Best TV Provider Comparison: DISH vs. Xfinity
Is Comcast the same as DISH?
They both offer home entertainment, but DISH beats Comcast packages for price, equipment, and availability.
DISH vs. Xfinity TV Packages and Pricing
Comcast vs. DISH TV, which is better?
Comcast service costs more than DISH by almost every metric. For starters, Comcast packages generally cost more than DISH packages for the number of channels you get. In the table below, for example, notice that the Xfinity Extra package costs about the same as DISH America’s Top 120, but comes with 35 fewer channels.
Keep in mind also that Comcast Xfinity pricing only lasts one year. While DISH “intro” prices last your entire term of two years, Comcast charges almost $30 more per month for the Extra package in year two—and that’s only guaranteed for another 12-month period.
Lastly, don’t forget about hidden fees when comparing Comcast and DISH channel packages. Xfinity tacks extra charges onto the advertised price (e.g. activation, installation, HD service, and local channels), while DISH absorbs these costs and doesn’t pad the package price to make up for it.
|Package name||America’s Top 120||Extra|
|Year 1 price||$64.99/mo.||$60.00/mo|
|Year 2 price||$64.99/mo.||$83.70/mo.|
|Year 3+ price||$79.99/mo.||$83.70+/mo.|
|Price protection||2-year TV price guarantee||12-month pricing|
|Contract||2 years||1 year|
|HD service fee||FREE||$10/mo.|
|Premium channels||FREE 3 months*||No free preview period|
|On Demand library||80K titles||10K titles|
|HD DVR receiver||Included or $5/mo. upgrade||$9.95+/mo.|
|Secondary receivers||$5+/mo.||$9.95+/mo. each|
|Installation fee||FREE in up to 6 rooms||$15–$89.99|
3-year price guarantee requires credit qualification and 2-year commitment and covers core programming, local networks, and equipment. Prices include Hopper Duo for qualifying customers. Hopper, Hopper w/Sling or Hopper 3 $5/mo. more. Upfront fees may apply based on credit qualification.
*After 3 mos. you will be billed $20/mo unless you call to cancel.
DISH Network vs. Comcast Technology Comparison
Against virtually any other pay-TV provider, DISH holds up as the clear leader in technology. Xfinity and DISH technology differ mostly in how much their DVRs cost and what you can do with them.
The Xfinity X1 AnyRoom DVR includes a few different receiver models, but even for the most powerful version (see chart below), the X1 falls short in storage space and extra features, yet costs more than a Hopper DVR.
Some versions of the X1 DVR can record up to 6 channels at once, but storage caps at 60 HD hours—barely enough for a couple seasons of an hour-long drama. If you have more than one avid TV watcher on an Xfinity plan, that means you’ll have to regularly battle for DVR space. With the DISH Hopper 3 DVR, that’s a non-issue.
|DISH Hopper 3 Whole-Home DVR||DISH Hopper 2 Smart HD DVR||Xfinity X1 AnyRoom DVR|
|First receiver price||$5/mo. upgrade||$0/mo.||$9.95+/mo.|
|HD storage hours||500||125||60|
|Supported TVs per DVR||7||2||1|
|Secondary receiver price||$5+/mo. each||$5+/mo. each||$9.95+/mo.|
|4K Ultra HD||✔||✔||Select models only|
|Wireless receiver options||✔||✔||✔|
|Integrated Netflix app||✔||✔||✔|
|View multiple channels at once||✔||✔||x|
|AutoHop commercial skips||✔||✔||x|
|Easy primetime recording||✔||✔||x|
|Smart home integration||✔||✔||x|
|Mobile streaming||100% of live, DVR, and On Demand content||100% of live, DVR, and On Demand content||Select live, DVR, and On Demand content|
Watching 4K requires a 4K TV
DISH Network vs. Xfinity TV Service Comparison
Is Comcast cable or satellite?
Comcast Xfinity TV service runs on cable networks in many US metros, while DISH offers satellite TV throughout the country. Both DISH and Xfinity work hard to optimize their networks for the best performance, but when it comes to getting your new service started smoothly, DISH has the edge.
If you opt for professional setup with Xfinity, you could pay an installation fee up to $89.99. You may be eligible for the DIY install instead, but unless you pick up the kit in a store, you’ll pay for shipping—that’s priority shipping, if you don’t want to wait a week to start your Comcast service.
Because satellite dishes require a professional touch, DISH doesn’t offer self-installation. But that won’t cost you extra in time or money. DISH goes above and beyond with installation—it’s free in up to 6 rooms and available as soon as the next day.
|TV and internet availability outside densely populated areas||✔||x|
|Installation appointments as soon as tomorrow||✔||x|
|FREE standard professional installation in 1–6 rooms||✔||x|
|75-minute service window and track-your-technician||✔||x|
+99% signal reliability based on data from set-top boxes. Not a guarantee of signal in all weather conditions.
DISH TV vs. Comcast Streaming Apps
Both DISH and Xfinity offer mobile apps for streaming live TV, downloading DVR content to watch offline, and managing your DVR library. The key difference between the two streaming apps, DISH Anywhere** and Xfinity Stream, lies in your streaming selection:
With DISH, stream 100% of your available live, recorded, and On Demand options wherever you have internet.
With Xfinity, stream your full plan only at home—otherwise, choose from a narrower range of programs.
**Watching live and recorded TV anywhere requires an internet-connected Hopper w/Sling or Hopper 3 and compatible mobile device.
DISH vs. Comcast Internet Options
Comcast Xfinity offers internet bundles in heavily populated areas across 39 states. As a satellite TV provider, DISH doesn’t run its own internet service, but it does partner with several internet providers to bring you internet access at high download speeds virtually anywhere in the United States.
Expect Stellar Satellite TV Customer Service from DISH
DISH tunes in to you—and not just when deciding what channels to offer. Anytime you need help with your current service, call the knowledgeable DISH support staff or look for DIY solutions on the DISH technical help website.