Xfinity’s Basic/Choice television package is its lowest-tier package. It includes over 10 channels and costs $20–$49 per month ($2–4.9 per channel). This plan works great for anyone who doesn’t want to pay much yet wants some popular cable TV channels.
As a former Xfinity subscriber, I’ve learned a lot about their television packages. So I compiled my existing knowledge, along with other information, about Xfinity’s lowest-tier plan.
I’ll cover the following details to help you figure out whether this plan is right for you:
- What this plan is
- Who should get it
- Channels you’ll find
- Who can get it
- Monthly price and other fees
- Features you’ll find
- Contract duration and details
- Bundle with Xfinity internet
- How does it compare to other Comcast TV plans
- How it does versus similar internet plans
Let’s dive into Xfinity’s lowest-tier cable TV plan.
What Is Xfinity Basic Cable/Choice TV?
Xfinity Comcast’s Basic/Choice cable TV plan offers over 10 channels at $20–$49 per month. That’s $2–4.9 per channel. Basic Cable and Choice TV are the same, just located in different regions.
You’ll find Limited Basic in the Northeastern United States. And Choice TV in the rest of the US.
Who Is Xfinity Basic/Choice Best For?
Basic Cable/Choice TV is best for anyone who wants to save money on their cable TV bill yet doesn’t need many channels.
It offers many popular channels like BBC World News, CNN, Fox Business, and The Food Network. It works perfectly for news watchers or someone who wants to indulge on food channels.
Do you like watching comedies, Christmas movies, or new romance movies? Basic (Choice) also has Hallmark Channel. And this plan comes with Xfinity Stream, which offers some free movies.
Xfinity Basic/Choice TV Channel Lineup
|BBC World News||itv|
|FLIX||Stadium College Sports Atlantic (Bally Sports)|
|Fox Business||Tru TV|
|History Channel||TV One|
This table shows what channels you’ll get with Xfinity’s Basic/Choice TV plan.
This channel lineup can change at any time. Whether Xfinity fails to successfully renegotiate licensing rights or another reason. Some of these channels include HD channels.
HD channel availability will vary by area. And none of these channels support 4K ultra high definition (UHD) resolution . Xfinity Comcast will only support UHD for certain live sports events (like the Olympics games).
If you want Premium Channels (e.g., HBO), Xfinity On Demand, or the Latino Channel Package, you’ll need to pay separate fees. I’ll cover these in a couple of sections.
You’ll get around 30 channels with this plan. General channel availability may vary based on your location. But you’ll at least get big-name channels like National Geographic and Food Network.
All the channels I’d need. If you have a similar channel taste, you’ll first need to see whether it’s available in your area.
Where Is Xfinity Basic/Choice Available?
Xfinity Basic is only available within states in the Northeastern United States. And Choice TV is available in every other state.
You will likely qualify for Basic (Choice). Because Xfinity offers television services in 40 states.
But the cities that offer this specific plan will vary. They made it so you have to visit their website and enter your address.
Just follow this link, and it’ll tell you whether you can get Choice TV within a few minutes.
I’d say seconds. But you have to wait for the page to load. And you have to play with the search results filter.
Toggle on the ‘TV’ checkbox and toggle off ‘Internet.’ Under the ‘Filter by’ option, you’ll see ‘TV CHANNELS.’ Click ‘Show’ and look for ‘10+.’
If you don’t see this, Comcast Xfinity doesn’t offer Basic or Choice in your area.
How Much Does Xfinity Basic/Choice TV Cost?
Xfinity’s Basic/Choice plan costs $20–$49 per month (depending on your location). That’s around $2–$4.9 per channel.
Since Xfinity includes more than 10 channels in their Basic/Choice plan, you’ll actually pay less than $2–$4.9 per channel. I threw in this number to mitigate the risk of misinforming you.
That’s not all you’ll pay. Also consider hidden fees:
|Regional Sports Fee||Up to $14.45/mo|
|Broadcast TV Fee||Up to $19.45/mo|
|DVR Cloud Storage||150 hours for $10/mo|
|X1 TV Box||$7.50–$8.50/mo|
|Premium Channels||$5.99–14.99/mo (for each channel)|
|Latino Channel Package||$9.99/mo: during the first year of service$18/mo: after the first year|
|On Demand||$3.99–$12.99/mo (for each channel)|
This table shows other fees you may have to pay for the Xfinity Basic/Choice TV package.
Most fees are optional. Except the regional broadcast TV fee. There’s no way out, and you’re stuck paying this monthly price .
Why does the broadcast surcharge exist? Because networks charge Comcast a fee to use their channels. And to recuperate costs, the TV provider will pass a portion of these fees to you.
Then you’ll need to consider state and local taxes. I specify the fees since they vary based on your location.
Expect to pay over $40–$70 per month. If you want to buy add-ons, add those costs to your subscription as well.
Xfinity Basic/Choice Features
Here’s a list of cool features you’ll get with Choice (Basic):
- Over 10 HD and SD channels
- X1 Voice Remote: only with the X1 TV box
- Popular channels like The Food Network
- 20 hours of DVR recording: only available with the X1
- Xfinity Stream app
You can’t access much without the X1 and the DVR box. But you have the Xfinity Stream app. It enables you to watch all of your channels on most smart devices.
Three devices can watch content simultaneously while you’re away from the house. And five devices while you’re home.
But you can only watch the 10+ channels you can access. It’s still great because it saves you from getting additional TV boxes- an additional $7.50 per month for each box.
You can use Stream (or the Stream Beta app) on smartphones, computers, Roku, and more.
However, you can get free channels like:
|Dust||HSN2||Shout Factory TV|
|Stingray Music Channels|
This table presents free channels you can get with the Xfinity Stream app.
You can get some other free stuff. But that’s too much to write in this post. So you’ll have to follow the link I posted earlier in the ‘Features’ list.
Xfinity Basic Cable/Choice TV Contract
It doesn’t appear that Xfinity Basic Cable (Choice) has a contract. This could change at any time. And in this scenario, you could opt for a 12-, 24-, or 36-month term agreement.
IF this plan offers a contract and you choose one, keep the Early Termination Fee (ETF) in mind. Most Xfinity plans are $120–$240 per month. And it lowers by 10% for each month you stay with Xfinity.
That means if you’re on a 24-month contract and stay with them for four months, you pay $144. But you can cancel within 30 days of getting Xfinity without paying the ETF.
Or, if you fall under one of these circumstances, you can get an ETF credit to your Xfinity account:
- Active duty military that has to relocate
- The area you move to doesn’t support Xfinity
- Primary account holder passed away
- A natural disaster forced you to cancel your Xfinity plan
Consider whether an upcoming situation could force you to cancel when going with any contract plan. I understand that you can’t predict the future, but perform due diligence when planning.
Should You Bundle Xfinity Cable/Choice TV With Internet?
You can bundle Basic TV (Choice) with Xfinity Internet, Voice, and home security services. In some instances, grouping these services on your plan can save as much as 20% on your bill.
If you use all of the services that you bundle. And if Xfinity Comcast supports internet and TV bundling in your area. Every area I’ve checked doesn’t support bundling Basic TV and internet.
But it’s worth a try.
When checking the Deals page, toggle a checkmark by internet on the left-hand sidebar. From there, select the internet speeds you want and keep an eye out for search results.
Because with Xfinity Internet services, you can get cool freebies like:
- * Xfinity Flex streaming TV box: a streaming device that enables you to play streaming services on your television
- Xfinity Mobile discount: some plans give you a $20 monthly discount on Comcast’s wireless mobile provider.
- Xfinity WiFi hotspots: access to over 20 million free Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the U.S.
* You only get one free Xfinity Flex. If you want more (for additional rooms), you’ll need to pay $5 per month for each device you add.
Don’t bundle Xfinity Internet, TV, home security, or anything else unless you need it. Otherwise, it could save you money.
How Does Xfinity Basic/Choice Compare To Other Plans?
Compare Xfinity’s other television plans to see whether Basic/Choice TV is right for you:
|TV Plan||Number of Channels||Cost Per Channel||* Price (New Customers)|
This table compares the price and number of channels among various Xfinity cable TV plans.
Basic Cable (Choice) charges the most per channel, but gives you the overall lowest price. And since there’s no contract plan, you won’t have to dread paying more later on.
The Digital Preferred (Ultimate) or Premier plans give you the lowest price per channel. And sometimes when you bundle this plan with internet, you can get free Premium Channels like HBO.
Extra (Starter) sits in the middle. It offers the most popular channels and has a fair monthly price.
If you’re on a budget, yet like the channels Basic TV (Choice) offers, choose this plan.
Xfinity Basic/Choice TV vs. Competitors
See how Xfinity’s Basic/Choice TV plan compares to competitors offering similar packages:
|TV Plan||Number of Channels||Cost Per Channel||* Price (New Customers)|
|Cox TV Starter||75+||$0.70||$53/mo|
|Mediacom (Local TV + Internet)||50+||$0.59||$29.99/mo|
|Optimum (Basic TV)||50+||$0.60||$30/mo|
This table compares the price per channel, cost per month, and the number of channels offered by different popular cable TV providers.
* Most of these plans include discounts on whether you enable Paperless Billing and Auto Pay. They also DON’T include taxes or other fees. Those will vary based on your location.
Cox offers the most channels at a reasonably generous rate. You’ll find a couple of issues. It’s only available in 19 states. And that around 50 of the 75 channels are music channels.
Great for music lovers. But why not just get Spotify or Pandora?
Mediacom also offers “great” value per channel. Plus, you’ll get 100 Mbps (download) internet speeds.
Unlike Cox, Mediacom supports 22 states. So they may not even support your area.
And Optimum has the weakest coverage (only five states) while charging more than some areas Xfinity supports.
And lastly, while I kind of trash-talked Xfinity a lot, they do offer a bit of value with their Limited Basic Cable (Choice) plan. You’ll get the Xfinity Stream app, which can save you money on buying additional TV boxes.
But you’re maybe saying, “Optimum has the Optimum TV app, which does the same stuff.”
Yeah, it actually offers AirPlay through iOS devices. However, does Optimum offer service in your state?
Despite Xfinity charging you at least four times more per channel with the Basic Cable (Choice) cable TV plan, it provides a decent value. You get over 10 channels, the Xfinity Stream app, and more availability compared to competitors.
If you frequently watch the channels this plan offers, I don’t recommend spending significantly more for the higher-tier plans. Unless you have disposable income.
Once you’re ready to get Xfinity Limited Basic TV/Choice, check whether Xfinity offers it in your area.