The lightweight service from Charter Communications carries only the essentials

Cable company Charter Communications is testing out a new lightweight streaming service called Spectrum Stream that promises to give subscribers just the essentials and nothing more.

Spectrum Stream customers will have access to 25 TV channels, including local broadcast networks and cable options including AMC, TNT, FX and Food Network for $20 a month. The service is streaming-only, meaning there are no set-top boxes or DVR features included. Through the Spectrum app customers can watch their favorite shows on a number of devices including their smartphones for on-the-go viewing.

Premium channels like HBO and Showtime are also available for an additional $7.50 each, or as part of a “Premium Pack” for $15 a month for the first three years. Sports networks can also be added for another $12 a month, and it is notable that they are left out of the basic $20 a month offering.

Many traditional cable companies have been unwilling to remove ESPN from low-cost packages due to pressure from Disney, which owns the channel. But as more and more customers are cutting the cord and finding better viewing options elsewhere, services like Spectrum are stepping up to fill a void for low-cost packages.

Spectrum Stream

Cable company Charter Communications is testing out a new lightweight streaming service called Spectrum Stream that promises to give subscribers just the essentials and nothing more.

Spectrum Stream customers will have access to 25 TV channels, including local broadcast networks and cable options including AMC, TNT, FX and Food Network for $20 a month. The service is streaming-only, meaning there are no set-top boxes or DVR features included. Through the Spectrum app customers can watch their favorite shows on a number of devices including their smartphones for on-the-go viewing.