Your Spectrum Cable Box Is About To Get More Expensive

Spectrum cable boxes are being phased out in favor of Xumo, a fairly new streaming device from Charter and Comcast.

Side view of a metal cable box with cords attached.
(Image credit: Brian Finke, Getty Images)

When Charter Communications and Comcast rolled out their answer to the streaming wars last year — The Xumo Stream Box — they billed the move as “streaming simplified, bringing a live TV experience together with all the top apps.”

Now Charter is incentivizing its Spectrum customers to switch from traditional cable boxes to Xumo, with plans to phase out the cable boxes altogether. 

While Spectrum customers won’t have to give up their boxes just yet, the cost of keeping them may make them reconsider. Beginning January 30, Spectrum's cable box rental fee will rise to $12.50 per month, from $10.99. But Xumo Stream Box will cost just $5 per month, or $60 to purchase it outright.

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If you are not an existing Spectrum customer but thinking about it, you can forget about getting a cable box altogether. New customers will only have the option of using Xumo.

The news comes on the heels of Charter's announcement that Spectrum TV Select customers now have access to Disney Plus ad-supported content for free, and several months after Charter and Disney settled a dispute to keep Disney-owned channels on the air.

Hundreds of apps

The Xumo Stream Box, which is powered by Comcast's Entertainment Operating System (OS), uses the Spectrum TV app and connects to your television through an HDMI cord.

Xumo allows users to browse channels as usual but also provides hundreds of built-in apps and grants users access to popular streaming apps such as Netflix and Max, Charter said.

In an October statement about the launch, Xumo President Marcien Jenckes pitched the device as providing a more streamlined entertainment experience. 

“Watching TV was designed to be a relaxing, lean-back experience, but today’s fractured entertainment landscape has added a level of complexity that makes finding something to watch more burdensome for consumers,” he said.

Streaming bundles gain momentum

Spectrum is one of many companies making the move toward bundling as prices for direct streaming services continue to rise. As one recent study suggests, streaming may become less overwhelming – and less expensive this year as streamers bundle their offerings with tech and other companies.

Recently announced low-cost deals include  Verizon’s latest streaming perk that bundles Netflix and Max for $10 per month.

In addition, if you're a Go5G Next subscriber, T-Mobile plans to add Hulu for free starting on January 24.


Jamie Feldman

Jamie Feldman is a journalist, essayist and content creator. After building a byline as a lifestyle editor for HuffPost, her articles and editorials have since appeared in Cosmopolitan, Betches, Nylon, Bustle, Parade, and Well+Good. Her journey out of credit card debt, which she chronicles on TikTok, has amassed a loyal social media following. Her story has been featured in Fortune, Business Insider and on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, CBS News, and NPR. She is currently producing a podcast on the same topic and living in Brooklyn, New York.