At a Glance
Type of Service
Up to 435+/150+ HD
$64.99–$89.99 per month
Up to $32 per month
Starts at $90
Type of Service
Up to 315+/200 HD
$50–$125 per month
Included (Genie DVR and up to three additional receivers)
Data effective 4/13/2017. Not all offers available in all areas.
You know what you want—great, reliable TV with plenty of choice and flexibility at an affordable price. The hard part is figuring out which provider can deliver on those expectations. That’s where the team at CableTV.com can help. We’ve got a wealth of reviews and expert knowledge at our fingertips to draw comparisons, break down where each provider excels, and give you plenty of at-a-glance information so you can choose a package and a provider that’ll fit your priorities.
This comparison is especially interesting because we’re looking at CableTV.com’s top two providers. While the specifics differ between them, both providers are excellent choices that will bring you hours of reliable and blissful entertainment.
Should you choose Verizon or DIRECTV as your TV service provider?
The Verizon Fios fiber-optic network is one of the fastest and most reliable options available for TV and internet. Fios offers a great channel selection and solid customer service without contract requirements. Unfortunately, availability is limited to big cities in a handful of states, and the fees are among the highest you’ll find. That said, if reliable service and a great selection of programming are important to you, Verizon Fios makes a great choice if it’s available in your area.
DIRECTV is another top-rated provider, which doesn’t come as a surprise. The company offers a large selection of HD channels, the best sports packages of any provider, and availability nearly anywhere in the US. DIRECTV also has a reputation for providing excellent customer service. However, you will be required to sign a two-year contract. In the end, though, you can’t go wrong with DIRECTV. And if you’re a sports fan, there really is no other choice that even comes close.
Find and compare Verizon and DIRECTV plans and pricing in your area:
Overall Customer Rating
(3.66 / 5)
- Reliable, speedy fiber-optic network
- Good channel selection
- No-contract options available
- Limited availability
- High installation and equipment fees
- Higher pricing in general
Overall Customer Rating
(3.63 / 5)
- Wide availability
- Outstanding sports packages
- Great customer service
- 2-year contract required
- Possible weather interference
- Low total channel count
Installation & Setup
Verizon Fios(3.76 / 5)
Verizon does relatively well in this category, but that professional installation fee packs a punch. If you are having internet service activated in addition to TV service, the installation fee can run as high as $150. Luckily, there is a self-install option that lets you work around that. The instructions are clear and easy to follow, and the process is simple enough that you should be able to do it
DIRECTV(3.85 / 5)
DIRECTV takes the top spot for installation and setup. This is partly a result of the free installation, but DIRECTV provides good customer service in general—they’ll make sure your contract starts off on the right foot. Since you’ll likely need a satellite dish receiver installed, which is a more intensive process, there is no self-install option. And trust us, this is something to be grateful for—nobody wants to be securing a satellite dish to their roof, especially when TV is on the line.
Verizon Fios(3.75 / 5)
You should have no trouble finding something to watch with Verizon Fios. It takes the lead for channel selection, with 425+ channels in its Ultimate HD package. That includes 140 HD channels, so you can take full advantage of your TV’s capacities. Verizon also offers a large library of on-demand content for all those times you’re too tired to drive to a Redbox, but bored with the movies in your house.
DIRECTV(3.69 / 5)
While DIRECTV doesn’t offer as many channels as Fios, it makes up for it with a wider selection of HD content—up to 200 HD channels. If you want to have the house everyone flocks to for the big game, DIRECTV has your back. Apart from the usual suspects like MLB EXTRA INNINGS and NBA LEAGUE PASS, DIRECTV is the only provider to offer NFL SUNDAY TICKET, which is the best NFL package available by a long shot.
Verizon Fios(4.08 / 5)
Verizon Fios scores very well here. Because it uses fiber optics rather than traditional cable technology, the service is extremely reliable, and there is plenty of bandwidth available, so you can expect things to run smoothly even during congested time slots.
DIRECTV(3.91 / 5)
Since it relies on satellite signals, DIRECTV may occasionally experience interference. This is mainly noticeable during heavy rain or snow. There shouldn’t be any issues with day-to-day usage, though. In fact, DIRECTV is one of the highest-ranking providers for signal reliability: the company advertises 99% reliability and seems to make good on that promise.
Verizon Fios(3.02 / 5)
Verizon has some of the highest equipment and installation fees in the business. The fee for the high-end DVR is particularly hefty, at $32 per month just for the equipment rental. It also don’t offer the same sort of low-end plans as competitors like DIRECTV, with the cheapest offering starting at $64.99. Plans top out at $89.99 per month for Ultimate HD. It’s also worth noting that while there is no contract required, these prices are only locked in for one year, after which they will increase.
DIRECTV(2.92 / 5)
DIRECTV offers packages that cover a wide range of price points, from just $50 per month at the low end all the way up to $125 per month. It also offers free installation, which is always nice. Unfortunately, the two-year contract means that you’ll be subject to early termination fees if you need to break it. The fee is $15, plus $20 per month remaining in your contract. Of course, since you’re much more likely to be able to take DIRECTV with you than you would with cable or fiber service, this may be less of an issue.
Tech Support & Customer Service
Verizon Fios(3.70 / 5)
Verizon scores well in our customer satisfaction survey, and the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) ranks it number one among subscription television services. The Fios support site is easy to use, with all the info you need to handle basic issues. If you need to speak with someone, the online chat support is fast, and someone is always available
DIRECTV(3.77 / 5)
DIRECTV took second place in our survey, and the ACSI ranked it third, just two points behind Verizon. DIRECTV has a reputation for providing good customer service, which is especially noteworthy in an industry typically known for the opposite. The support website is easy enough to use, though navigation is a bit difficult.
Verizon Fios Multi-Room DVR
- Simultaneous Recording: 12
- Storage: 200 hours of HD
- Price: $32/month
- Approximate Dimensions: 2.6″ x 12.6″ x 9.1″
- # of TVs per DVR: Up to 7
- Additional Features: Pause and rewind live TV
- Simultaneous Recording: 5
- Storage: 200 hours of HD
- Price: Included
- Approximate Dimensions: 13″ x 9.5″ x 2″
- # of TVs per DVR: 8
- Additional Features: 4K support, 3D support, Sports Score Bar
Verizon Fios Internet
Verizon Fios Internet puts those fiber-optic cables to good use: the service is fast and reliable, and it has the unique advantage of equal upload and download speeds. (Typically, upload speeds are about one-tenth of the download speeds.) This makes things like uploading photos and videos much faster, so you can spend less time sitting around staring at the loading bar. And when we say much faster, we mean it. In select areas, Verizon offers Fios Instant Internet, which comes with speeds up to 750 Mbps. Fios Internet is available separately or bundled with TV and phone service. Bundles start at $79.99 for the first year.
Because DIRECTV is owned by AT&T, you can bundle your DIRECTV television service with AT&T Internet and Phone service. AT&T offers internet speeds of up to 75 Mbps. Bundles start at $80 per month for DIRECTV and internet access, or $89.99 per month for a Triple Play of TV, internet, and phone. You can also bundle DIRECTV with CenturyLink internet where available.
More About the Providers
Verizon Fios is a subsidiary of Verizon Communications that provides television, internet, and phone service to over five million people across nine states. Fios stands for “fiber-optic service;” its network operates over fiber optic cables, which are meant to be faster and more reliable than traditional coaxial cables. Fios was among the first major providers to offer fiber-optic services to residential customers in the United States.
DIRECTV is an American satellite television service provider that has been based in El Segundo, California, since 1994. Today it provides broadcast TV services to nearly twenty million subscribers in the United States, and another ten million subscribers in Latin America and the Caribbean. DIRECTV was acquired by AT&T in July 2015.
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