samsung offer their own.

Smart TVs are just like search engines, social networks, and email providers that give us a free service in exchange for monitoring us and then selling that info to advertisers leveraging our data. These devices “are collecting information about what you’re watching, how long you’re watching it, and where you watch it,” Willcox said, “then selling that data—which is a revenue stream that didn’t exist a couple of years ago.” There’s nothing particularly secretive about this—data-tracking companies such as Inscape and Samba proudly brag right on their websites about the TV manufacturers they partner with and the data they amass.

The companies that manufacture televisions call this “post-purchase monetization,” and it means they can sell TVs almost at cost and still make money over the long term by sharing viewing data. In addition to selling your viewing information to advertisers, smart TVs also show ads in the interface. Roku, for example, prominently features a given TV show or streaming service on the right-hand side of its home screen—that’s a paid advertisement. Roku also has its own ad-supported channel, the Roku Channel, and gets a cut of the video ads shown on other channels on Roku devices.

This can all add up to a lot of money. Roku earned $2.7 billion in 2021. Almost 83 percent of that came from what Roku calls “platform revenue,” which includes ads shown in the interface. And Roku isn’t the only company offering such software: Google, Amazon, LG, and Samsung all have smart-TV-operating systems with similar revenue models.

This all means that, whatever you’re watching on your smart TV, algorithms are tracking your habits. This influences the ads you see on your TV, yes, but if you connect your Google or Facebook account to your TV, it will also affect the ads you see while browsing the web on your computer or phone. In a sense, your TV now isn’t that different from your Instagram timeline or your TikTok recommendations. There’s an old joke: “In America, you watch television; in Soviet Russia, television watches you!” In 2022, TVs track your activity to an extent the Soviets could only dream of. But hey, at least that television is really, really cheap.

TVs aren’t furniture anymore—no major TV brand is going to hire American workers to build a modern screen into a beautifully finished wooden box next year. The television is just another piece of tech now, for better or for worse. Don’t get me wrong; watching Netflix on a big screen is superior in every way to watching network TV in the 1990s, and it’s also a lot cheaper. That’s amazing.

But there are downsides. Willcox told me that the average consumer replaces their TV every seven to eight years, which is adding to the roughly 2.7 million tons of e-waste we produce annually. What was an American-made heirloom is now, generally, a cheaply manufactured chunk of plastic and glass—one that monitors everything you do in order to drive down its price even lower. In that way, cheap TVs tell the story of American life right now, almost as well as the shows we watch on them.

Best TV Services of 2023

Best TV services of 2023

By Robin Layton Last updated: June 2, 2023

No matter what’s on your TV wish list, we’ve put together a list of reliable, local TV companies that may be available in your area. Find the TV service best suited for your address!

Best TV providers of 2023

  • YouTube TV – Best channel lineup
  • DIRECTV – Best sports package
  • Xfinity – Best bundle deals
  • Spectrum – Best skinny packages
  • DISH – Best hi-tech DVR
  • Verizon Fios – Best customization
  • Optimum – Best basic plan channel count
  • Cox – Best cheap TV plan

Search TV providers for plans in your area

Check availability

Or call us today:
(844) 451-2720 (844) 451-2720

Summary of top TV companies

Compare details like contract agreements, installation fees and channel lineups when considering your TV provider. Our experts have done the in-depth research for you to make your TV decision easy.

Compare top TV providers

Provider Starting monthly price* Channel range Simultaneous DVR recordings Contract Type
YouTube TV $72. 99 100+ Up to 3 None Streaming
DIRECTV $64.99 75 – 150+ Up to 5 Two years Satellite, internet
Xfinity $20.00 10 – 260+ Up to 4 None required for TV only Cable, fiber
Spectrum $59.99 125 – 200+ Up to 6, depending on DVR model None Cable, fiber
DISH $74.99 190 – 290+ Up to 16 Two years Satellite
Verizon $70.00 125+ – 425+ Up to 12 None Fiber, streaming
Optimum $85.00 220 – 420+ Up to 15 One year Cable, fiber
Cox $56.00 75 – 250+ Up to 6 Varies by plan Cable, fiber

*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of the contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices are subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. As of 04/06/23.

TV channels and Premiums

Click the links to learn more about each provider’s channel lineup. 

  • Cox TV – Free premium channels included with Cox Ultimate TV plan ($69.99/mo.) include HBO®, SHOWTIME®, STARZ®, CINEMAX® and EPIX®.
  • DIRECTV – Free premium channels included with DIRECTV Ultimate TV plan ($99.99/mo.) include The Movie Channel and STARZ ENCORE®.
  • DISH – Free premium channels with DISH’s America’s Top 250 TV plan ($99.99/mo.) include STARZ®, STARZ ENCORE® and The Movie Channel.
  • Frontier – Free premium channels with Frontier’s Premier TV plan ($119.99/mo.) include Cinemax, EPIX®, HBO®, SHOWTIME® and The Movie Channel.
  • Mediacom – No free premium channels included but you can add any or all premium channels to an Mediacom plan for an additional monthly fee.
  • Optimum – Free premium channels with Optimum’s Premier TV plan ($124.99/mo.) include HBO® networks, SHOWTIME® networks, STARZ® and STARZ Encore®.
  • Spectrum – You can add any premium channels to your TV Select package.
  • Verizon – Free premium channels with Verizon’s The Most Fios TV plan ($90/mo.) include SHOWTIME®, STARZ®, STARZ Encore® and The Movie Channel.
  • Xfinity – Free premium channels with Xfinity’s Premier TV plan ($84.99/mo.) include HBO®, SHOWTIME®, STARZ®, STARZ Encore and The Movie Channel.
  • YouTube TV – You can add any premium channels to your YouTube TV experience for $3 to $40/mo.

See how top providers compare

Take a closer look at how TV companies in your area stack up by clicking on a comparison below. Find nationwide availability, package deals, add-on options and more from TV and internet providers in your area.

Which cable TV provider do we think is best? Spectrum offers great values 

Spectrum offers TV Select with 125+ channels. Spectrum’s main plan, TV Select, is a particularly good deal as it offers 125+ channels, including five or more sports channels, for $59.99/mo. We are rating Spectrum first because it is one of the few providers that offers over 100 channels for under $60/mo.

Expert tip: Build a Spectrum TV and internet bundle to simplify your bills.

Cheap TV providers near you

TV service doesn’t have to be expensive. Many popular providers offer basic cable service that includes local channels and major networks between $50 to $65/mo. for an average of 100 channels. If you’re looking for the best value for your money and only need the most basic of channels, Xfinity is the cheapest option – if they are available in your area – with starting prices of $40/mo. for 10+ channels.

Here’s a list of TV companies that offer cheap TV services:

Cheap TV packages

Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. As of 04/06/23.

These prices are low, especially for cable TV plans, but consider the additional monthly charges that you may incur with service. Cox TV Starter, for example, starts at $25/mo.* but increases as you add things like TV receivers ($10/device), DVR service ($12.99/mo.) and Complete Care protections ($10/mo.) 

Things get more expensive as you add premium channels and channel paks to customize your service. Personalizations and equipment fees are common among major providers, so consider your plan price as a starting point.

Cox TV Starter is best for cheap cable TV

If you are looking for cheap cable TV, but still want a good selection of channels, go with Cox TV Starter. Although Xfinity offers a slightly cheaper cable TV plan at $20/mo. for 10 channels, the Cox TV Starter is only $5/mo. more and you get access to significantly more channels.

Search TV providers for plans in your area

Check availability

Or call us today: (844) 451-2720 (844) 451-2720

What TV services are available near me?

Cable TV service is the most popular connection type, however, your address may also be eligible for fiber or satellite TV plans depending on where you’re located. Residents in rural areas, for example, can shop satellite TV providers which offer service in places that other providers do not. Take a look at some of the pros and cons of the TV connection types that may be available in your area.

Streaming TV services

To find all the channels and movies you want, consider a combination of traditional TV service plus a streaming provider (or two). With almost a dozen live TV streaming services to choose from, streaming can be a great option to supplement all your household’s TV needs.


  • Availability – Streaming TV is available everywhere
  • Price – Plans starting at $9/mo. , depending on the provider.
  • Flexibility – Switch between multiple user profiles.


  • Sports – Fewer live sports options available.
  • Internet – Requires a stable internet connection with plenty of data.

Popular streaming companies: DIRECTV, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV and Philo TV

Cable TV services

Many people use “cable” in reference to TV services in general, but cable TV is a specific type of TV service that uses coaxial cables. Since coaxial cable networks are nearly as commonplace as phone lines, cable TV is readily available in many areas.


  • Availability – Cable TV is available to roughly 89% of U.S. residents.
  • Convenient bundling – Most cable TV companies also offer internet, home phone and home security services.
  • Reliability – Cable TV is less susceptible to service interruptions due to inclement weather.


  • Cost – Standalone TV packages may be higher priced than satellite TV packages with similar channel lineups.
  • Specialty channel options – Compared to satellite TV, cable often will not have as many regional sports networks, international channels or other add-on options.

Popular cable TV companies: Cox, Mediacom, Optimum, Spectrum and Xfinity

Satellite TV services

Satellite TV service is one of the most popular and readily-available alternatives to cable TV. Satellite TV is available throughout all 50 states, but you will need a clear view of the southern sky and a place to mount a satellite dish to receive service.


  • Availability – Satellite TV is available nearly everywhere, making it an excellent TV option in suburban and rural areas.
  • Package options – Satellite TV gives you numerous base package options and lots of add-ons for premium channels, sports and more.
  • Picture quality – Satellite TV technology supports higher bandwidth than cable, which means you’re likely to get more HD and 4K programming with satellite TV.


  • Signal interference – Inclement weather, snow and heavy cloud cover can result in signal loss.
  • Contract obligations – Satellite TV is likely to come with a two-year service agreement, a longer commitment than most cable or fiber optic TV providers require.

Popular satellite TV companies: DIRECTV and DISH

Fiber optic TV services

Fiber optic TV service is becoming more popular as fiber optic networks are expanded. Currently, fiber optic TV is primarily available in metro areas and less than a third of U.S. residents are eligible for service.


  • Package options – Like satellite TV, fiber optic TV has a high bandwidth that will support many channels and high picture quality.
  • Bundle options – If fiber optic TV is available, it’s likely that you’ll be able to bundle with fiber optic internet service, an emerging internet connection type.
  • Reliability – Fiber optic cables are more durable and resistant to interference than coaxial cables, giving fiber optic TV superb reliability.


  • Availability – Fiber optic TV is currently one of the least-available types of TV service.
  • Cost – Standalone fiber optic TV package may cost more than satellite or cable TV options. Plus, you may have to bundle with internet to qualify for certain TV packages or pricing.

Popular fiber optic TV companies: Frontier and Verizon Fios


Regardless of what type of TV service you end up with, you almost always have the option to bundle other services, such as internet or home phone, with your TV subscription. Bundling services together is not only convenient, it can also save you money with certain providers. While nearly all internet, tv providers offer a bundling option, this is not always the case for streaming providers.

Over-the-top streaming TV services

A cheap alternative to cable TV is to simply purchase a fast internet connection and stream your favorite shows. Here are a few TV streaming options that you might find to be good substitutes or complements to traditional TV service:

Live TV streaming services

Live TV services, such as DIRECTV, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, Sling TV and fuboTV, are becoming an increasingly popular option over cable TV. These services tend to be less expensive than cable TV and they require less of a commitment.

Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Prime

Popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime feature movies, hit series and original shows. For the most part, these services feature On Demand streaming, which makes them a great supplement to TV service, but not the best substitute for live programming.

Roku and other devices

Many devices, such as the Roku and Amazon Fire TV Stick, let you stream TV from a variety of sources. However, like Netflix and Hulu, available content is limited. Such devices are ideal for viewers who just watch a few TV series and On Demand movies.

Tips on choosing the best TV provider

You can find the best deal out there as long as you know what to look for. Here are a few quick tips to find the TV provider and plan that’s best for your household:

  • Shop around: Make sure you’re considering every provider in your area before narrowing down your options.
  • Consider bundling: Bundling home internet and tv with a single provider will almost always save you money. You’ll also simplify your monthly bills.
  • Add in equipment fees: Surprise bills aren’t fun bills. Look at how many TVs you’ll need receivers for, if you’ll want DVR service and if add-ons are a necessity. All of these things will increase your monthly bill.
  • Check your channel lineup: Do a little digging on the channel lineup that’s included with your plan instead of relying on the number (125 channels). If your favorites aren’t included, it won’t be worth the money no matter what.

If you need assistance shopping, we’re here to help. Contact us today for more information on providers in your area.

Search TV providers for plans in your area

Check availability

Or call us today: (844) 451-2720 (844) 451-2720

Understanding the contract 

Most cable TV providers require a one- to two-year contract for its service. Make sure you understand what you are getting into before you sign that contract.

Early termination fees 

If you sign a one- or two-year contract and want to back out of the contract early, you will likely have to pay a fee. This is known as the early termination fee. Most providers charge around $15 for every month you have left in your contract.  Military members can usually avoid cancellation fees when terminating internet and TV services.

Price changes 

One of the most frustrating aspects of a cable TV contract is that even though you are often locked into a two-year contract, the cost of your service isn’t locked in as well. This means there is a good chance your bill will increase after the first year. Expect that this will happen unless your cable provider specifically says the price is locked in. It is worth asking before you sign a contract so you know how much you could be paying after the first 12 months. 

Hidden fees

Another thing you will want to watch out for before you sign your contract are hidden fees. Most cable TV providers have fees on top of their service and equipment fees, such as activation fees, broadcasting fees, regional sports fees, etc. Make sure you have the full picture of how much you will actually be paying each mont

FAQs on TV providers

What’s the difference between satellite and cable TV?

Cable service providers use a coaxial cable connection and a cable box, while satellite TV providers use a satellite dish to send the TV signal. With a satellite dish installed, satellite TV is available to most homes nationwide. Cable, on the other hand, is only available to homes connected to a cable network and may not be available in rural areas.

What TV companies are in my area?

Availability for TV companies varies nationwide. Satellite TV companies are the most widely available, followed by cable, fiber optic and IPTV. Call to hear about available TV service providers and plans in your area.

What is 4K TV?

4K TV, also called “Ultra-HD”, is a picture resolution with 3840 x 2160 pixels, roughly four times the 1920 x 1080 you get with HD resolution. The result is a sharper image, but you need a 4K TV and a service that offers 4K programming to experience it.

Is TV service cheaper if I bundle?

Most TV companies offer discounts to customers who bundle services together. Because of increased competition between internet and TV providers, these companies often give a discount for setting up all of your services through them rather than getting internet from one provider and TV from another.

Which is the cheapest cable company?

Cox offers the cheapest cable TV plan at 75+ for $25/mo. Other cheap plans include Xfinity’s 10+ channels for $30/mo. and Spectrum’s 125+ channels for $59.99/mo.

What is the best streaming service?

YouTube TV is the best streaming service if price is your consideration at $64.99/mo. It also has one of the best channel line-ups.

What is live streaming vs non-live streaming?

Live streaming means you can watch a sports game, news show or sitcom as it is debuting on cable, satellite or antenna. A traditional streaming service provides shows and movies that are available any time and are not being aired live on other channels.

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What is required to watch TV channels?

To watch digital SD channels, you need a TV or plasma panel with built-in DVB-C digital tuner and MPEG-4 decoder; To watch digital HD channels – a plasma, LCD or LED TV with built-in DVB-C digital tuner and MPEG-4 decoder. These devices include most commercially available flat-panel TVs 81 cm (32 inches) or larger and labeled “Full HD”, “HD Ready”, or “1080p”. If your TV does not support HD channels, you can purchase a set-top box.

To view digital packages accessed by subscription, it is necessary to conclude an additional agreement that gives the right to receive an access card. Our specialists will arrive with a pre-filled contract, bring all the necessary equipment, connect it and show how to use it. You can leave a request by calling 8-800-2000-747.

Will there be an additional charge for the second (and subsequent) TVs?

No, the subscription fee does not depend on the number of connected TVs.

Bought a second TV, how to connect it to cable TV?

We do not limit subscribers in any way – you can connect any number of TVs. It will not affect the subscription fee in any way.

To split the signal into several devices, additional equipment is needed – a divider.

When connecting three or more TVs, it will be necessary to purchase a special device – a signal amplifier.

You can do it yourself, but we recommend that you turn to professionals for one simple reason – the quality of the picture on the TV screen directly depends on how the cabling is done.