Should you choose DIRECTV or Xfinity from Comcast as your TV service provider? As with most things, it depends on what you’re looking for.

Xfinity is the largest cable TV company in America, with over 22 million customers across 40 states. DIRECTV’s isn’t far behind, partnering with providers like AT&T and CenturyLink, to serve 20 million customers. As we look at side-by-side comparisons of these two popular and widely available providers, keep in mind that this is also a comparison of two different types of service. Satellite and cable technology each have their own drawbacks and your choice will depend on which type of service works well for your household.


Customer Satisfaction Comparisons



Overall customer rating

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)


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Overall customer rating

3.63 Stars (3.63 / 5)


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Installation & Set-Up
3.51 Stars (3.51 / 5)

Xfinity’s lower ratings in this category are likely due to their installation fee, which totals $50 depending on the service area. Comcast does offer two-hour service appointment windows to improve customer satisfaction with their installation.


Installation & Set-Up
3.85 Stars (3.85 / 5)

DIRECTV has a strong performance in installation and set-up, largely due to the absence of any fees and ease of install. But since they require a two-year contract for service, some would argue you’re paying this cost in other ways.


Channel Selection
3.69 Stars (3.69 / 5)

Xfinity’s falls just short of the mark on channel selection with 260 channels and 130 in HD.  They do have a larger on-demand library than DIRECTV.


Channel Selection 
3.69 Stars (3.69 / 5)

DIRECTV gets close to 315 channels with 200 in HD. They also have NFL Sunday Ticket and more options for Spanish, sports, and movie packages.


TV Signal Reliability 
2.1 Stars (2.1 / 5)

With such a wide service area, Comcast should have reliability dialed in. This lower rating may be a factor of frustration with intermittent outages.


TV Signal Reliability 
3.91 Stars (3.91 / 5)

Despite the weather-related concerns that sometimes drive satellite customers to distraction, DIRECTV does comparatively well in this category of service satisfaction.


Monthly Bill (Pricing)
3.92 Stars (3.92 / 5)

These Comcast ratings reflect dissatisfaction with steep pricing increases after the promo period, hidden fees, and a confusing billing system.


Monthly Bill (Pricing) 
2.92 Stars (2.92 / 5)

DIRECTV doesn’t fare much better then Comcast in this category due to wide-spread dissatisfaction with pricing and billing across the industry.


Tech Support & Customer Service
3.77 Stars (3.77 / 5)

Xfinity’s has a notorious reputation for poor customer service, but that’s been improving in recent years. They still have a long way to go to turn this rating around, however.

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Technical Support & Customer Service 
3.85 Stars (3.85 / 5)

DIRECTV is indeed number one in customer satisfaction, but that ranking is a little deceptive. Getting mediocre reviews from a majority of your customers isn’t a difficult endeavor in an industry plagued with customer dissatisfaction. The difference here between Xfinity from Comcast and DIRECTV is not a huge one.

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Xfinity TV Equipment


  • Record up to 4 shows
  • Playback or live in every room
  • Stores up to 60 hours HD programming
  • Access apps on your TV
  • Up to 500 GB storage


DirecTV Equipment
The Genie
  • Record up to 5 shows
  • Playback or live in every room
  • Wireless adapter for outside viewing
  • Stores up to 200 hours HD programming
  • Watch 2 shows at the same time
  • Sports Tune-In
  • Available in 4K
  • Up to 1,000 GB storage


Internet Options


Cable Internet Service Satisfaction Rating


3.37 Stars (3.37 / 5)



  • Less HD, fewer channel choices
  • Customer Service concerns
  • Confusing billing and hidden fees
  • Less DVR storage and capacity
  • Data caps (1 TB)


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AT&T Internet Service Satisfaction Rating

DIRECTV is owned by AT&T, and can be bundled. Enter your zip for options in non-AT&T areas.

AT&T Fiber 3.37 Stars (3.37 / 5)

AT&T DSL 3.37 Stars (3.37 / 5)


  • Two-year contract
  • Top tier packages more expensive
  • Weather related reliability concerns
  • Less options for on-the-go viewing and on demand
  • Slower internet connections when bundles with AT&T DSL or CenturyLink DSL service

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The Verdict


Choose DIRECTV for more channels and HD options, better customer service, and superior equipment

DIRECTV presents clear advantages for those looking to get the most HD and channel selection. Sports and movie fans will find DIRECTV packages more robust and the Genie allows for twice the storage as Xfinity’s DVR. But all of this choice and extra capacity comes at the cost of commitment. DIRECTV doesn’t charge an installation fee, but they will require a 2-year contract. If you want the top-tier package that bundles services with other providers like AT&T, you’ll pay more per month even with a great promotional rate. Customers looking for a no-hassle experience with their TV service provider may feel the cost is worth it. DIRECTV’s ratings for strong customer service and support outshine Comcast’s troubled reputation, despite some slip in satisfaction ratings over last year’s customer service survey.

Choose Xfinity from Comcast for signal reliability, affordable bundles, fast Internet, and no contract option

When is Xfinity from Comcast a better choice? If you’re renting and unable to mount a satellite to your structure, then providers like DIRECTV are not an option. Don’t love venturing out into the snow and mounting a ladder to smack snow off your dish with a broom? Then think twice about DIRECTV if you live in rural areas that experience deluges of snow and other frequent, weather related outages. If on-demand options and mobile viewing is a priority for you, you may want to stick with Xfinity’s larger library of content and reliable mobile app. And finally, when it comes to price, it’s hard to beat Comcast’s affordable bundling options that provide TV, high-speed Internet, and phone for under a hundred dollars a month.


If you’d like to learn more about DIRECTV or Xfinity by Comcast, please see our in-depth editorial provider reviews. They give a detailed look at each company’s services and history along with areas of concern, summaries of equipment, installation processes, fees, billing issues, package details, and much, much more.

Want to see the complete data and ratings for TV providers? Check out the full run-down from CableTV’s 2016 Provider Customer Satisfaction Survey here.


Find out  if Xfinity and DirecTV are available in your area: