Compare Basic Cable Vs. Basic U-verse

By David Benton

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About 60 million households subscribe to cable. Cable companies provide a wide range of programming, most of it the same. When it comes to choosing a cable company, the choice really depends on price. Cable can be expensive, so it’s important to find a good deal. Basic U-Verse (U-Basic) from AT&T is growing in popularity but it doesn't have as many features.

Monthly Cost

Basic U-Verse costs about $19 per month, while basic cable ranges between $50 and $90 a month.

Channel Offerings

Basic U-Verse provides up to 20 television channels. Basic cable offers as many as 74 channels.

Installation Fee

AT&T charges a $95 installation fee for basic U-verse. Other cable companies charge an average of $50 to install basic cable.


Basic U-Verse includes a DVR (digital video recorder) for an additional $15 per month. Other basic cable packages charge $9.99. Some cable companies provide DVRs only to subsribers with the high-definition tier of channels.

High-Def Channels

For an additional $10 per month you can upgrade the picture quality of channels to high-definition (HD) with basic U-Verse. Some cable companies offer HD channels for free, but most charge between $5 and $15 extra per month.