Type of Service
DIRECTV's services are brought to you via satellite. As encrypted signals are sent from a broadcast center up to an orbiting satellite, the satellite then broadcasts the encrypted TV signals over a large area. The signals will then be picked up by satellite receivers and transmitted, decoded, and displayed on your TV screen.
Satellite TV is preferable over cable for the following reasons:
- Satellite TV has a larger coverage area
- Anything sent out via satellite can be received by thousands
- Satellite TV generally offers more channels for a lower price
Xfinity brings you a television signal via underground coaxial cables. As the signal is picked up by your cable provider's facility, the TV provider will send the content by radio frequency via the coaxial cable. The signal will travel to an outdoor cable box, which will then send the signals to the various TVs in your home.
Cable TV is preferable over satellite for the following reasons:
- Cable TV is less likely to be affected by the weather
- Cable companies are more likely to bundle services
- Cable companies are more likely to offer month-to-month contracts
Unfortunately, cable TV is restricted by location — meaning depending on where you live, you might not have access to Xfinity's services.
Satellite TV is available just about anywhere — so even if you live in a rural area, you can still get DIRECTV's services.
Xfinity offers a few standalone Comcast cable TV packages*. However, the company strongly recommends customers package their cable TV with internet and phone services to get even better savings.
Xfinity's plans are extremely simple and straightforward but also keep in mind that channel availability, pricing, and any offers will be different depending on where you live.
Since DIRECTV is a satellite provider, you won't have to worry about your location determining your monthly bill. Whether you're on the East Coast or West Coast, you'll get the same channels at the same prices. Moreover, when it comes to the price per channel, DIRECTV offers a great value.
DIRECTV does require you to sign a two-year contract. While DIRECTV's shockingly low introductory prices might tempt you, be aware that after the first year the prices will increase significantly.
Xfinity offers three different cable packages, the Digital Starter, Digital Preferred, and the Digital Premier. While the introductory prices are much higher than DIRECTV's, you do have the option to sign up for a year-long contract or a month to month contract. However, keep in mind that signing up for a contract will shave $10 off your total cost, but if you're not sure how long you're going to have Xfinity's service, then the month-to-month is the better way to go.
Both Xfinity and DIRECTV offer solid DVRs that have a decent amount of storage, user-friendly interfaces, and the ability to record multiple shows simultaneously.
Check out Xfinity's X1 features and specs to find out if this DVR meets your TV watching needs:
- Record up to 4 shows at once while watching live TV
- 500 GB storage capacity
- Record up to 100 hours of HD video
- Use voice commands to control the DVR
- Access social media from the TV
The X1 definitely comes with a few cool bells and whistles. The ability to use voice commands to control your DVR and the fact that you can access your social media from your TV is impressive. However, the DVR only has 500 GB of storage, which is about half the storage space the Genie offers. Additionally, you'll have to pay about $10 per month for the X1.
DIRECTV's Genie is an excellent option for the average TV watching household.
Here are some notable features you'll get with DIRECTV's Genie:
- Record up to 5 shows simultaneously
- 1 TB storage capacity
- Record up to 200 hours of HD video
- Multiview sports bar with the NFL Sunday Ticket
- 4K Ultra HD Support
Luckily for you, the Genie comes included with all of DIRECTV's packages — meaning you don't have to worry about paying an additional monthly fee. The Genie is also a great DVR for sports fans as you can watch up to eight live sports channels simultaneously. However, if you want any additional receivers, the Genie Mini is an extra $7 per month.
With the Xfinity My Account app, you can pay bills, check for service outages, troubleshoot Xfinity equipment, and explore your TV channel lineup. Although the My Account app doesn't let you turn your phone into a remote, you can download the Xfinity TV Remote app.
DIRECTV's mobile app allows you to manage your DVR, watch live TV or On Demand shows, and use the app as your remote control.
Unfortunately, no matter which TV provider you go with, you can't escape fees (whether it's an early termination fee, installation fee, etc.).
If you go with Xfinity you might see the following charges on your monthly bill:
- Broadcast Fee — up to $10 per month
- Regional Sports Fee — up to $8.25 per month
- X1 DVR — $9.95 per month
- Premium Channels start at $10 per month
- Professional Installation Fee is generally between $40–$80
If you choose DIRECTV, you might see these charges appear on your monthly bill:
- Activation Fee — $19.95
- Non-Activation Fee — $150 per receiver
- Early Termination Fee — $20 per month for each remaining month of the agreement
- DVR Service Fee— $6 per month
- HD Access Fee— $10 per month
DIRECTV and Xfinity offer around the same premium channel options. Nonetheless, Xfinity offers The Movie Channel, and DIRECTV does not. So if The Movie Channel is a deal-breaker for you, then go with Xfinity.
Customers will need to sign up for DIRECTV's PREMIER™ package to get the most HD channels. The PREMIER package includes all the basic network channels and HD simulcasts.
Xfinity customers can add on a Sports Entertainment Package to any TV plan with 140+ channels for just $9.99 per month. Sports fans can enjoy NFL RedZone from the NFL Network, the MLB Network, ESPNU, and more.
NFL fans will definitely want to go with DIRECTV as customers who purchase any TV package from CHOICE™ or above will get the NFL Sunday Ticket at no extra cost — keep in mind that you'll need an internet-connected Genie HD DVR.
According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) 2018–2019 report, DIRECTV received a customer satisfaction score of 66 out of 100. Xfinity received a 57 out of 100.
If you need help Xfinity offers 24/7 assistance, live chat, and a number of help and support articles.
DIRECTV offers similar services as the company has 24/7 technical support, live chat, and forums. There is even an option to reach out to the company via social media.
There are pros and cons for each TV provider. DIRECTV is available just about anywhere and you can pick from several different packages. The package you choose will determine your channel lineup but regardless each package comes with several popular channels.
On the other hand, Xfinity TV is an excellent choice for people who want a bit more flexibility with their TV plan and for those who want a bit more simplicity when it comes to picking a TV package.
While a few monthly fees and small charges are expected to appear on your bill, be sure to ask about each one and make sure you're not paying for something you're not using.