Comcast XFINITY TV Review

Comcast's customer service needs improvement, but it offers no-contract TV and a large video on demand selection.

Comcast Xfinity Logo
Comcast's customer service needs improvement, but it offers no-contract TV and a large video on demand selection.
Overall Rating3 out of 5
Channels:
45–260+
Pricing:
$39–$115/mo.
Contract terms:
None required

The bottom line: The most appealing part of XFINITY TV is that you can get it with or without a contract (no-contract pricing is an extra $10 a month). It also has a sizable video on demand selection, which has new movies a month before Netflix or Redbox. On the downside, Comcast’s advertised pricing is not so competitive when you include additional fees, and its customer service efforts need serious attention.

Keep reading below for an in-depth review of XFINITY TV service, or read our Comcast XFINITY X1 review to learn what else X1 can offer.

PROS

  • No-contract or contract services
  • Offline viewing for smart devices
  • Large video on demand selection

CONS

  • DVRs only record 64 hours in HD
  • Customer service needs improvement
  • Has hidden fees

Comcast XFINITY packages

Package prices and selection are just average, but no-contract is a plus.

Prices and channels will vary based on your service area so you’ll need to speak to a customer representative to know which packages are available near you. The following are the packages XFINITY promotes online.

Packages1 yr. contract pricingNo contract pricingChannelsDetails
Digital Starter$44.99/mo.$54.99/mo.140+View Plan
Digital Preferred$54.99/mo.$64.99/mo.220+View Plan
Digital Premier$99.99/mo.$109.99/mo.260+View Plan

Digital Starter package

Covers basic cable programming. 

The Digital Starter package comes with 140+ channels, including many popular cable channels: ESPN, USA, A&E, Comedy Central, Hallmark Channel, etc. With its price and channels, the Digital Starter is pretty comparable to other basic packages from competing TV services.

Notable channels: Discovery Channel, CNN, Food Networ, ESPN HD.

Digital Preferred package

It’s the best deal, at least for the first year. 

The Digital Preferred package adds 80+ channels to the Digital Starter package for an additional $10 a month. Those extra channels include a number of league-specific sports channels, like NFL Network, MLB Network and NBA TV, as well as regional college networks like the SEC Network and Pac-12 Network. If you’re into sports, you’ll probably find the extra ten dollars a month to be well-spent.

Notable channels: ESPN HD, NBA TV, SEC Network.

Digital Premier package

For movie lovers, the price difference might be worth it. 

The Digital Premier package includes 260+ channels. There are a few seemingly random differences between the Digital Premier and the Digital Preferred channel lineups, but the most significant change is the inclusion of more than 20 premium movie channels. Of course, that might also explain the hefty price difference: $40 a month more for the first-year promotional price than Digital Preferred.

Notable channels: Starz, HBO, Showtime, Disney Channel.

Comcast XFINITY pricing

Promotional prices aren’t bad, and there’s a no-contract option.

First year/Promo rateRegular rate*Percentage increase
Average "contract" price$67/mo.$106/mo.58%
Average "no contract" price$77/mo.$106/mo.38%

*Rates vary depending on your area. We used the maximum rate to calculate the average.

What’s the real price?

XFINITY’s promotions are somewhat competitive; however, in order to get a promotional price, you’ll have to enter a one-year contract. (DISH and DIRECTV require two-year contracts.) After the one-year contract ends, you’ll be charged the regular rate, which varies depending on where you live. Of course, you can always cancel after one year to avoid paying the regular rate, but cancelling is never as easy or convenient as it should be, especially if you’re dealing with Comcast customer service.

XFINITY also has a no-contract option, which adds $10 a month to the one-year contract price. What’s odd is that the no-contract pricing is only good for one year, and then you’ll be charged the regular rate (again, regular rates are not listed and are determined by your location). But if you want to avoid a contract, and early termination fees, the extra $10 a month might be worth it.

Additional fees

XFINITY’s additional fees are higher than other TV services. For example, its DVR fee is $19.95 a month, and additional receivers (for adding multiple TVs) are $9.95 a month each. There’s also a “broadcast fee” and regional sports fee for $3.50 a month and $1 a month, but to XFINITY’s credit, they don’t charge an HD or HD sports fee.

See XFINITY pricing and promotions.

Heads up: While Comcast XFINITY is a well-known communications provider, it doesn’t serve every area in the United States. Try using our ZIP finder to see if XFINITY is available near you.

Find out if Comcast XFINITY is available near you.

Comcast XFINITY channel offerings

HD and total channel count isn’t as large as others.

XFINITY’s higher-end packages seem a little lightweight when compared to the competition. While both the Digital Preferred and Digital Premium packages deliver more than 220 channels, some competing services (e.g., Verizon FiOS) provide over 400 channels. That’s nearly twice as many channels as XFINITY. If you’re only looking for major cable channels (ESPN, USA, AMC, etc.), you’ll still find what you’re looking for with XFINITY. However, because of the limited number of channels, you won’t get channels you could find elsewhere.

HD channels

XFINITY offers roughly 100 channels in HD. By comparison, DIRECTV offers more than 200 in HD. Comcast’s own comparison charts try to gloss over this difference by noting that both services offer “100+” HD channels. Yes, that’s technically true, but it doesn’t really paint an accurate picture of the differences between these services.

Comcast XFINITY equipment and features

Trying to get details on DVRs is ridiculous, but the features aren’t too bad.

How hard is it to find information on XFINITY’s DVRs? It’s practically impossible. Between speaking with representatives, reading Comcast forums, and checking XFINITY’s own website, we’re still in the dark.

We couldn’t even find DVR information during checkout. After we selected HD DVR Service to purchase, we clicked see more… and all we got was the same, not-helpful blurb repeated back.

Here’s an actual DVR table from XFINITY’s website. The image is NOT altered.

Xfinity DVRs 12.2.15

Are we to believe that the 80GB TiVo DVR records more hours than XFINITY’s 500GB X1, despite the significant difference in storage size?

It seems unlikely. It’s also strange that the HD DVR has the same exact recording hours as the X1, since the X1 DVR is the top-of-the-line model. To make matters worse, XFINITY representatives couldn’t give us a consistent answer.

More storage please

XFINITY’s HD DVR only records 60 hours in HD. Unfortunately for Comcast, both Verizon FiOS and DIRECTV’s DVRs can record 200 hours in HD—more than three times what XFINITY offers. And DISH’s Hopper DVR can record 500 hours in HD, which is more than eight times XFINITY’s HD DVR, and more than four times its X1 DVR.

We couldn’t get more reliable information on the HD DVR, but we did find details on Comcast’s flagship DVR, the X1. The XFINITY X1 can record six shows at once, and it actually saves the content to both the hard drive and the cloud, which means you can then stream those recordings on any of your mobile devices with a Wi-Fi connection. The X1 does have a few other cool features, such as a voice-controlled remote, but the X1 is only for bundled packages. So if you’re hoping to just get TV and the X1, you’re out of luck.

Plenty on demand with XFINITY Stream

XFINITY outshines others when it comes to the depth and quality of on-demand offerings. With XFINITY’s on-demand service, XFINITY Stream, you can access nearly 140,000 movies and shows whenever you want—DIRECTV, in contrast, only offers 42,000 titles. And with a selection that large, there’s going to be plenty of quality programming to choose from, including a good balance of both recent and classic movies, as well as original programming from some of today’s most popular cable channels. With XFINITY Stream, you don’t even have to remember to set the DVR to record anything ahead of time. You just browse, click, and watch.

Mobile TV

XFINITY lets you choose from nearly 20,000 different On Demand shows and movies to download, so you can watch whenever and wherever it’s most convenient. With Comcast’s TV Go app, XFINITY customers can even enjoy live programming on all their devices—including live sports from ESPN, NBC Sports, and Fox Sports 1.

See packages that include the X1 DVR and extra features.

Comcast XFINITY customer service

What you heard is true: it’s terrible.

By now, just about everyone is aware of Comcast’s reputation for terrible customer service (XFINITY is Comcast). Even in an industry that is not known for caring and compassionate service, Comcast’s seems to stand out as being particularly unpleasant. In fact, for the last two years, Comcast has ranked at or near the bottom of the industry in this category, according to multiple independent consumer satisfaction surveys. In the 2015 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) report, Comcast scored a 54 out of 100—the second to lowest score overall.

Our experience

We experienced the frustration of Comcast’s customer service firsthand while doing research for this article. The answers we received to basic questions about packages and pricing often differed from representative to representative (we posed as customers), and sometimes… well, our questions were ignored.

Here’s one excerpt.

Reviews.org: When I get to checkout, my only DVR option is “HD DVR Service.” Is that supposed to be the X1?

XFINITY: Our “Digital Service” will allow you to access all the channels in the plan you choose in Standard Definition only. This is our Digital Receiver that connects to your Standard Definition TV.

Our ‘HD Service’ will allow you access to all the high definition channels that are available in the plan you choose. This is our HD Receiver that connects to your HD TV.

You can add additional receivers by clicking on ‘Connect another TV’. Once you have selected ‘Connect another TV’, you are automatically shown the receivers available to you for another TV, and you can select it by clicking ‘Add’.

Yikes. The representative must have copied and pasted a reply.

Here’s another excerpt.

Reviews.org: So, can I get the X1 if I only get Xfinity TV?

XFINITY: Yes, you are correct. You can have the box when you got [sic] the Starter and above package. [The representative is incorrect; you cannot get the X1 without bundling with Internet.]

It’s one thing to ignore a question, but it’s another to give us bad information. After our experiences, we imagine XFINITY’s customer service must be even more maddening for actual customers.

Conclusion

XFINITY service and pricing make it a mixed bag

Xfinity logo large

We like the choice of contract or no-contract TV, and On Demand gives us plenty to watch; however, the hidden fees on top of so-so pricing and poor customer service leaves us with much to be desired.

Go with the Digital Preferred

XFINITY’s Digital Preferred package is our pick. It includes On Demand service, which makes it easy to get your movie fix, even without the premium movie channels that come with Digital Premier. And Digital Preferred’s sports programming offers a lot of viewing options for not much more money.

If you want to know more and decide for yourself, here’s an overview of XFINITY packages.

Comcast unavailable? Find a TV provider near you.

  • Terri Oliver

    You can get a video only subscription through Xfinity with the X1 platform.

    • http://www.reviews.org/ Trevor Wheelwright

      Hi Terri, thanks for the comment!

      According to Comcast’s website, the X1 is only available with X1 Double Plays and X1 Triple Plays, so you will need a package with internet bundled in. See the screenshot below.

      The X1 DVR and remote control are awesome, packed with some pretty advanced features. If you’re interested in combining TV with Internet, we’d say it’s a no-brainer to order X1 TV service. But if you’re looking for TV-only service, you’ll have to pick from their lesser, three standard packages (with or without contracts).

      Hope this helps,
      Trevor

      • Bill Mars

        I’d say if your in a location where you don’t have other options buy a rope and save yourself years of pain and agony.

      • Terri Oliver

        They are installing the X1 receivers instead of “legacy” equipment-

        • http://www.reviews.org Scott T.

          We’ll have to check this out. Thanks for the heads up.

          • Terri Oliver

            If you have the legacy box- go into a store and request an exchange for either an X1 cloud DVR if you have DVR service- or if you don’t have DVR service- request an XG2 receiver- it works the best as a primary outlet.

  • Jolie Lorenz

    comcast has not dug my line its just hanging in my yarf fir 4 months, they are pissing me off

    • Jenn Diffley

      Hey Jolie,
      Sorry to hear about that. Have you given them a call to see what’s up?

  • halork

    Daily reboots make this a POS. Get a TiVo.

    • http://www.reviews.org Scott T.

      I’m guessing you have a TiVo…what model do you use, and how is it working for you?

      • Bill Mars

        Anything is better than the shit Comcast is using even an Antena and aluminium foil.

  • Suzanne L. Pisano

    Comcast Xfinity consistently has the WORST customer service on the planet. I have their service in multiple states and locations. Both business and residential accounts. Unfortunately there are no other options for cable service in those locations.

    • http://www.reviews.org Scott T.

      If it’s for TV service, there are at least two services that are available nationally (DISH and DIRECTV). Is there a reason it must be cable? Also, cable availability is constantly changing; When was the last time you checked to see if a competing cable provider was in the area?

  • Sara

    I just switched to basic cable service. I was told I will only have 25 channels. That’s ok for someone who doesn’t watch a lot of TV shows. The problem is, I have access to 8 shopping TV channels and at least 9 non-English speaking TV shows. There’s NO substantial TV channels except for local news (thank goodness). This is an insult to your customers and a terrible reflection of your company. Comcast/Xfinity is one of the biggest companies in US and at the same time a dreadful company. The government should not allow this monopoly. I hope this company will be hold accountable for their very poor quality service.

    • http://www.reviews.org/ Trevor Wheelwright

      Hey Sara, thanks for letting us know the basic package doesn’t cover your needs. Out of curiosity, have you looked into another package from Comcast or are you considering another provider?

  • David

    Xfinity service is not very reliable. Picture freezes. DVR recordings won’t always play. New Internet Cloud TV is just awful; there is lag time when trying to watch TV, Movies, or recordings online on the computer. Picture freezes, audio skips and sputters. I have a higher tier Xfinity internet speed and a new Samsung ATIV laptop with 16 GB RAM and 2.6Ghz I7 core processor, and this Xfinity service plays like crap on my laptop system. I have 5ghz, higher end linksys wirless router and have tried tethered to ethernet to rule out wireless conflicts. Also tried 2.4Ghz band. No special settings other than WPA2. Bottom line, for the $250/month I pay for phone/cable TV/Movies/Internet package, I should have NO problems. None. Zero. Instead….I have an expensive sluggish, slow, unpredictable cable tv service that is often more frustrating than pleasing. “Connecting to your Entertainment Experience (nightmare)”. Yeah right. Comcast, you need to test the cloud service before rolling it out unannounced to consumers. Also, your idea of customer service is to tell the consumer to reset his own box, or send a signal to the box (as if this will solve your poor product problem).

    • http://www.reviews.org Scott T.

      Yeah, that doesn’t sound good. We’re curious as to why your bill is so high ($250!?!). Also, have you considered another service provider in your area?

      • David

        I guess it’s because I have phone/internet/cable/movie package. I am looking at other services now and will look at your reviews more closely. First, I am going to give Comcast a shot at coming to my home to see if there is a problem with their equipment or the settings. But I am not a happy camper. Thanks.

        • Thamar Conley

          Hi David, I feel your pain we had a higher tier package as well but weren’t paying as much as you ($250 ouch!) but we experienced weekly sometimes daily service interruptions. They sent tech after tech and charged us $40 per visit which the CSRs said would be waived. I would have to call and argue with them for hours to get refunded the fees (most of the time only receiving partial credits). After nearly 2 years of that crap we switched to Uverse. Only had it for a couple of months now but the service has been great. Their on demand definitely needs work and I’m not too pleased with sometimes having to choose between recording a program and interrupting one of our TVs but Comcast’s awful customer service lost them a customer for life. Good luck to you!

  • Bill Mars

    Our brand new Xfinity one box stopped working after TWO months this company is a joke and should be sued!!! You need to be a rocket scientist to figure out the monthly bill and I’m sure they make it as complicated as they do to hide extra charges as no one should have a cable bill the size of a car payment STAY AWAY if u can!!!

  • Elli Mathis

    Comcast/Xfinity is TERRIBLE!! They have over charged our bill for 3 months in a row, even after multiple calls to customer service. What a headache!

  • Ron

    A look at Comcast “terabye” forum and see the X1 Premier Triple Play data-use-gouge complaints. I went from 150 Gb/mo on Double Play to over 600Gb/mo on X1. I am charged data use with my computer OFF. I did not change the way/means/time I use the TV or internet, as others also say. No mobile, no wifi. They upped the cap to 1 Terabyte from 600Gb, claim 99% of users would never use 1 terabyte, and in the first month, we reach or exceed the terabyte cap: Unlimited for $50 additional charge. Oh.

  • Jarret Garner

    I got xfinity because they said I was going to be able to watch any videos on any device. Netflix watch espn Hulu all that stuff I tried to use espn and they said I need to upgrade my cable package so that way I can have espn online and I’d also have it on my cable box. I don’t see the point in both. NEVER USING XFINITY AGAIN DoNT USE XFINITY

  • Natalia Zhirnova

    We closed the account with in March. Now is mid-June! I communicated more with 3 agents and they promised at the last time the end of May and etc. I have all the communication with them for evidence .Why they want to put their reputation for 37 $?!xfinity/comcast , please give me my money back.

  • Kara Pacelia

    I cancelled my Comcast account early in April 2017. I returned all equipment and told them I moved into a non Comcast area and I would be cancelling the account because of this. When I signed up for the original account I told the sales person that I would not live there for 2 years and didn’t want a 2 year contract. He told me not to worry I could move this account with me or if I moved outside a Comcast area I would not be responsible for a termination fee. I continued to get a bill stating I needed to pay this fee. I spoke with someone on 5 different occaisons at Comcast. Each person told me they would look into it and call me back. Of course no one ever called me back. Now I find that they have sent me to collections! I have never paid a bill late never mind be sent to collections. On my last call to them once I received this collections notice they have finally credited my account for the termination fee. I firmly believe they felt I would have just paid this rather than spend the over 6 hours I spent trying to reach someone each of the 5 times I called. On the last call someone finally said “ OK I will credit the account for the $130.00”. 5 minutes max! This was a very frustrating experience to say the least.

  • Lex

    I wish i read these reviews before purchasing this 80 dollar pay as go pack for internet. I shoudve known it was bull. There customer service is horrible for one then they tell you have a 30 day warranty which is only to exchange the box not a refund. The refund period is 3 days day 1 being the day of purchase but you can’t activate it then. You have to charge it one day and wait 48 hours after to activate it..WTF…This is a rip off and theyve taken my 80 dollars but people are always getting over on us veterans. That was a low blow though..😓

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