Comcast Xfinity TV vs DIRECTV

McCall Martin
McCall Martin | Senior Editor
When it comes to TV service providers, there are a number of options. But if you're here, you've probably done a little research and narrowed your selection to Xfinity or DIRECTV. 

DIRECTV is a digital satellite service provider that offers customers hundreds of full-time HD channels, low starting costs, and the ever so popular NFL Sunday Ticket. 

Xfinity is a cable TV provider that offers substantial channel lineups that are sure to please even the pickiest TV watchers, and Xfinity's X1 DVR allows you to access both live TV and Netflix without having to switch remotes. 
Comcast Xfinity TV logo
#8 Comcast Xfinity TV
6.5 Overall Score
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Comcast Xfinity TV

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Comcast Xfinity TV

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Comcast Xfinity TV

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Reviews for Comcast Xfinity TV

Helpful Favorable Review

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Sheila Burns

April 4th, 2023


I was very pleased with my Comcast Xfinity TV service in my daughters apartment. Never had trouble with connection and had a lot of channels to choose from. They have great customer service. Self hook-up was very easy.

Helpful Critical Review

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J. P.

April 4th, 2023

Worst week of my life dealing with Xfinity cable and their customer service over the phone and in-store. Switch from DIRECTV last week and had at least seven hours of phone calls to get the service correct they never could. I was lied to disconnected. Never spoke to a US representative every call took at least 45 minutes. Two technicians came out and the service still was not working properly. I went back to DIRECTV a week later any reason you have for switching it’s not good enough. Trust me.

Reviews for DIRECTV

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Kevin Ortiz

May 30th, 2023


Not one of the best experiences I’ve had. It brings too much in Puerto Rico for me to have the service and reliable manner. There was a time where in one month I only was able to use this service three times. I have to say the customer service was really involved put the technology behind. The service was not good enough for the needs of my family. It was also very hard to cancel since they would not take no for an answer

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April 6th, 2023


My service was installed March 22, 2023 Your last bill of $96.23 was for the period ending Mar 20.” See Attached The bill was for services “Mar. 21 - Mar. 21”, I paid $192.46 for services before my service was installed. See attachments My next autopay will be for $96.23 due April 12, 2023, $288.69 in 23 days. Promos promised were not provided.

The Final Word

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.

Contract Length
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.

DVR Receiver
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.

Mobile App
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

Premium Channels
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.

HD Channels
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.

Customer Service
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. 

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