DIRECTV vs. Xfinity TV Comparison Review

We put two TV service behemoths against each other to determine which provider delivers a better experience for you

Best for Sports
Directv
DIRECTV
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Starting from
$69.99-$149.99
/mo
Price Range
$69.99-$149.99
Channel Count Range:
75–185
Best 1-Year Contract Option
Xfinity
Xfinity
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Starting from
$10.00–$80.00
/mo
Prices
$20-$68.5
Channel Count Range
10-185
Chantel Buchi
May 23, 2024
Icon Time To Read7 min read

Many people in the US have the choice between the cable TV provider, Xfinity, or the satellite/internet TV provider, DIRECTV, as they are both widely available.

But which one is best for you and your family? We'll start by saying that DIRECTV and Xfinity are both on our list of best TV providers.

But to compare the two, we look at price, contracts, channel lineups, user experience, and customer service to find the winner of this epic battle.

We hope our research will make your choice easier. So, without further adieu, let’s get into the details.

How does DIRECTV and Xfinity TV compare?

Provider
Monthly price
Available channels
Learn more
DIRECTV$59.99-$159.99*75–185
Xfinity TV$20-$68.510-185
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* All prices include $5 Autopay & Paperless Bill discount, which may take 1-3 bill cycles to begin (pay $5 more per month until discount begins). New approved residential customers only. 24-mo. agreement required. Offers may be discontinued at any time.
Pricing for some packages are for the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1-year contract.
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How much do DIRECTV and Xfinity TV cost?

Xfinity and DIRECTV both have their caveats when it comes to its monthly pricing.

DIRECTV requires a two-year contract with its satellite plans, and Xfinity has loads of tacked-on fees. (Scroll down a little further to find those.)

How much is DIRECTV?

Plan
Price
Satellite TV channel count
Internet TV channel count
Details
ENTERTAINMENT $69.99/mo. for 24 months plus taxes and fees75+90+
CHOICE™ $74.99/mo. for 24 months plus taxes and fees^105+125+
ULTIMATE $104.99/mo. for 24 months plus taxes and fees^140+160+
PREMIER™ $149.99/mo. for 24 months plus taxes and fees^150+185+
w/ 24-mo. agmt. AutoPay and Paperless Bill req’d. Advanced Receiver Service Fee $15/mo. is extra and applies.
^ w/ 24-mo. agmt. AutoPay and Paperless Bill req’d. Advanced Receiver Service Fee $15/mo. and Regional Sports Fee up to $13.99/mo. are extra & apply.

We like that DIRECTV provides a lot of popular channels for a good up-front price. And instead of hiking prices at the end of your two-year contract, your monthly rate will revert to the current prevailing rate of your DIRECTV package. Or, if you order DIRECTV via Internet, you can dodge the contract and satellite installation and pay month-to-month. Internet plans also net you about 20 more channels per package.

If you are a huge movie buff, or like to have all the premium channels, DIRECTV offers over 150 channels with the PREMIER satellite package and over 185 channels with the PREMIER internet package, plus a bunch of included premium channels.

That's 35 fewer channels than Xfinity TV's Ultimate TV package if you choose a satellite connection, but it includes free subscriptions to Max, Paramount+ with SHOWTIME®, Cinemax, and STARZ. And you can always go with PREMIER via internet to get the same amount of channels.

How much is Xfinity TV?

Plan
Price
TV channel count
Details
Choice TV$20/mo.°10+
Popular TV$50/mo.**125+
Ultimate TV$68.5/mo.**185+
° No term contract. Broadcast TV fee extra; price subj to change. Taxes and equipment not included.
** No term contract. Broadcast TV fee and regional sports fee extra; price subj to change. Taxes and equipment not included.

We like that Xfinity by Comcast gives you a one-year contract option with all three plans. Xfinity’s on-demand library is usually packed with good stuff, including past seasons of favorites like This is Us, Spongebob Squarepants, and Fixer Upper. Plus, if you get the X1 DVR, you can pull up Netflix, and other streaming picks with the voice remote.

Xfinity bundle deal
Deals

Bundle TV with internet and Enjoy high-speed internet and live TV for just $75/month for two years. Lock in 300Mbps download speeds for 24 months plus over 125 channels with X1 TV. 

Do DIRECTV and Xfinity have a contract?

DIRECTV's satellite service requires a two-year contract and internet plans are contract-free, while Xfinity lets you opt for a one-year contract

DIRECTV satellite customers get a two-year price guarantee with their two-year contract while those who purchase an internet package won't have a contract.

Xfinity's one-year contract saves $20–$30 monthly for the first year of your service, but you’re locked in for the duration, or you face early termination fees.

Having options gives you a lot more flexibility in your planning, especially if you’re only signing a one-year lease on your new apartment.

Does DIRECTV and Xfinity have hidden fees?

DIRECTV may have pricier packages, but Xfinity has lots of fees. In some cases, it could be cheaper to go the DIRECTV route.

If you go with Xfinity, you'll likely be paying an additional $69 per month for two TV boxes, DVR storage, news channels, and sports channels. If you get DIRECTV's satellite ENTERTAINMENT package, it's just $70 per month. You have to pay a $15/month advanced receiver, but your first DVR receiver is included, and DVR storage is free. Plus, DIRECTV via Intenet users can avoid DVR activation fees. 

So ... you could actually save money and get more channels in the long run with DIRECTV.

How much are DIRECTV's and Xfinity's fees?

Fees
DIRECTV
Xfinity

Installation fee

Included + $49 activation per extra TV connection

$15 self-install kit or $89.99 professional installation

First TV box

Included

$9.00/mo.

Additional receivers

$7.00/mo.

$9.00/mo.

DVR fee

Included

$0-$20.00/mo.

HD technology fee

Included

Included

Broadcast TV fee

Included

Up to $26.15/mo.

Regional sports fee

Up to $15.99/mo.

Up to $19.15/mo.

Data effective 5/15/2024. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

How much are DIRECTV's and Xfinity's installation fees?

With DIRECTV's satellite service, you the first set-top box installation is included, but additional receivers will be $49 each. DIRECTV via Internet customers can avoid this charge, though. Xfinity charges a one-time fee of $89.99 for installation. But you can opt-out with a $15 self-install kit from Xfinity to save some moola.

How much are DIRECTV's and Xfinity's DVR fees?

Xfinity definitely finds ways of wringing a few extra bucks out of you every month. If you want to add more TVs to the plan, it will cost you an additional fee per receiver.

DIRECTV includes your first Gemini Air DVR for both satellite and internet plans, but each additional set-top box adds $7 per month, plus a one-time $49 activation fee applies for satellite packages. There are no DVR or HD service fees with DIRECTV. Phew.

How much are DIRECTV's and Xfinity's broadcast and regional sports fees?

Xfinity takes an additional $25ish bucks per month (depending on where you live) for broadcast and regional sports fees.

That’s creepin’ very close to an extra $40 on top of your package price for a single TV with DVR (*eye roll*). If you’re considering additional TVs and DVRs, Xfinity’s price can get out of hand.

DIRECTV charges a regional sports fee of up to $15.99 per month. Yes, the fee is a bit of a bummer, but it’s how local broadcast networks recoup their distribution costs, and we don’t see many (if any) TV companies dropping this fee.

How much are DIRECTV's and Xfinity's bundles?

DIRECTV doesn't offer a discount for bundling, so there's no huge incentive to add internet if you only want TV. But if you do need internet to go with your DIRECTV, look no further than CenturyLink Internet.

Both DIRECTV and CenturyLink internet options vary based on your area, so you’ll have to put in your zip code to find out what’s available.

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Find out if DIRECTV and CenturyLink Internet are available near you.

How much are DIRECTV's bundles?

Plan
Price
Internet download speed
Details
DIRECTV® CHOICE™ + CenturyLink Internet$134.99/mo.††Up to 100 Mbps
DIRECTV® CHOICE™ + CenturyLink Fiber Internet$154.99/mo.‡‡Up to 940 Mbps
DIRECTV® CHOICE™ + CenturyLink Internet + Home Phone$174.99/mo.††Up to 100 Mbps
DIRECTV® ENTERTAINMENT + CenturyLink Internet$114.99/mo.^^Up to 100 Mbps
DIRECTV® ENTERTAINMENT + CenturyLink Internet + Home Phone$154.99/mo.^^Up to 100 Mbps
DIRECTV® PREMIER™ + CenturyLink Internet$204.99/mo.††Up to 100 Mbps
DIRECTV® PREMIER™ + CenturyLink Internet + Home Phone$244.99/mo.††Up to 100 Mbps
†† Internet: Speed may not be available in your area. Paperless billing or prepay required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. TV: w/ 24-mo. agmt. AutoPay and Paperless Bill req’d. Advanced Receiver Service Fee $15/mo. and Regional Sports Fee up to $13.99/mo. are extra & apply.
‡‡ Internet: Speed may not be available in your area. Maximum download/upload speed of up to 940 Mbps via a wired connection. Paperless billing required. Taxes and fees apply. TV: w/ 24-mo. agmt. AutoPay and Paperless Bill req’d. Advanced Receiver Service Fee $15/mo. and Regional Sports Fee up to $13.99/mo. are extra & apply.
^^ Internet: Speed may not be available in your area. Paperless billing or prepay required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. TV: w/ 24-mo. agmt. AutoPay and Paperless Bill req’d. Advanced Receiver Service Fee $15/mo. is extra and applies.

Xfinity shines a little brighter than DIRECTV in terms of bundling.

By combining services, you’ll get one bill and even save $25–$35 per month in some cases. Compare that to DIRECTV’s lack of savings and you can see that Xfinity’s discount might make up for its additional TV fees for DVR and HD fans.

And you can get download speeds of 400 Mbps with your 125+ channels for $30 more than if you were to get Xfinity's TV service alone. Not bad at all.

Xfinity has some of the fastest internet speeds out there though (up to 2,000 Mbps in some cases). And it comes with a high data cap (1.2 TB). Besides, the Xfinity X1 DVR—which we recommend getting—requires you to sign up for internet anyway.

One of our favorite things about Xfinity is accessing shows from anywhere. As long as you have internet access, Xfinity makes train trips, waiting rooms, or chillin’ in line to get the Taylor Swift CD for your daughter (or yourself) decidedly less miserable.

How much are Xfinity TV's bundles?

Plan
Price
TV channel count
Internet download speed
Connect Internet + Choice TV$40/mo for 12 mo with 1yr contract.°°10+Up to 150 Mbps
Fast Internet + Popular TV$111/mo.***125+Up to 400 Mbps
Superfast Internet + Ultimate TV$131/mo.***185+Up to 800 Mbps
Gigabit Extra Internet + Ultimate TV$141/mo.***185+Up to 1200 Mbps
Gigabit Extra Internet + Ultimate TV + Xfinity Voice$151/mo.***185+Up to 1200 Mbps
°° Internet: For 12 months with 1-year term contract. Taxes and equipment not included. Includes $10/mo automatic payments and paperless billing discount. TV: No term contract. Broadcast TV fee extra; price subj to change. Taxes and equipment not included.
*** Internet: For 24 months. No term contract. Taxes not included. Includes $10/mo automatic payments and paperless billing discount. Not available in all areas. TV: No term contract. Broadcast TV fee and regional sports fee extra; price subj to change. Taxes and equipment not included.

Which channels do DIRECTV and Xfinity have?

Get more channels and some bonus inclusions with DIRECTV

Both DIRECTV and Xfinity have most of the popular channels, so you can't go majorly wrong with either.

After you take a look at this comparison table, you're going to wonder why you even considered Xfinity's more expensive Ultimate TV Package when Xfinity's cheaper Choice TV and Popular TV packages are the two packages with the best channels.

Which popular channels do DIRECTV and Xfinity TV have?

Channel
DIRECTV
Xfinity

CNN

All packages

All packages

Disney Channel

All packages

All packages

ESPN

All packages

All packages

Food Network

All packages

All packages

FOX News

All packages

All packages

Hallmark Channel

All packages

All packages

HGTV

All packages

All packages

MSNBC

All packages

All packages

Telemundo

Add-on available

All packages

Univision

All packages

All packages

USA

All packages

All packages

Data effective 5/15/2024. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

If you want to know more about the channel lineups, check out our DIRECTV Review and Xfinity TV Review.

But scroll down a little further for the sports channels.

Which local channels do DIRECTV and Xfinity have?

Local channels may differ with each provider in every ZIP code, so it’s best to check. You could also get an antenna to make sure you’re covered on locals for life.

Check DIRECTV’s network availability
Check Xfinity’s available networks

HD TV for free ... once you buy an antenna.
Money
We’re fans of antennas. They’re inexpensive, and for that cheap one-time price, you’ll have free access to all the local broadcast channels. Sure, you’d get sick of The Andy Griffith Show reruns if that’s all you could see, but you’d be surprised at how many channels, movies, and shows you can actually get.

Which premium channels do DIRECTV and Xfinity have?

DIRECTV offers the most free premium channels we've ever seen. You'll get Max included for the first 3 months of your DIRECTV contract, whether with a satellite or internet connection!  And for the first three months, Paramount+ with SHOWTIME®, STARZ, CINEMAX, and MGM+ will also be included in your service. After that, you’ll have to pay the current rate to keep them. Get the PREMIUM package, and enjoy all those premium channels (excluding MGM+) for free as long as you have a subscription.

Xfinity gets points here for offering a lower rate on its premium channels, and while it’s only a couple bucks difference with DIRECTV, those savings can add up if you’re a fan of Succession and Shameless and need both Max and Paramount+ with SHOWTIME®.

How much are DIRECTV's and Xfinity TV's premium channels?

Channel
DIRECTV price
Xfinity price

Max™

$15.99/mo.

$15.00/mo.

Paramount+ with SHOWTIME®

$10.99/mo.

$12.00/mo.

CINEMAX®

$10.99/mo.

$12.00/mo.

STARZ®

$10.99/mo.

$8.99/mo.

MGM+

$5.99/mo.

$5.99/mo.

Details

View Plans

View Plans

Which sports channels do DIRECTV vs. Xfinity have?

DIRECTV used to be the exclusive provider of NFL SUNDAY TICKET, which gave you the NFL RedZone channel along with every out-of-market game. In 2023, NFL SUNDAY TICKET moved to YouTube TV

Even without NFL SUNDAY TICKET, DIRECTV still shines in sports delivery with the most 4K sports content. 

Mega sports fans will benefit the most with the PREMIER package. You'll get access to all the major sports channels including NBA TV, NFL Network, NFL RedZone, Golf, ESPN, and Big 10 Network. 

Xfinity may not have as many sports options, but you can still get lots of popular sports networks with the Extra and Starter packages.

Which sports channels do DIRECTV and Xfinity TV have?

Channel
DIRECTV
Xfinity

Big 10 Network

All packages

None

CBS Sports Network

ULTIMATE and above

Ultimate TV

ESPN

All packages

Popular TV + Ultimate TV

FS1

All packages

Popular TV + Ultimate TV

Golf Channel

CHOICE and above

Popular TV + Ultimate TV

MLB Network

CHOICE and above

Ultimate TV

NBA TV

CHOICE and above

Ultimate TV

NBC Sports Network

ULTIMATE and above

Ultimate TV

NFL Network

CHOICE and above

Ultimate TV

PAC-12 Network

Not available

Ultimate TV

Tennis Channel

CHOICE and above

Popular TV + Ultimate TV

Data effective 5/15/2024. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

If you want to find the complete sports channel lineup for both of these services, check out our reviews for DIRECTV and Xfinity.

Whose customer service is better? DIRECTV or Xfinity?

DIRECTV and Xfinity are neck-and-neck, but we don’t expect much from TV providers in general

What are DIRECTV's and Xfinity's customer service ratings?

Provider
DIRECTV
Xfinity

ACSI rating

67 out of 100

67 out of 100

If you were to look at the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) report a couple of years ago, you would have seen DIRECTV come out ahead by seven points over Xfinity. This year, they're tired.

To put it in perspective, the highest score of 74 is held by Verizon Fios.

Besides, most issues revolve around billing misunderstandings, so be mindful of what your contract actually entails in terms of costs over two years.

Recap: Is DIRECTV or Xfinity better?

If you only need TV service, we’d say DIRECTV has a better offer ... but Xfinity is one of the best ways to combine TV with internet

DIRECTV has a better DVR and fewer hidden fees, but it does come with a lower channel count and a two-year-long contract.

Xfinity is a good choice if you’re looking to get both TV and internet. Its TV service and X1 DVR are nothing to scoff at, but you’ve gotta account for additional HD fees, equipment costs, and broadcast fees.

  • Pricing: With a two-year price guarantee, DIRECTV has better (and easier-to-understand) prices. If you want internet and bare-bones TV, the cost difference shrinks, but we like the premium channels and high channel count that you get when you sign up with DIRECTV.
  • Contracts: Two years is a long time for some people, so Xfinity may be a better option for renters or commitment-phobes.
  • Channels: DIRECTV has more premium channels, but you'll pay a higher price for them with satellite plans. Xfinity has better channel pricing month-to-month, but fewer popular channels than DIRECTV.
  • Customer service: DIRECTV and Xfinity are neck and neck in this department, so you should receive the a similar type of service with both.
Chantel Buchi
Written by
Chantel Buchi
Chantel is all about finding the best tv or streaming service to watch as many football games as possible to keep her Fantasy Football team in check. Prior to being a TV and Streaming Tech Reporter for Reviews.org, she worked for NFL Network and The Alliance of American Football. Before that, she received a B.A. of Communication at the University of Utah and an M.S. in Sports Journalism at USC. Go Utes and Fight On. Contact her at chantel@reviews.org

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