DISH vs. Xfinity TV

Our top satellite and cable TV providers go head to head

BEST OVERALL
Available channels
290
Monthly price
$64.99$104.99
RUNNER UP
Available channels
220
Monthly price
$49.99$59.99
Chantel Buchi
Staff Writer, TV & Streaming
Read More
Published on March 29, 2021
7 min read

Is DISH satellite TV or Xfinity cable TV best for you?

We'll help you find the answer by going over monthly prices, fees, channels, and equipment. And trust us, you'll leave here knowing exactly which one is the perfect fit for you.

Without further ado, let's get into the details of this epic battle and eliminate the weaker opponent.

Let's see if DISH or Xfinity TV is available in your area.
Save big: add Xfinity internet and mobile
Deals

These Xfinity holiday deals should put a twinkle in your eye if you're searching for a new internet or cable TV plan:

  • Northeastern US: Get a $100 Visa prepaid card with Performance Pro, Blast!, and Gigabit plans—or pair your Blast! or Gigabit plan with Xfinity Mobile to save $30 a month.*
  • Central US: Save $30/mo. with the Superfast internet plan + Xfinity Mobile.**
  • Western US: Save $10/mo. on the Connect plan or $30/mo. on the Fast plan with Xfinity Mobile, plus get a $100 Visa prepaid card with your order.

Ready? See the Xfinity TV, internet, and mobile deals in your area.

Save on Xfinity TV + Mobile + Internet

Data effective 11/22/2021. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
*Offer ends 12/06/2021. Limited time offer. Restrictions apply. Not available in all areas. New residential customers only. Limited to Blast!® Internet or Gigabit. Offer requires enrollment in both automatic payments and paperless billing. Must enroll within 30 days of placing the order. Cards issued by MetaBank®, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa® U.S.A. Inc. Cards will not have cash access and can be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.
**Offer ends 01/10/2022. Limited time offer. Restrictions apply. Not available in all areas. New residential customers only. Limited to Superfast. Paperless Billing and Automatic Payments with bank account required, otherwise monthly service charge automatically increases by $10 (or $5 if enrolling with credit or debit card information). Discount will appear on statement within 45 days of enrollment. 1-year minimum term contract required.
†Offer ends 01/10/2022. Limited time offer. Restrictions apply. Not available in all areas. New residential customers only. Limited to Connect. Paperless Billing and Automatic Payments required. Discount will appear on statement within 45 days of enrollment. 1-year minimum term contract required. Cards issued by MetaBank®, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa® U.S.A. Inc. Cards will not have cash access and can be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.

DISH vs. Xfinity TV price comparison

Xfinity has an inexpensive entry-level plan, but DISH offers more channels

If you're looking to save the maximum amount of money while getting the most of the popular channels we all love, you'll want Xfinity. The $50 per month plan is ideal for those who want channels ranging from Disney Channel to ESPN to HGTV.

And if you want more than 220 channels, paying a bit extra for DISH will be the best option for you. You'll get more channels for sports, movies, and entertainment.

DISH TV prices and plans
Plan
Price
TV channel count
Details
America's Top 120$64.99/mo.*190
America's Top 120+$79.99/mo.190+
America's Top 200$89.99/mo.240+
America's Top 250$99.99/mo.^290+
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* for 24. months. Everyday Price $94.99/mo. New customers only. All offers require 2-year commitment with early termination fee and eAutopay. Price includes Hopper Duo for qualifying customers.
for 24. months. Everyday Price $99.99/mo. New customers only. All offers require 2-year commitment with early termination fee and eAutopay. Price includes Hopper Duo for qualifying customers.
for 24. months. Everyday Price $109.99/mo. New customers only. All offers require 2-year commitment with early termination fee and eAutopay. Price includes Hopper Duo for qualifying customers.
^ for 24. months. Everyday Price $119.99/mo. New customers only. All offers require 2-year commitment with early termination fee and eAutopay. Price includes Hopper Duo for qualifying customers.

With Xfinity, you get two options that determine your monthly pricing: no contract or a 1-year contract.

The Extra and Preferred Plus plans require a 1-year contract, but you'll save $20-$30 per month. That's $240-$360 you could save in one year! You know that money is better spent on date nights.

Or, if you're afraid of commitment, you could go with the Digital Starter and Digital Preferred plans, so you don't have to worry about a contract and early termination fees.

Xfinity TV prices and plans
Plan
Price
TV channel count
Details
Extra$49.99°140+
Preferred Plus$59.99°220+
Digital Starter$70.99**140+
Digital Preferred$89.49**220+
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
° For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
** With No Term Agreement

DISH vs. Xfinity TV contracts

DISH requires a 2-year contract if you want the advertised pricing above. We don't like contracts either, and we wish they weren't a thing, but we like the idea of saving $10-15 per month.

Xfinity requires a 1-year contract if you want the cheaper pricing (in this case, only the Preferred Plus plan). You'll save $20-$30 per month to put toward your date nights, or you could use this money to go toward Xfinity's list of fees (ugh).

DISH vs. Xfinity TV hidden fees

Xfinity has the most fees and the most expensive fees we've seen from a TV provider. Xfinity is one of the best cable TV service providers in the US, but this is the biggest downside.

So what if you need a TV box for the living room ($5/month) and your daughter's bedroom ($10/month), DVR storage ($15/month), HD channels ($10/month), news channels ($20/month), and sports channels ($15/month)?

You'll be paying an extra $75 on top of your monthly bill!

DISH doesn't have these outrageous fees. Although two TV boxes are $5 more expensive with DISH, DISH has a DVR fee of $5 instead of $15 like Xfinity.

DISH doesn't have an HD technology or broadcast fee, and the regional sports broadcast fee is only $3 instead of $10-$15.

As for DISH's local channels fee, it's optional. You can choose to remove ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC from your lineup to save $12 per month (but we know you probably want to stay updated with the local and world news).

DISH and Xfinity TV fees
Fee
DISH
Xfinity

Installation fee

Free

Free

Set-top box fee

Hopper Duo included (125-hour DVR), $15.00/mo. for Hopper 3 (500-hour DVR)

$5.00/mo. (300-hour DVR)

Additional set-top box

$5.00/mo.

$9.95/mo. (600-hour DVR)

DVR fee

$5.00/mo.

$14.95/mo.

HD technology fee

NA

$10.00/mo.

Broadcast TV fee

NA

Up to $19.45/mo.

Local channels fee

$12.00/mo.

NA

RSN (Regional Sports Network) fee

$3.00/mo.

Up to $14.45/mo.

Early termination fee

$20.00 for every month left on your contract

$10.00 for every month left on your contract

Data effective 3/15/2021. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

We understand that you could become unhappy with the service, you could move, or you want to cut out some bills to save money. If you want to avoid cancellation fees, check out our guide to try to get around them.

DISH vs. Xfinity TV bundles

DISH and Xfinity provide many bundling options to fit your needs

We like the bundle options for both DISH and Xfinity TV, and bundling is so convenient because you only have to pay one bill.

DISH has you choose from one of the four TV plans and then one of the three internet plans, so it's somewhat more customizable to your needs. You can get our favorite TV plan, America's Top 200, and the Frontier FiOS internet plan if you have a family who uses the WiFi all at once.

Choose from broadband/wired, fiber, and satellite internet, and choose the download speeds you and your family needs. If you need help deciding, check out our Best DISH Bundles piece.

A quick comparison of DISH's internet plans
Plan
Monthly price*
Download speeds
Connection type
Details

Frontier

$32.99/mo.

Up to 45 Mbps

Broadband

Frontier Fiberptic Gig

$74.99/mo.

Up to 940 Mbps

Fiber optic

Viasat

$50.00/mo.

Up to 100 Mbps

Satellite

Xfinity has so many bundles to choose from that this provider makes it feel like it's customized, as well.

For example, there are plans with higher download speeds for a higher price than what is shown in the table below. Such as the Choice TV Select Double Play, it also comes with download speeds of 200 Mbps, but for $15 more per month.

You'll find all of your options at checkout. And keep in mind, these prices require a 1-year contract.

A quick comparison of DISH's bundles
Plan
Monthly price*
Channels
Download speeds
Details

Choice TV Select Double Play

$39.99/mo.

10+

100 Mbps

X1 Saver Pro+ Double Play

$79.99/mo.

140+

200 Mbps

X1 Preferred Pro+ Double Play

$104.99/mo.

220+

600 Mbps

*Data effective 3/15/2021. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

DISH vs. Xfinity TV channels

You won't go wrong with either service

Both DISH and Xfinity TV have all of the popular channels. You'll just need to make sure your other favorite channels are in the package you want.

For example, if you need channels like ACCN, Pop, Comet, or Fuse, you won't get them with Xfinity. And one favorite channel Xfinity has that DISH doesn't is Telemundo.

But the good news for those who want to save cash: most of the popular channels are offered in the entry-level package for both TV providers.

DISH and Xfinity TV channels
Channel
DISH
Xfinity

Fox News

Yes

Yes

ESPN

Yes

Yes

Univision

Yes

Yes

USA

Yes

Yes

MSNBC

Yes

Yes

The CW

Yes

Yes

DISH vs. Xfinity TV premium channels

Xfinity offers all of the premium channels, while DISH doesn't offer HBO channels or CINEMAX (ask us how we're supposed to live without our daily movie marathon).

Although you can subscribe to HBO Max and CINEMAX as a standalone service, it's nice having all of your premium channels in one place.

Xfinity wins this round because we need Mrs. Doubtfire or Pitch Perfect playing in the background while working from home.

DISH and Xfinity TV premium channels
Channel
DISH price
Xfinity TV price

HBO

Not available

$15.00/mo.

SHOWTIME

$10.00/mo.

$12.00/mo.

CINEMAX

Not available

$12.00/mo.

STARZ

$10.00/mo.

$8.99/mo.

EPIX

$7.00/mo.

$5.99/mo.

Data effective 3/15/2021. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

DISH vs. Xfinity TV sports channels

Sports channels are super vital in the TV world, and these channels can make or break a TV provider. We can confidently say that DISH wins this round immensely.

With DISH's America's Top 200 and 250 plans, you'll get more than 30 sports channels. And you can get DISH's Multi-Sports pack ($13/month) for more sports channels like MLB Network Strike Zone, NFL RedZone Channel, and ESPN Goal Line. (And trust us, you'll want the NFL RedZone Channel if you're an NFL fan and a fantasy player).

You can get up to 14 sports channels with the Preferred Plus and Digital Preferred plans, but you'll actually be losing some important sports channels when you upgrade to this plan, like the ESPN and FS1 channels (boooo!).

DISH has the following sports channels:

  • ACCN
  • Big Ten Network
  • CBS Sports Network
  • ESPN, ESPN2
  • ESPNews
  • ESPNU
  • FS1, FS2
  • Golf Channel
  • Longhorn Network
  • MLB Extra Innings
  • MLB Network
  • NBA TV
  • NBC Sports Network
  • NFL Network
  • NHL Center Ice
  • NHL Network
  • PAC-12 Network
  • SEC Network
  • Tennis Channel
  • TUDN
  • TUDNxtra 1-11
  • Zona Fútbol

Xfinity's Extra and Starter packages have the following sports channels:

  • ESPN, ESPN2
  • FS1
  • Stadium
  • NBC Sports Network
  • PAC-12 Network
  • Tennis Channel
  • Golf Channel

Xfinity's Preferred Plus and Digital Preferred packages have the following sports channels:

  • CBS Sports Network
  • ESPNews
  • ESPNU
  • FS2
  • MLB Network
  • NBA TV
  • NFL Network
  • NHL Network
  • Olympic Channel
  • Outdoor Channel
  • SEC Network
  • Sportsman Channel
  • TUDN
  • Zona Futbol

DISH vs. Xfinity TV DVR

Both DISH and Xfinity's DVR offer different upsides and downsides, but it'll all come down to your needs.

With DISH, you could get 125 hours of DVR storage for two rooms for a total of $10 (not bad).

Xfinity charges you $30 for two set-top boxes and the DVR service (three times the amount!). But you'll get 600 hours of DVR storage when you order more than one set-top box for your home.

So you just have to decide if you'd like a small storage space because it's only you and a partner in the house, or if you'd like to avoid family conflicts, you'll want that 600 hours of DVR storage.

DISH vs. Xfinity TV DVR comparison
DVR details
DISH
Xfinity

DVR storage space

Hopper Duo: 125 hoursHopper 3: 500 hours

Xfinity X1 DVR: 300-600 hours

Set-top box price

Hopper Duo: IncludedHopper 3: $15/mo.

$5.00/mo.

Additional set-top box price

$5.00/mo.

$9.95/mo.

DVR fee

$5.00/mo.

$14.95/mo.

*Data effective 3/15/2021.

Recap: DISH takes the crown

Both have their ups and downs, but which one is best for you?

This versus piece is honestly a tricky one. You might consider going with a cable TV over satellite TV, but if we were to compare them side by side, they're almost equal.

DISH has more channels, including sports channels, but it does require a 2-year contract.

Xfinity offers all premium channels and has a bigger DVR storage space, but its sports channel lineup and fees list are less enticing.

  • Pricing and contracts: DISH and Xfinity are neck and neck when it comes to monthly pricing. DISH gives you decent pricing for the number of channels it offers, but you have to sign a 2-year contract for the promotional pricing. Xfinity has great pricing with its 1-year contract plans, but the number of fees is outrageous. So you could be paying the same price with both depending on how many channels you want and how many additional fees you'll need to pay for your perfect service.
  • Channels: DISH offers the most channels between the two, and this is where you'll get more sports, movie, and entertainment channels. But you'll get all of the popular channels with both providers. DISH doesn't have HBO or CINEMAX, while Xfinity offers all of the premium channels.
  • Sports Channels: DISH offers over 30 sports channels, and that's hard to beat. Xfinity offers up to 14 sports channels in its higher-tier package, but the Preferred package doesn't even have ESPN, FS1, or the Tennis or Golf channels.
  • DVR: DISH includes the Hopper Duo with 125 hours of DVR storage, and you can get an additional TV box for $5 each and pay $5 per month for the DVR service. Xfinity's X1 DVR is not included, and you must pay $5 for your first set-top box. The additional TV boxes are $10 per month, and the DVR service is $15! But you do get 600 hours of DVR storage when you have more than one set-top box in your home.

If you're still on the fence, you can dive into the details in our full reviews:

What do you think?

Do you have DISH or Xfinity TV? What's your experience with it been? Or do you like a different provider better? Drop us a comment below!

Find the best TV providers in your area.
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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  • Betsey Kirkemo

    Well, I’m looking at my shiny new Dish bill and you can take this into further consideration: I have America’s Top 250+ and it costs $84.99/month. The next line item is the $10 local channels fee. I have the Hopper and 2 Joeys. The cost for Hopper DVR service is $26/mo and each Joey is $7. That’s $50 of fees above the monthly service (which is more expensive than you published). The reason I’m looking at a switch is because I’m sick and tired of Dish’s outages when they renegotiate with the carriers. I missed the MLB All Star game in July because of the Fox outage. I missed a Broncos game and Thanksgiving football in November when there was a CBS outage. I never had this problem with DirecTv. And it’s discouraging considering how often Dish has these issues. They certainly don’t credit consumers when they have these outages either.

    • Kick the Can

      Me too, but I don’t think Comcast/Xfinity is any better about fees. Also, you are required to have high speed internet service to run the Dish DVR & Joeys (we do – from Xfinity). I am now considering switching over to cable from Xfinity – which I hate, but for $220 a month for Internet & Dish I am going too broke to care anymore. I’m going to find out how much the drive out price is for the xfinity 220 package with all the fees before I switch. I have to have Destination America. Damn it all.

      My Current Services
      Monthly Services $ 104.99
      America’s Top 250 $ 84.99
      HD 250 $ 10.00
      Local Channels $ 10.00

      Equipment $ 26.00
      Hopper DVR Service $ 12.00
      Joey Receiver $ 7.00
      Joey Receiver $ 7.00

      Monthly Total $ 131.02
      Monthly Services $ 104.99
      Equipment $ 26.00
      FCC Regulatory Fee $ 0.03

    • Deodric Marquise Buchanan

      Why not switch back to Directv Call me at 865-406-9819 and I can get you back on with Directv again as if you have 3 tvs that is only $70 a month for the choice package with 185+ channels and NFL Sunday ticket. it goes up to like $110 but it is still worth switching if they are adding on $50 of fees. All tv providers that I work with have a regional sports fee though at higher packages as otherwise they would not be able to show those sports channels to your area.