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Provider Face-Off: Xfinity vs DIRECTV and DISH

Xfinity vs DIRECTV vs DISH
Xfinity
DISH
DIRECTV
Comparison Score: 90/100
Customer Rating:
(4.4/5)
Comparison Score: 90/100
Customer Rating:
(3.7/5)
Comparison Score: 92/100
Customer Rating:
(3.9/5)
Best Price
$50/mo for 12 months

Popular TV (125 chnls, promo pricing).
NO contract required.
Solid plan with diverse programming. There's also the Choice TV plan ($20, 10 chnls).

Best Price
$34/mo for 24 months

Flex Plan (55 chnls, regular pricing).
24-month contract required.
The lowest price in the industry. Those 50 channels are all quality as well; you won't find any part-time or "toss-in" programming.

Best Price
$59.99/mo for 24 months

SELECT Plan (155 chnls, promo pricing).
24-month contract required.
No HD or DVR monthly fees. Their second most popular plan, its value & channels are hard to match.

Max # channels
185+ channels

Ultimate TV ($68.50/mo)
All channels are digital quality, with the majority in HD.

Max # channels
330+ channels

America's Everything Pak ($149.99/mo)
All channels are digital quality, with about 85% available in HD.

Max # channels
340+ channels

Premier Plan ($159.99/mo)
All channels are digital quality, with about 90% available in HD.

Whole-home DVR
X1 TV DVR

Simultaneously record up to 6 different shows. No hard drive, cloud DVR only (up to 300 hours).

Whole-home DVR
Hopper with Joey

Simultaneously record up to 16 different programs (16 tuners available). Hard drive space: 2 TB. Learn more.

Whole-home DVR
Genie with Genie minis

Simultaneously record up to 5 different shows (1 main Genie box with minis on the other TVs). Hard drive space: 1 TB. Learn more.

On-screen Guide
Excellent

The X1 TV guide was a huge leap forward - deep integration with 3rd party apps is a big plus.

On-screen Guide
Excellent

Clearly better than Xfinity's, but just not as user-friendly as DIRECTV's guide.

On-screen Guide
Industry Leader

Immediately intuitive with a superb design, it doesn't get much better.

TV, Internet & Phone Bundle
XFINITY Triple Play: $118.49/mo

Popular TV: 125+ channels
Internet: 75 Mbps download (no cap)
Phone: VoIP, unlimited domestic calling
(won't work in a power outage)

TV, Internet & Phone Bundle
no phone bundles

DISH's infrastructure doesn't support traditional (landline) or VoIP phone service.

TV, Internet & Phone Bundle
DIRECTV SELECT Bundle: $89.99/mo

DIRECTV delivers the TV (145 chnls) packaged with AT&T's internet (6 Mbps download) and home phone (Unlimited U.S. calling). Price is guaranteed for 2 years.

TV & Internet Bundle
XFINITY Double Play: $108.49/mo

Popular TV: 125+ channels
Internet: 75 Mbps download (no cap)

TV & Internet Bundle
DISH Bundle: $94.98/mo

TV: 190+ channels
Internet: 5 Mbps download, 1 Mbps upload (satellite internet so speeds vary by location)

TV & Internet Bundle
DIRECTV Bundle: $80/mo

TV: 150+ channels
Internet: 6 Mbps download, 1 Mbps upload (AT&T U-verse DSL, with no data cap)

Customer Service
Above Average

Over the past decade, Xfinity has done a solid job of improving their customer service experience - they're always patient and if a sticky issue arises, transfers to specialized/ tech departments are a breeze.

Customer Service
Above Average

Their call centers are always sufficiently-staffed (minimal hold times) and deliver a solid mix of professionalism and real-world experience. Over the past few years, they've been independently rated at the top of the industry (JD Power).

Customer Service
Above Average

Right up there with DISH. Agents are extremely patient and take their time troubleshooting issues and addressing any/all complaints. Haven't had a bad experience in over 4 years as a customer, it's actually a pleasure calling them up.



BUYING GUIDE

DISH versus DIRECTV
If you're leaning towards satellite TV, get a more thorough breakdown here.
Stack up the Specials
Compare the current satellite promotions and lock in the best plan available.
Channel Lineups
Find out which packages include your favorite channels in this interactive, side-by-side table.
Verizon FiOS vs Satellite
If fiber optic service is an option in your area, learn more about what Verizon FiOS has to offer.
Cable versus Satellite
Get a more general overview of how cable's features and options compare to satellite TV.
RV & Mobile
If you'll be on the move, use this guide to reliably stay connected at every turn.

Save with ACP

Like most internet providers, you can save up to $30/mo with Xfinity by enrolling in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP is a government program to help lower-income families stay connected with an internet and/or mobile plan. If you qualify, you can enroll in ACP as part of your Xfinity registration. Once approved, up to $30/mo will be deducted from your bill every month.

More about Xfinity

Xfinity first came on the scene in the early 1970s, originally known as the parent company, Comcast. After unparalleled growth in the 90s, they're now the #1 cable and internet provider in the US, third in phone service. Obviously, they ground their teeth in the cable game, but Xfinity intelligently utilized coax technology to bring high-speed internet (and phone) to their customers in the form of convenient add-on bundles. For the most part, we recommend Xfinity TV to folks who have reliable and high speed internet (see our Xfinity TV review). Their bundling prices can be attractive as well, particularly the fact that there's no contract involved (cancel anytime, with no penalty).

Regarding availability, Xfinity has the best coverage in the cable biz. That's mostly due to their head start back in the 70s -- so, plenty of neighborhoods have their coax cable already run into their home. Since it's cable, when power goes out, it tends to go out as well. Although, in areas prone to power outages, Comcast does a solid job of using back-up generators to keep folks connected.

Xfinity Bundles

Xfinity is first and foremost, a cable internet provider. That's their bread and butter. And now that all their plans are month-to-month (no contracts), there's a pretty low barrier to try them out. So, adding TV or phone to your internet is nice to try as well. No extra equipment required. Their TV lineups are solid but they've also embraced streaming. Their X1 guide deeply integrates with most 3rd party apps, letting you choose between their in-house TV plans (below) and individual streaming packages (HBO, Peacock, Tubi, Disney+, etc).

XFINITY TV

  1. Choice TV - 10+ channels, $20/mo.
  2. Popular TV - 125+ channels, $50/mo.
  3. Ultimate TV - 185+ channels, $68.50/mo.
  4. Digital Preferred - 220+ channels, $59.99/mo.
XFINITY Internet
  1. Choice Double Play - 10+ channels, 200 Mbps, $49.99
  2. Popular Double Play - 125+ channels, 400 Mbps, $79.95
  3. Premier Triple Play - 185+ channels, 1200 Mbps, $144.99

Have something to share?

If you have a story concerning Xfinity or thought of an important feature not covered above, please feel free to get in touch.

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