Q. I bought a Roku for my parents for Christmas so they could watch our Spectrum TV service on it, but Roku got rid of the app in the Channel Store!! Is there anyway around this? Does anyone else have the app? — Ginger, Marina Del Rey, California.

Ginger, you’re right. Roku removed Charter’s Spectrum TV app from its Channel Store last month after the two companies could not reach a new carriage agreement. The app is still available for Spectrum subscribers who downloaded it prior to the removal, although some would disagree.

There’s no indication that this scrap will end soon so you’re right to be considering alternatives. And there are alternatives. Apple added the Spectrum TV app to its Apple TV devices (fourth generation and the Apple TV 4K) in 2019, and it’s still there.

The fourth generation Apple TV normally costs $149 while the 4K edition starts at $179. The obvious difference between the two is that the more expensive model can play 4K programming. However, if you’re buying it solely to watch Spectrum, that’s not very important because Spectrum doesn’t offer any 4K programming. The 4K edition also boasts a faster response time among some other benefits. (Both models also have thousands of apps, just like Roku.)

Charter actually sells Apple TV on its Home Page so you might want to purchase it through them; they’ve been known to offer special deals. The cable operator also provides a handy reference page on how to download and watch the Spectrum app on Apple TV.

At $149, the Apple TV is more expensive than all Roku devices, except for the latest Ultra model, and Roku TVs. So although it may be an alternative, it’s arguably not a reasonable one. But it would give you the flexibility to watch Spectrum’s live and On Demand programming without an extra Charter set-top.

Other alternatives to consider: The Spectrum app is on some Samsung Smart TVs, and the XBox.

Ginger, hope that helps. Happy viewing, and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann