Smart TVs & The Spectrum App: 21 Answers (For Beginners)

If you have been thinking about canceling your cable subscription in this age of smart TVs and streaming services, you’ve got lots of options, and Spectrum is one of them.

Spectrum’s entry into the streaming market offers affordable solutions for those who want cable TV channels, sans the cable subscription. 

It joins other streaming services that offer similar streaming packages but at a competitive price point. 

But how good is the Spectrum TV app?

1. Do You Need a Smart TV for Spectrum?

You can use Spectrum on smart TVs, smartphones, web browsers, and select streaming devices. 

In order to use the Spectrum app on your smart TV, you must have a Spectrum Internet subscription. 

2. How Can You Watch Spectrum on a Smart TV?

You need to download the Spectrum app on your smart TV for you to be able to watch content. 

The Spectrum app is available for the following smart TV platforms:

  • Apple TV 
  • Android TV 
  • Microsoft Xbox 
  • Samsung’s Tizen OS 

You can also stream Spectrum TV on your smart TV with Chromecast.

3. Can You Sign Up for Spectrum on Your Smart TV? 

You cannot sign up for Spectrum Internet or Spectrum TV directly on your smart TV; you must use a browser on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

If you have a Spectrum Internet connection, you can sign up for Spectrum TV at 

After getting your username and password, you need to wait up to 72 hours before your account becomes active for use. The waiting period is for verifying your account.

Once it’s active, you can download the app and sign in using the username and password you set. 

4. How Do You Connect a Smart TV to Spectrum?

Your smart TV needs to be connected to your Spectrum Internet connection to use the Spectrum app on your smart TV. 

Once your Spectrum TV account is active, you can sign in using the smart TV app and input your username and password. 

5. How Do You Download the Spectrum App on a Smart TV?

You can download the Spectrum app in your smart TV’s app store. 

Remember, you must have a Spectrum Internet connection to use this app!

6. Does Spectrum Still Work Without a Subscription?

Spectrum TV does not work without a subscription.

The Spectrum TV app is tied to an existing Spectrum Internet subscription.

The Spectrum TV service costs $25 a month and is an add-on available when subscribed to Spectrum’s Internet service. 

7. Does Spectrum Work with All the Major Smart TV Brands? 

The Spectrum TV app works with smart TVs from Apple TV, Samsung, select TCL smart TVs that run Android, Hisense, and Sony. 

If you own other brands, such as LG or Vizio, you can still use the Spectrum TV app through an Xbox or through Chromecast, which is built-in to many of the recent models of these smart TV brands. 

8. Can You Use the Spectrum App on a Non-smart TV? 

You can use the Spectrum TV app on a non-smart TV as long as you plug in a compatible streaming device into the HDMI port.

You have the following options to do this: 

  • Through a Chromecast with your smartphone or a computer running Google Chrome 
  • Through an Android TV box 
  • Through the Xbox Spectrum TV app 

Note that you still need to be connected to the Spectrum Internet connection to do this. 

9. Can You Set Parental Controls in Spectrum? 

Spectrum features Parental Controls that allow you to restrict the kind of content kids can access when you are not around. 

You can access the settings for Parental Controls on the Spectrum TV app in the Settings Menu. 

On your smart TV, you can also opt to restrict the whole app. You will want to check with your smart TV manufacturer on how to do this. 

10. Can You Download Videos from the Spectrum App onto Your Smart TV? 

The Spectrum TV app does not allow you to download videos onto your smart TV.

Smart TVs, generally, do not allow the downloading of content, aside from apps and app updates.

11. How Much Bandwidth Does Spectrum Need? 

Spectrum TV needs different bandwidth for different functions. 

  • It needs a bandwidth of at least 8 Mbps for pre-recorded shows or movies. 
  • If you want to watch live TV, you need at least 10 Mbps.
  • For streaming 4k content, you need at least 20 Mbps. 

11. Why is the Spectrum TV App Not Working on My Smart TV? 

Sometimes hiccups happen with your smart TV apps, and Spectrum is no exception. 

Should you find yourself needing to troubleshoot the Spectrum app on your TV, you can try the following fixes: 

  • Check for any updates to the app and install them, if available. 
  • Turn off and unplug the smart TV and Internet router and wait for two minutes before restarting.
  • Uninstall and reinstall the Spectrum TV app.

12. Why is Spectrum TV Pixelated on My Smart TV? 

Pixelation happens when your Internet connection is not stable or is slow.

You can conduct a speed test to check your Internet speed’s performance and see if it meets the needed speed for the Spectrum TV app. 

13. Why is Spectrum Buffering on My Smart TV? 

Buffering usually happens because of a weak connection between your smart TV and router or modem. 

The best way to reduce buffering is to use a wired Internet connection from your router to the smart TV using an Ethernet cord

If a wired connection is not possible, you can try moving your smart TV closer to your router or clearing the signal path between your TV and router of possible obstructions. 

14. How Much is Spectrum for Smart TVs? 

The Spectrum TV app is free to download, provided you are subscribed to the Spectrum Internet service, which you must have to use the app. 

The Spectrum TV app has a free seven-day trial, after which you will be charged $24.99 a month.

15. How Do I Log Out of Spectrum on My Smart TV? 

Here’s how to logout of the Spectrum TV app on your smart TV:

  • Press back on the home screen
  • Look for Settings in the menu that will pop out
  • Under the Settings Option, you will find the Log Out option

16. How Many Devices Can Use a Spectrum Account? 

Spectrum has interesting limitations on simultaneous use. 

When connected to your Spectrum Internet connection, there are no limits on how many devices use the Spectrum TV app. 

But, when you are not connected to the Spectrum Internet that is connected to your Spectrum TV sign up, you can only have up to two simultaneous users of the Spectrum TV app.

17. What is the Best Smart TV for the Spectrum TV App? 

The best smart TV to use with the Spectrum App is the Sony A9G.

It features accurate colors and has remarkable image quality. The viewing angles are also wide, which makes it an excellent choice for group watching. 

If you are on a budget, you can try the Samsung Q70T.

It has good colors and works well in different lighting conditions but has mediocre viewing angles.

To learn more about other smart TVs that work well with the Spectrum TV app, check out this article

18. What Channels Can You Find on Spectrum? 

Spectrum is not a channel but rather a service that provides different live TV channels and over 50,000 movies-on-demand. 

To access it, you need to have a Spectrum Internet subscription, the Spectrum streaming subscription, and the Spectrum TV app. 

If your smart TV is compatible, you can download it from your app store.

19. What Channels Can You Expect from the Spectrum App? 

While the Spectrum TV app may be lacking some crowd-favorite channels, particularly on the sports side, you can still expect the popular channels with it. 

Here are some of the channels you can expect with the Spectrum App: 

  • Animal Planet
  • BBC America
  • BBC World News
  • Bloomberg
  • Comedy Central
  • Discovery
  • Food Network
  • Hallmark Channel
  • History 
  • MotorTrend Network
  • MTV
  • Nickelodeon
  • TLC
  • VH1
  • The Weather Channel

20. Is the Spectrum Streaming Subscription Worth It? 

If you plan to shift from cable TV to streaming services, the Spectrum streaming subscription is worth taking a look at. 

There are a few reasons for that:

  • First, the Spectrum streaming service has an exceptional mix of channels, with the option to pick and choose what channels you want. It has the most channels available when compared to other TV streaming apps. 
  • The second plus is the content. The Spectrum app offers over 50,000 titles on-demand on top of the channels it offers. That is quite a selection.
  • Third, the price is quite competitive—Spectrum TV positions itself as a cheaper option to other streaming services that offer TV channels. You also get a seven-day trial period, with the opportunity to swap out channels in your subscription. 

On the downside of things:

  • You must be subscribed to Spectrum’s Internet services to use Spectrum TV.
  • The Spectrum app does not have many options for channels dedicated to sports.
  • While Spectrum has an on-the-go feature, you can only use it within the United States.
  • Lastly, your options are a bit limited when choosing a compatible smart TV, but you can compensate for it with Chromecast.

21. Are There Other Smart TV Streaming Apps That Offer the Same Services as Spectrum? 

If you want to have other options for streaming apps with live TV channels like Spectrum, here are your choices: 

  • AT&T Watch, which costs $15 per month 
  • Philo, which is around $16 a month 
  • Sling, which has options for two plans, both costing $25 a month
  • Hulu Live, which goes for $55 a month and $60 a month for an ad-free experience. 

Hulu Live is the strongest contender among these apps, given its channel selection. It also costs the most among the alternatives listed above. 

Final Thoughts: 

The Spectrum App is a viable option for people who want access to TV channels but don’t want a cable TV subscription.

While it may have limitations, Spectrum TV is still a good option, considering that it offers quality channels. 



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