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
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Monthly price
$64.99$139.99
Available channels
340
Best 1-Year Contract Option
Xfinity
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Monthly price
$49.99$59.99
Available channels
185
Chantel Buchi
Staff Writer, TV & Streaming
Read More
November 16, 2021
7 min read

We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our disclosure policies to learn more.

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

But which one is best for you and your family? We'll start off by saying that both DIRECTV and Xfinity are 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$64.99$139.99*340
Xfinity TV$49.99$59.99185
Data effective 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For 12 months plus taxes & fees, w/24-mo. agmt. Autopay & Paperless bill reqd. Prices higher in 2nd year. Regional Sports Fee up to $11.99/mo. is extra & applies
For the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1-year contract.

How much do DIRECTV and Xfinity TV cost?

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

DIRECTV will nearly double your monthly price during the second year of your contract (we don’t love the ol’ switcheroo), and Xfinity has loads of tacked on fees. (Scroll down a little further to find those.)

How much is DIRECTV?
Plan
Price
TV channel count
Details
ENTERTAINMENT All-Included$64.99/mo. + tax for 12 mos165+
CHOICE All-Included$69.99/mo. + tax for 12 mos^200+
ULTIMATE All-Included$89.99/mo. + tax for 12 mos°270+
PREMIER All-Included$139.99/mo. + tax for 12 mos**340+
Data effective 11/11/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Limited Time Offer. New approved customers only. With 24-mo. agmt. Autopay & Paperless bill reqd. Prices higher in 2nd year. Regional Sports Fee up to $11.99/mo. is extra & applies. First 12 mos. price requires a $5 Autopay and Paperless Bill discount and includes $5 bill credit each month for first 12 months. Pay $74.99/mo. until Autopay and Paperless Bill discount begins within 1 to 3 bill cycles. Subj. to change & may be discontinued at any time.
^ Limited Time Offer. New approved customers only. With 24-mo. agmt. Autopay & Paperless bill reqd. Prices higher in 2nd year. Regional Sports Fee up to $11.99/mo. is extra & applies. First 12 mos. price requires a $5 Autopay and Paperless Bill discount and includes $5 bill credit each month for first 12 months. Pay $79.99/mo. until Autopay and Paperless Bill discount begins within 1 to 3 bill cycles. Subj. to change & may be discontinued at any time.
° Limited Time Offer. New approved customers only. With 24-mo. agmt. Autopay & Paperless bill reqd. Prices higher in 2nd year. Regional Sports Fee up to $11.99/mo. is extra & applies. First 12 mos. price requires a $5 Autopay and Paperless Bill discount and includes $5 bill credit each month for first 12 months. Pay $99.99/mo. until Autopay and Paperless Bill discount begins within 1 to 3 bill cycles. Subj. to change & may be discontinued at any time.
** Limited Time Offer. New approved customers only. With 24-mo. agmt. Autopay & Paperless bill reqd. Prices higher in 2nd year. Regional Sports Fee up to $11.99/mo. is extra & applies. First 12 mos. price requires a $5 Autopay and Paperless Bill discount and includes $5 bill credit each month for first 12 months. Pay $149.99/mo. until Autopay and Paperless Bill discount begins within 1 to 3 bill cycles. Subj. to change & may be discontinued at any time.

Beyond that, we like that DIRECTV provides a lot of popular channels for a good up-front price.

And here's the best news: if you get the CHOICE package or above, you'll get your first season of NFL SUNDAY TICKET included (after that, the current rate will apply at about $300 per season).

If you don't know what NFL SUNDAY TICKET is and you're an NFL fan ... prepare to get your life turned upside down (in a good way). NFL SUNDAY TICKET will give you all out-of-market games straight to your TV every Sunday.

How much is Xfinity TV?
Plan
Price
TV channel count
Details
Popular TV$49.99/mo.††125+
Ultimate TV$59.99/mo.††185+
Data effective 02/17/22. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
†† For the first 12 mos with 1-Year Agreement. Includes $10/mo. automatic payments and paperless billing discount.

We like that Xfinity by Comcast gives you a 1-year contract option with both 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.

Do DIRECTV and Xfinity have a contract?

DIRECTV’s prices go way up after the first year, while Xfinity lets you opt for a 1-year contract

We don’t know if we can stress this enough.

DIRECTV’s prices go wayyyy up after the first year. And if you need to get out of your contract, you’ll be charged early termination fees of $20 per month remaining on your contract. If you try to bail after the first year, you’ll still pay up to $240.

Xfinity's 1-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 second-year price hikes, 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 the TV box, DVR storage, news channels, and sports channels. If you get DIRECTV's ENTERTAINMENT package, it's just $65 per month while your second-year monthly bill will be $97.

So ... you actually save money in the long run with DIRECTV.

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

Installation fee

Included, $99 for additional receivers

$15 self-install kit or $89.99 professional installation

First TV box

Included

$7.50/mo.

Additional receivers

$7.00/mo.

$7.50/mo.

DVR fee

Included

$0-$20.00/mo.

HD technology fee

Included

Included

Broadcast TV fee

Included

Up to $24.95/mo.

Regional sports fee

Up to $11.99/mo.

Up to $19.15/mo.

Data effective 12/10/2020. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

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

With DIRECTV, you the first set-top box installation is included, but additional receivers will be $99 each. 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 Genie DVR, but each additional set-top box adds $7 per month. 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 $11.99 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 AT&T Internet.

Both DIRECTV and AT&T internet options vary based on your area, so you’ll have to put in your zip code to find out what’s available.

Find out if DIRECTV and AT&T Internet are available near you.
How much are DIRECTV's bundles?
Plan
Price
Internet download speed
Details
DIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT All-Included Package + AT&T Internet$119.99/mo.‡‡100 Mbps
DIRECTV CHOICE All-Included Package + AT&T Internet$124.99/mo.‡‡100 Mbps
DIRECTV ULTIMATE All-Included Package + AT&T Internet$144.99/mo.‡‡100 Mbps
DIRECTV CHOICE All-Included Package + AT&T Fiber Internet 1000$149.99/mo.‡‡1000 Mbps
DIRECTV PREMIER All-Included Package + AT&T Internet$194.99/mo.‡‡100 Mbps
Data effective 01/18/22. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
‡‡ For 12 months plus taxes & fees; w/ 24-mo. TV agmt. TV offer ends 7/22/22. TV price higher in 2nd year. Limited availability. Autopay & Paperless bill reqd. May not be available in your area.

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 200 Mbps with your 140+ channels for $10 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 yourself your daughter decidedly less miserable.

How much are Xfinity TV's bundles?
Plan
Price
TV channel count
Internet download speed
Connect Internet + Choice TV$69.20/mo.^^10+Up to 75 Mbps
Gigabit Extra Internet + Ultimate TV$155.70/mo.^^185+Up to 1200 Mbps
Fast Internet + Popular TV + Xfinity Voice$120.70/mo.^^125+Up to 300 Mbps
Gigabit Extra Internet + Ultimate TV + Xfinity Voice$165.70/mo.^^185+Up to 1200 Mbps
Data effective 02/17/22. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
^^ For the first 12 months

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 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 Preferred Package when Xfinity's cheaper Extra and Starter 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

Ultimate TV

Data effective 12/10/2020. 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?

For the first 3 months of your DIRECTV contract, you’ll get HBO Max included!  And for the first three months, SHOWTIME, STARZ, CINEMAX, and EPIX will also be included in your service. After that, you’ll have to pay the current rate to keep them.

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 HBO and SHOWTIME.

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

HBO Max™

$14.99/mo.

$15.00/mo.

SHOWTIME®

$10.99/mo.

$12.00/mo.

CINEMAX®

$10.99/mo.

$12.00/mo.

STARZ®

$10.99/mo.

$8.99/mo.

EPIX®

$5.99/mo.

$5.99/mo.

Details

View Plans

View Plans

Which sports channels do DIRECTV vs. Xfinity have?

DIRECTV shines in sports delivery with the most 4K sports content. It’s also the exclusive provider of NFL SUNDAY TICKET, which also gives you the NFL RedZone channel along with every out-of-market game. Football fans may rejoice, but if it’s not your bag, then it’s not a big deal—especially considering the cost of NFL SUNDAY TICKET after your first included season.

But mega sports fans will benefit the most with the PREMIER package.

Xfinity may not have something similar to NFL SUNDAY TICKET, 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 Ten Network

CHOICE and above

Ultimate TV

CBS Sports Network

ULTIMATE and above

Ultimate TV

ESPN

All packages

All packages

FS1

Not available

All packages

Golf Channel

ULTIMATE and above

All packages

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

All packages

Data effective 12/10/2020. 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 handles things a bit better, 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

64 out of 100

63 out of 100

If you were to look at the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) report for 2019–2020, you would have seen DIRECTV came out ahead by seven points over Xfinity. This year, Xfinity is only behind by one point.

To put it in perspective, the highest score of 73 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 more channels, a better DVR, and fewer hidden fees, but it does come with a two-year-long contract where your package price will more than double after the first year.

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: Even with second-year increases, 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 NFL SUNDAY TICKET bonuses 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 not only has more channels, but it’s the only way you can get NFL SUNDAY TICKET for those yell-at-the-TV fans. Xfinity has better premium channel pricing month-to-month, but fewer channels overall 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.

We’ve talked about DIRECTV and Xfinity individually if you need more detail, but we’re curious what your experience has been with these providers. Let us know in the comments!

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

Related Articles

Best Home Security Systems of 2022
Whether you want a simple alarm system or a full smart home ensemble, cameras and...
A dog looks out a window and a security camera sits next to it
Best Pet Cameras
Who doesn’t want to watch their furry friends while away at work, on vacation, or...
A man holding a Nest Audio next to text "Nest Audio Review"
Google Audio Review
We test the features and the power of the Google Nest Audio speaker to find...
Ring Smart Lighting Pathlight Review
The Ring Solar Pathlight might be expensive, but it connects with your Ring ecosystem for...