DISH vs. Xfinity TV

Our top satellite and cable TV providers go head to head

BEST OVERALL
Dish
DISH
4 out of 5 stars
4
Channel Count Range
190-290
Prices
$84.99-$114.99
RUNNER UP
Xfinity
Xfinity TV
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Channel Count Range
10-185
Prices
$20-$68.5
Chantel Buchi
Mar 11, 2024
Icon Time To Read6 min read

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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.

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Let's see if DISH or Xfinity TV is available in your area.
Xfinity's 3 for 1 bundle
Deals

Xfinity's 3 for 1 Bundle gives you internet and streaming for $30/mo. with an Xfinity Mobile plan. This is a great deal for those who don't like contracts or price hikes.

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 290 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$84.99/mo.*190
America's Top 120 Plus$99.99/mo.190
America's Top 200$104.99/mo.*240+
America's Top 250$114.99/mo.*290+
* All offers require credit qualification, 2-year commitment with early termination fee and eAutoPay. Prices include Hopper Duo for qualifying customers.

Xfinity's Popular TV package offers a 1-year contract option and gives you more than 125+ channels; most other competitor entry-level packages don't offer that many channels. The Ultimate TV package also offers a 1-year contract option but offers over 185 channels. 

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

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. You'll save $20-$30 per month in your first year 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 ($9/month) and your daughter's bedroom ($9/month), DVR storage ($15/month), HD channels ($10/month), news channels ($15/month), and sports channels ($9/month)?

You'll be paying an extra $67 on top of your monthly bill!

DISH doesn't have these outrageous fees. Although two TV boxes are a bit more expensive with DISH, DISH has a DVR fee of $5 instead of $9 like Xfinity.

DISH doesn't have an HD technology or broadcast fee, and the regional sports broadcast fee is also free, 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), $10.00–$15.00/mo. for Hopper 2 and Hopper 3 (500-hour DVR)

$9.00/mo. (300-hour DVR)

Additional set-top box

$5.00–$7.00/mo.

$9.00/mo.

HD technology fee

NA

NA

DVR fee

$5.00–$10.00/mo.

$0-$20.00/mo.

Broadcast TV fee

NA

Up to $24.95/mo.

Local channels fee

$12.00/mo.

NA

RSN (Regional Sports Network) fee

NA

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 11/02/2023. 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. .

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 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

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 100 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.

Xfinity bundle deal
Deals

Bundle Xfinity TV with Xfinity Internet and enjoy Xfinity's cheapest internet package with double the download speeds. Lock in 150Mbps download speeds for one year with Xfinity's Connect or Connect More plan when you order before May 1. 

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

Both Xfinity and DISH offer all of the premium channels. Although you can subscribe to 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

MAX

$16.00/mo.

$15.99/mo.

Paramount+ with SHOWTIME

$10.00/mo.

$12.00/mo.

CINEMAX

$10.00/mo.

$12.00/mo.

STARZ

$10.00/mo.

$8.99/mo.

MGM+

$7.00/mo.

$5.99/mo.

Data effective 11/02/2023. 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 120 Plus and 200 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).

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 starter package has the following sports channels:

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

Xfinity's Ultimate TV plan has 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

Depending on your needs, both DISH and Xfinity's DVR offer different upsides and downsides.

With DISH, you could get 125 hours of DVR storage for two rooms for a total of $5 (not bad).

Xfinity lets you record and stores up to 150 HD or 300 SD hours and you don't have to worry about erasing. You get to keep them indefinitely and you can record up to six shows at once.

So you 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 hours Hopper 3: 500 hours

Xfinity X1 DVR: 300-600 hours

Set-top box price

Hopper Duo: Included Hopper 2 & 3: $10/mo.

$9.00/mo.

Additional set-top box price

$5.00–$10.00/mo.

$9.00/mo.

DVR fee

$5.00/mo.

$9.00/mo.

*Data effective 11/2/2023.

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, 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 or the Hopper 3 with 500 hours, and you can get an additional TV box for $5–$10 each. Xfinity's X1 DVR is not included, and you must pay $9.00 for your first set-top box. The additional TV boxes are also $9.00 per month, and the 150-hour DVR service is $10–$20 per month! But you can pay $20 per month for the 300-hour DVR service.

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

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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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