Spectrum Apple TV or Cable box – Which one should you choose?

Spectrum Apple TV has turned into a relevation on its way to replace the conventional cable box to watch your favourite TV shows. Although signing in is never required for cable box, Spectrum Apple TV offers a plethora of features and services on signing in via your apple ID. For those who want to enjoy the entertainment of the world wide web on their TV, Apple TV allows them to stream movies, tv shows and other videos without any hassle. It is compatible with iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices.

In this article, we will let you know the features of both and will give you an idea on how to choose the best one for your home.

Basic Features: Spectrum Apple TV VS Cable Box

Spectrum Apple TV

Spectrum Apple TV
Spectrum Apple TV, 2021, 32GB

  • Voice-Control streaming and convenient interface using Siri.
  • App Store friendly, accessing download of a number of entertainment, sports, fitness, and lifestyle apps from the App Store.
  • Features 4K HDR streaming service.
  • The Spectrum TV App facilitates live TV with on-demand programs.
  • Includes Spectrum Remote for even better watching experience.
  • Connection of TV to iCloud allows syncing of data to view files in all connected apple devices.

Cable Box TV

Digital TV Cable Box
Digital TV Cable Box

  • Additional TV Tuner for your TV, for better experience.
  • Feature of listing out your favorite Channels.
  • Running services for a considerably long period of time.
  • Parental Control Function for safe viewing experience.
  • Closed Caption feature available, similar to YouTube.
  • EAS (Emergency Alert System) to alert you in case of any emergency directly from from TV station.
  • TV Real Time and Schedule Recording (On availability of USB 2.0 or 3.0 external hard drive)
  • Start up and Shut down time.
  • Auto, 16:9 Pillar Box, 16:9 Pan G Scan, 4:3 Letter Box, 4:3 Pan G Scan, 4:3 Full, 16:9 Wide Screen

Pricing in the Market

The 2021, Apple TV 32 GB, comes with a Apple TV HD, a Siri Remote, a Power cord, and a Lightning to USB Cable, costing about $179.99/£169.

A cable box, however, starts its pricing from $40 in close addition to monthly cable subscription fees.

Spectrum Apple TV vs Cable box General Comparison

Spectrum Apple TVCable TV
Electronic Program Guide (EPG) : NoYes
Auto Tuning:                                                              NoYes
Analog Passthrough Channel:NoYes
TV Recording and Multimedia Player:USB Drive(included)USB Drive(included)
External Hard Drive:Up to 2TB           Up to 2TB           
Built-in Digital Clock:              No Yes
Multilingual Support & Closed Caption:YesYes
Parental Control & Channel Management:YesYes
Antenna:            NoYes

Similarities – Apple Spectrum TV vs Cable TV


Both devices are compatible and easily connected with TV associated with multiple brands like LG, Sony, Samsung, Polaroid, Panasonic, Sharp, Philips, VIZIO, etc.


Both the devices allow the record of TV programs in USB hard drive and playback on your TV or Computer. A One-Button feature allows users to navigate through Favorite CH, Aspect Ratio, CC, Mute, Info, Record and get to the EPG.

Photo & media sharing

Photos, music, movies, and videos can be shared on demand from your USB Flash Drive or USB external hard drive in case of Cable TV, if the converter box supports multiple file formats. However, in case of Spectrum Apple TV, sharing is possible via the syncronization of your iCloud account to any connected devices.

Parental control

This function is accessible to what the children can watch on TV, with the click of a few buttons. Disabling specific channels or TV stations can be done to create a child-safe programming by use of passwords.

Difference – Apple Spectrum TV vs Cable TV


The apple TV is faster and the HD receiver is very slow in comparison to performance and tuning in or out.

4K Experience

Spectrum Apple TV supports 4K, however, the Cable TV box HD receiver can do is 1080i. The 1080p output resolution in cable box facilitates the watch and free record of air television in full HD quality. HDMI Output can stream 1080P high definition videos, HD (720p) and Full HD (1080p) channels but you need an antenna for it.


Cable box, allows, you to choose TV content in your preferred format- whether it is 576p, 720p, 1080i or 1080p. For this, an HDMI cable from the 3300STB is connected to your TV. Spectrum Apple TV, on the contrary, lacks such option.

Signal strength

Signal strength, by which the content is delivered, is governed by a number of factors like signal from satellite, cable connection, etc. in case of Cable TV. But, in spectrum Apple TV, signal is only influences by the speed and strength of your internet.

TV tuner Comparison– Spectrum Apple TV vs cable box

An additional TV Tuner to your TV (some have built-in features), receives over-the-air ATSC digital TV broadcast onto your respective Analog and Digital TV, Projector, and Computer Monitor. Auto Tuning scans for channels and searching digital broadcasts for one-click programming are available along with features like TV recording, Favorite Channel List, Parental Control Function.

However, In Spectrum Apple TV, on a selective number of channels are available totally dependent upon apps subscription or offered by Apple TV app.

Easy return

If there is a necessity to cancel the service mid-subscription, you can return the receiver in case of Cable TV box. But, in case of Apple TVs, once you open them, there is no chance of return.

EPG (Electronic Program Guide)

The EPG is a program listing somehow like the paper TV guides. You can access this to get a list of a wide variety of channels and shows to choose from. With the iView Digital Converter device, you can even view the upcoming shows in grid form similar to the cable DVR experience.

However, Spectrum Apple TV has a specific and limited EPG interface.


The Apple TV remote is a little confusing and tricky to use, due to its unique look and because of the absence of number buttons. But, if you own an iPhone, the smartphone can be used as a remote.

Cable TV, on the other hand, comes with an array of buttons and many options from remote, that can be manually selected from.


A Converter box can be connected to your TV by either HDMI , Composite or Coaxial port, analog audio inputs of a TV set, etc. These terminals can also be connected to the L/R inputs of a separate audio component.

On the other hand, Spectrum Apple TV connects through the HDMI cable and Apple TV application from the AppStore guides you to complete installation after a secured WiFi connection.

EAS (Emergency Alert System)

In cable TV box, there is an option to alert you if any emergency information from TV station, but Apple TV lacks this feature.

So, which one should I buy Spectrum Apple TV or Cable box?

Overall, Spectrum Apple TV is a slightly cheaper (when viewed on a long run), slimmer, and more modern version of cable TV. While Cable TV is mostly manual based, Apple TV allows new features like syncing with iCloud and downloading applications from the App TV, and direct control from your iPhone.

Apple TV also offers many channels that a lot of people watch on a regular basis like Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and AMC. It doesn’t have every channel like cable TV does but what it does offer is definitely a bang for your buck. Apart from some signature features of Cable TV, like EAS Systems, grid- Electronic program guide, tuner, not necessarily internet dependent, Apple TV has almost all other features, plus a lot faster.

So, if you are looking for a modern TV watching experience, Apple TV is great but if you want a moderate experience with a few additional signature features, Cable TV is also great! The choice is yours!

Read Also: The Google pixelbook 12in – Is it the best ever Chromebook yet?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *