Comcast Xfinity TV vs. YouTube TV Review 2021

What’s in your future? Cable TV or live TV streaming?
Best for an Abundance of Channels
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Best for Your Wallet
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Available channels

Xfinity TV is one of the best cable TV providers on the market, and YouTube TV is one of the best live TV streaming services. But they’re both very different TV providers.

Xfinity is a cable provider widely available across the US and has inexpensive TV plans with excellent channel lineups. But beware of the lengthy list of fees.

YouTube TV streams your favorite channels wherever you’d like on almost every device, and you get an unlimited amount of DVR storage hours. But you’ll only get half the channels you could get with Xfinity.

Before we get into the details, we’ll start by saying this epic battle was a close one. But let us dive in to see which is the right choice for you.

How do Xfinity TV and YouTube TV compare in price?

With both TV providers, you get what you pay for

YouTube TV keeps it simple with one plan and one price—$65 per month.

Xfinity TV has four plans, two of which require a 1-year contract and two that don’t need a year-long commitment.

Xfinity’s Extra and Preferred Plus plans are the least expensive, and they benefit those who know they’re going to keep this service for one year or longer. (And you could save $240–$360 for your first year.)

You’ll pay $20–$30 more per month with the Digital Starter and Preferred packages, but there’s no contract and you get a cancel-anytime policy.

How much does Xfinity TV cost?
PlanPriceChannel countDetails
Extra$49.99/mo.140+View Plan
Preferred Plus$59.99/mo.220+View Plan
Digital Starter$70.99/mo.140+View Plan
Digital Preferred$89.49/mo.220+View Plan

Data effective 8/12/2021. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Xfinity TV offers more channels than YouTube TV, so you’ll get to enjoy more entertainment and variety.

But keep in mind, you’ll either have to sign a contract or pay more per month with Xfinity TV than you would with YouTube TV.

YouTube TV only has 85 channels in its lineup, but if you scroll down to the channels section, you might realize that’s all you need.

How much does YouTube TV cost?
Monthly priceAvailable channelsLearn more
$64.99*85View Plan
Data as of 10/28/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* Data as of 10/28/20. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Does Xfinity TV or YouTube TV have a contract?

Xfinity TV gives you the option to opt into a 1-year contract or no contract at all.

Xfinity’s Extra and Preferred Plus TV packages require the year-long agreement, but you’ll be saving $20–$30 per month (that could go toward your gas tank).

Or, if you don’t like the idea of being tied down, you’ll enjoy the no-commitment Digital Starter and Preferred plans.

On the other hand, YouTube TV has no contract whatsoever (just like the rest of the live TV streaming services in the industry). You won’t have to worry about your price increasing at any point.

Does Xfinity TV or YouTube TV have fees?

To put it bluntly, Xfinity TV has the most fees among any other TV service in the industry, while YouTube TV has zero.

Let’s give you an idea of how much you’ll need to budget for Xfinity fees:

You’ll likely need a TV box for the TV room ($5/month), an additional TV box for your bedroom ($10/month), HD channels ($10/month), DVR storage ($15/month), news channels ($20/month), and sports channels ($15/month).

We’re aiming high for the news and sports channels just in case, but you could be looking at paying up to $75 more per month. So we encourage you to double-check how much you’ll be paying in fees based on your location.

While Xfinity could learn a thing or two from good ol’ YouTube, these fees aren’t necessarily outrageous in the cable TV world (Xfinity is still one of the best cable TV providers).

How much are Xfinity TV’s and YouTube TV’s fees?
FeeXfinity TVYouTube TV
First TV box$5.00/mo.N/A
Additional TV box$9.95/mo.N/A
DVR fee$5.00–$15.00/mo.N/A
HD Technology fee$10.00/mo.N/A
Broadcast feeUp to $19.45/mo.N/A
Regional sports feeUp to $14.45/mo.N/A

Data effective 8/12/2021. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

YouTube TV doesn’t have any fees, which is unique in the TV world. It’s a well-rounded service that doesn’t need a DVR or simultaneous streams added on like Sling TV or Hulu + Live TV.

And if you want to take a break without losing all of your Schitt’s Creek recordings, you can pause your YouTube TV membership for up to six months and come back to watch the sibling rivalry between David and Alexis.

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Are you interested in bundling the internet with your Xfinity TV plan?
If you like the idea of paying one bill for your internet, TV, and phone service, Xfinity has some affordable bundles to choose from. Our internet expert, Catherine McNally, takes you through some steps to find the best bundle for you and your home.

Which channels do Xfinity TV and YouTube TV have?

YouTube TV has most popular channels, but Xfinity TV has more

Xfinity TV easily wins first prize when it comes to channels.

This cable TV provider nets you 140–200+ channels (it’s a given that you’re going to find more of your favorite channels with Xfinity).

Since YouTube TV only has 85 channels in its lineup, you won’t find channels like the Hallmark Channel or Univision.

If you need more information, check out Xfinity’s and YouTube TV’s websites to see which channel lineup and price works best for you.

PS: We assure you that both TV providers have your local channels, and if you scroll down a little, you’ll see the sports channels you’ll get front row seats to.

Which popular channels do Xfinity TV and YouTube TV have?
ChannelXfinity TVYouTube TV
CNNAll packagesYes
Disney ChannelAll packagesYes
ESPNAll packagesYes
Food NetworkAll packagesYes
Fox NewsAll packagesYes
Hallmark ChannelAll packagesNo
HGTVAll packagesYes
Investigation Discovery (ID)All packagesYes
MSNBCAll packagesYes
NickelodeonAll packagesYes
TelemundoAll packagesYes
UnivisionAll packagesNo
USAAll packagesYes

Data effective 8/12/2021. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

We like how Xfinity’s entry-level packages have most of the popular channels you love and want (or need).

We do recommend upgrading to one of the Preferred packages if you’re a fan of the most popular sports, your spouse loves movie channels, and your kids love cartoons.

Xfinity TV also has your local channels (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC) in all of its packages, as does YouTube TV.

Which premium channels do Xfinity TV and YouTube TV have?

It’s somewhat rare for a TV service to offer all of the premium channels, yet both Xfinity TV and YouTube TV do!

Most of the prices are the same, but YouTube TV charges a little less for SHOWTIME and CINEMAX. YouTube TV also has an HBO Max, SHOWTIME, and STARZ bundle that will save you money if you enjoy Made for Love, Billions, and Black Sails.

Xfinity TV and YouTube TV premium channels
ChannelXfinity TV priceYouTube TV price
HBO Max$15.00/mo.$14.99/mo.
SHOWTIME$12.00/mo.$4.99/mo. (for the first 6 months), $11.00/mo.
Entertainment Plus (HBO Max, SHOWTIME, STARZ)N/A$29.99/mo.

Data effective 8/12/2021. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Which sports channels do Xfinity TV and YouTube TV have?

If you’re after sports channels, YouTube TV will be the No. 1 pick for you.

You get 18 sports channels among the 85 total channels on your TV for $65 per month. YouTube TV is the only live TV streaming service that gives you all of the major sports networks for this low price.

YouTube TV also tends to the sports fans who love college sports as it has a more complete college-channel lineup than Xfinity TV. You won’t miss a Saturday afternoon game this fall.

Xfinity’s entry-level plans give you 11 sports channels, while the upgraded packages give you 22.

If you’re a fanatic of the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL, you’re going to like one of the Preferred packages. (You just decide if you want to save $30 per month with the Preferred Plus plan.)

Xfinity TV’s Extra and Digital Starter plans have the following sports channels:

  • AT&T SportsNet
  • FS1, FS2
  • Golf Channel
  • Local Sports Channel
  • NBC Sports Network (NBCSN)
  • Olympic Channel
  • PAC-12 Network
  • Tennis Channel

Xfinity TV’s Preferred Plus and Digital Preferred plans have all of the sports channels above and the following:

  • CBS Sports Network
  • ESPNews
  • MLB Network
  • NBA TV
  • NFL Network
  • NHL Network
  • SEC Network
  • Sportsman Channel
  • TUDN
  • Zona Fútbol

YouTube TV has the following sports channels:

  • ACCN
  • Big Ten Network (BTN)
  • CBS Sports Network
  • ESPNews
  • FS1, FS2
  • Golf Channel
  • MLB Game of the Week
  • MLB Network
  • NBA TV
  • NBC Sports
  • NBC Sports Network (NBCSN)
  • NFL Network
  • Olympic Channel
  • SEC Network

Does Xfinity TV or YouTube TV have a better DVR?

YouTube TV wins in the DVR department as it has the biggest storage space in the industry with unlimited.

If you’d like, you can record every NFL game this season, every Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, and every Anderson Cooper 360 episode. And you’d still have plenty of room to spare, and then some.

With any cable TV provider, you have to expect to pay DVR service fees.

Xfinity TV charges $5/month for your first TV box, $10/month for each additional set-top box, and $5–$15/month for the DVR service.

Although Xfinity’s X1 DVR only holds 150 HD hours, one upside to Xfinity’s DVR is that it stores your recordings indefinitely. Unlike with YouTube TV, you won’t have to worry about your recordings erasing after nine months.

How much DVR storage does Xfinity TV and YouTube TV have?
DVRXfinity TVYouTube TV
DVR hours and storage150 HD/300 SD hours, saves indefinitelyUnlimited hours, saves for nine months
Set-top box price$5.00–$9.95/mo.N/A
DVR fee$5.00–$15.00/mo.N/A

*Data effective 8/12/2021.

On which devices can you stream Xfinity TV and YouTube TV?

You probably want to watch Murder Comes Home to kill time (pun intended) waiting in line at the drive-through car wash. Or maybe you’ll find yourself needing to distract the little ones with Minions while you’re grocery shopping.

Either way, you’ll need to know which devices are compatible with the Xfinity Stream and YouTube TV apps.

You can stream Xfinity TV on these streaming devices:

  • Amazon Fire TVs
  • Roku TVs
  • Roku Ultra, Roku Express, Roku Premiere
  • Roku 2, 3, and 4
  • Roku Smart Soundbar
  • Samsung smart TVs
  • LG smart TVs

Stream YouTube TV all day long on these streaming devices:

  • iPhone, iPad
  • Android smartphone, Android tablet
  • Apple TV
  • Android TV
  • Roku TVs, Roku smart soundbar
  • Roku Ultra, Roku Streaming Stick, Roku Express, Roku Premiere
  • Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Cubes
  • Vizio SmartCast TVs
  • Samsung & LG smart TVs
  • HiSense TVs
  • Chrome, Safari

You can stream on five separate devices at once with Xfinity TV, and you can stream on three different devices simultaneously with YouTube TV.

Recap: YouTube TV is the winner

Xfinity TV has more channels, but YouTube TV is contract-free with unlimited DVR storage space

  • Pricing: YouTube TV has one straightforward price at $65 per month. Xfinity TV has four plans to choose from, two of which require a 1-year contract. Although a contract is attached, the Extra and Preferred Plus TV packages will only cost you $50 and $60 per month. If you’re willing to spend $20–$30 more each month, the Digital Starter and Digital Preferred plans allow you to cancel your service at any time.
  • Contracts and fees: A contract and fees are non-existent with YouTube TV. As described above, Xfinity TV gives you the option to sign or not to sign a contract. As for fees, Xfinity has a long list of them. You could potentially spend $75 per month on these extra costs, but it depends on your location. We strongly recommend that you double-check during your checkout process or chat with an Xfinity Advisor.
  • Channels: This one is a tie because this will depend on what your personal preferences are. Xfinity TV has channel lineups complete with most of the popular channels. And if you want the most channels, Xfinity is for you. If you’re looking for a consistent price, want all of your major sports networks in a $65/month plan, and you like what you see in YouTube TV’s channel lineup, YouTube TV will be a great choice.
  • DVR: YouTube TV’s DVR has unlimited storage space that saves your recordings for nine months. Xfinity TV’s X1 DVR gives you 150 HD/300 SD storage hours and keeps your recordings indefinitely. You’ll just have to budget for those extra DVR service fees with cable TV providers.

Check out our full reviews on Xfinity TV and YouTube TV if you’re still on the fence.

We go more in-depth on which Xfinity TV plan or bundle is best for you, and we’ll explain why we like YouTube TV’s user interface.

Now that you know, here are your next steps.

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