Fed up with traditional cable? Frontier Communications is a popular option and offers a strong mix of fiber Internet service and affordable HD TV packages on their FiOS network. (They also offer strong TV packages in non-fiber areas.) Frontier TV deals are so varied that it’s hard to find the best value. Thankfully, I’ve been holding down the phone and sorting through the fine print to find some Frontier deals worth looking at on the market today. Installation, Setup, and Usage for Frontier Communications TV Plans Frontier offers both self-installation and technician installation options for new customers. Image via Mike Mozart/Flickr When you want to purchase a Frontier bundle or plan, you first have to check if it’s available in your area. You do that by typing in your zip code on their website(s). If the service isn’t available in your area, you’ll likely receive alternative recommendations. As for placing the order, Frontier generally recommends calling them to get in touch with one of their representatives. You can also order online, but not many of their landing pages offer that feature. In my experience, the best way to get the answers and info you want about the bundles and your order is to give Frontier a call — even though their phone support isn’t the best out there. Self-install vs Technician Install Installation-wise, you can either opt to do it yourself, or let Frontier’s technicians handle it. Frontier Self-Install Instructions If you prefer the self-install route but are worried you don’t have the know-how that’s required, relax — Frontier offers plenty of helpful installation guides: Vantage TV guides Dish guide If you want to let their technicians handle this, here’s what you can expect: First, you’ll get to talk with the technician about where the connections for TV and Internet services will be placed (they have to be near functioning power outlets). If you opted for fiber optic services, the technician will need to install an Optical Network Terminal too. They can usually place it in your garage, basement, or closet. The modem, router, set-top box, and digital recorder connections can be either wireless or wired. The technician will also connect any devices you previously used to the new network. But do keep in mind that Frontier doesn’t guarantee those devices will work, and their technicians are not authorized to troubleshoot them. The whole installation can take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours, according to Frontier Communications. And someone who’s at least 18 years old must be present during the installation, so that they can make informed decisions regarding the Frontier equipment. Equipment Frontier Communications equipment includes: The Hopper DVR FiOS Set-Top Boxes The Vantage TV DVR A CableCARD Routers and Modems If you sign up for Frontier’s bundles and deals that include a Dish plan, you’ll get the Hopper DVR — often called “the best DVR in the world.” The Hopper lets you record and watch shows from any room, store up to 2,000 hours of content, and pause/play/skip live TV at your leisure. Also, you can auto-skip commercials in Prime Time if you want. What’s more, this DVR can record up to 16 shows at once. Though, keep in mind that it can only do that if you get the Super Joey DVR receiver alongside it. FiOS equipment options include: An SD set-top box that offers you access to 45+ digital music channels, On Demand and Pay-Per-View shows, and the FiOS TV Interactive Media Guide. An HD set-top box that includes everything the SD set-top box offers, as well as HD content. A DVR that includes everything the HD set-top box offers, as well as the ability to record shows and pause or rewind live TV. With this DVR, you can record up to 6 shows at once, enjoy 1TB storage capacity, and stream shows to any TV in your home. Other features include: The “Recent and DVR Peek,” which lets you preview or tune into the last 5 channels or recordings. An interactive interface that gives you fast access to recordings, live TV, and On Demand content. “Multi-View,” which lets you see up to 50 channels at once. Built-in Netflix access and a wireless set-top box. Routers and Modems Frontier’s routers are mostly wireless (but they also offer DSL modems) and easy to install. However, it’s hard to showcase features for each model, as the type of router or modem you’ll get can apparently vary according to your area. Still, I can offer you an example of what kinds of features Frontier-approved routers offer: Wireless AC Live parental control Push and connect for wireless devices Dual-band technology Extended Wi-Fi reach CableCARD The CableCard gives you access to all sorts of encrypted SD and HD programs without requiring you to get a set-top box. How to Save on Equipment When it comes to Frontier Communications, the best way to save on equipment is to do a self-install. That’s because not all their bundles come with free installation. In the case of FiOS bundles, for example, the installation is priced at $79.99. So, if the bundle you want doesn’t come with free installation, and you’re looking to cut costs, you’re better off handling the installation on your own. Frontier Communications TV Bundles: Are They Good? Pros Varied bundles (Vantage, Dish, FiOS) Great perks Free Wi-Fi routers Cons Steep promotional price increase Installation fees are not covered by all bundles One problem I had with Frontier Communications’ TV bundles was the post-promotional price increase. For instance, Vantage bundle deals feature a pretty big price hike (some plans can start at around $55/month for the first 6 months, and get up to $80/month after). Another thing I didn’t like is the fact that some of their bundles don’t include a free installation for the equipment you’ll need. Fortunately, there is good news too. Frontier’s bundles offer great variety. For example, their FiOS bundles are suitable for people who want to enjoy decent TV programming (but don’t care that much about HD channel variety) and high Internet speeds (their FiOS connection speeds range from 30Mbps to 50Mbps). On the other hand, their Vantage and Dish bundles are a better option for heavy TV watchers who want an Internet connection, but are not that concerned about Internet speeds. Also, some of their bundles come with some top-notch perks. For instance, their regular Triple Play offers include Dish TV plans, and that means you can take advantage of a free Hopper upgrade through them — not to mention you get unlimited local and nationwide long-distance calling on top of that. Lastly, I was happy to see that their bundles include a free Wi-Fi router. Frontier Communications’ TV bundles offer good value, but it’s still a shame that not all of them offer free or discounted installations.. Frontier Communications’ Best Feature: The Hopper DVR Upgrade I really liked the fact that you can get a free upgrade for one of the best DVRs out there. Also, being able to combine that perk with Frontier’s phone and Internet services is definitely a nice touch. Yes, the Hopper upgrade is only available with the Dish bundles and TV plans. But, then again, the Dish deals are pretty great, and they’re ideal for anyone who likes to watch a lot of TV — both in SD and HD. The Vantage TV DVR and FiOS HD DVR aren’t bad either, but they definitely can’t compete with the Hopper. Frontier Communications Deals: Best for TV + Internet Bundles All in all, Frontier is best for customers who plan to buy a TV + Internet bundle. Internet-only service really only makes sense in their FiOS service areas, where you can get fiber. DSL customers might prefer cable providers such as Xfinity for slightly higher speeds and network performance.