Xfinity vs. DISH
At a Glance
Data effective 11/9/2017. Pricing subject to change. Not all offers available in all areas.
Xfinity or DISH—which is worth your hard-earned money?
Choose Xfinity for better bundles and reliable service.
Comcast’s Xfinity service provides a reliable experience with no contract. Xfinity also offers great bundle options, thanks to its fast cable internet. Our biggest concern with Xfinity is in the customer service department, though the reputation may be worse than the reality. We recommend Xfinity to anyone looking to bundle services or avoid possible satellite issues.
Choose DISH for good customer service and affordable TV packages.
DISH packages offer more channels than Xfinity for a similar price. The company is also widely recognized as the customer service leader in the industry. Where DISH falls short is in the bundle department because it has to partner with other companies to provide internet. We recommend DISH to anyone who values great customer service and wants the best value for money.
Customer Satisfaction Ratings
To see customer satisfaction scores for all major television providers, check out our 2017’s Best TV Providers in Customer Satisfaction survey. This survey represents the real experiences of real customers, so we’ll reference it frequently throughout this comparison.
Overall Customer Rating
- No contract required
- Large on-demand library
- Reliable service
- Fast internet speeds
- Poor customer service reputation
- Relatively low DVR storage
- Relatively expensive
Overall Customer Rating
- Nationwide availability
- Excellent customer service
- Powerful DVR system
- Affordable packages
- Vulnerable to weather interference
- Confusing internet options
- Requires two-year service agreement
Installation & Setup
Xfinity installation is pretty boring. That’s good news for consumers—you shouldn’t have anything to worry about when getting your service set up. There’s a $60 fee, which is not great but also not the worst we’ve seen. There’s also a self-install kit if you’d rather save the money and set it up yourself. Honestly, we’d recommend the self-install route for most people. It’s not too complicated, and the instructions are easy to follow.
DISH installation is a little more exciting (for a TV installation process, at least). Why? Well, it’s free. There’s no self-install option with DISH, but since there’s no cost for the professional installation, you might as well let the technician do their thing. The company also guarantees a seventy-five-minute appointment window and allows you to track the technician’s location prior to the appointment.
Xfinity Installation Fee: $60
DISH Installation Fee: None
Neither one of these providers offers a huge channel count compared to some of their competitors. That said, the scores indicate that customers are largely satisfied with what they do offer. Xfinity also has a very large (like 70,000 titles large) on-demand library to help make up for it, and it offers plenty of sports and premium channels like HBO® and Cinemax®.
DISH ranks a few spots higher when it comes to channel selection, and it offers a few more channels compared to Xfinity, but both providers have all the basics covered. DISH has a great sports selection, with channels like NFL Network and MLB Network, as well as HBO®, Cinemax®, Showtime®, and STARZ®. DISH also offers on-demand content, though not nearly as much as Xfinity. The company advertises around 20,000 titles.
Xfinity Channels: 260+
DISH Channels: 290+
Say what you will about Comcast, but Xfinity is one of the most reliable TV and internet services around. The company ranks near the top of our survey, with a significant improvement in ranking over last year. Comcast also provides a handy tool to check the status of connections in your area in case you do experience an issue.
DISH advertises 99% signal reliability, and for the most part, the company delivers. You should rarely have an issue with satellite reception, and if you do, DISH will come out and try to determine if your equipment is misconfigured or otherwise causing problems. There is the possibility for some interference during bad weather, like very heavy rain or snow, but for the most part you should be fine.
Xfinity Type of Service: Cable
DISH Type of Service: Satellite
Xfinity’s pricing is a little high compared to DISH. There is a solid selection of packages, and you get a decent amount for your money. But it’s not so much that Xfinity is expensive—it’s more like DISH is just really affordable. TV-only plans start at $49.99 per month for 140 channels, though we are partial to the HD Preferred XF Triple Play, which offers 220 channels, 100 Mbps internet, and unlimited nationwide calling for $119.99.
DISH pricing starts at $49.99 like Xfinity, but DISH tends to offer more bang for your buck at any given price point. For example, that $49.99 package gets you 140 channels with Xfinity and 190 channels with DISH. This value is part of what makes DISH the highest-ranking provider in billing satisfaction. Our favorite DISH package is America’s Top 250™, which gets you 290+ channels for $79.99 per month.
Xfinity Price: $49.99–$119.99 per month
DISH Price: $49.99–$79.99 per month
Tech Support & Customer Service
So Xfinity is a Comcast company. You may have heard some rumors about Comcast and customer service. In our experience, using Xfinity support was pretty average though. We weren’t blown away, but we certainly haven’t had the kind of experience that leads folks to call Comcast the most hated company in America. In our survey, Xfinity ranked around the middle. The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), which we reference often, gave Xfinity a 58, putting it below the industry average of 64.
DISH has been recognized for years as the industry leader in customer service. It’s topped our survey for the last three years, and the ACSI puts the company in fourth place with an above-average score of 67. What makes DISH so good? The company makes a big deal out of listening to customers—its mascot is even called the Spokeslistener (rather than Spokesperson). It seems to be working in keeping customers happy, that’s for sure.
Xfinity offers a great internet service. With speeds ranging from 10 Mbps up to 2,000 Mbps (yes, you read that right), there’s enough speed available to satisfy even the greediest of downloaders. And all that speed is backed up with reliable service and reasonable pricing. The best deal for most people is the Blast! Pro package, offering 150 Mbps speed for $59.99 per month. If you want that 2 Gbps X1 Gigabit Pro, it’ll cost you—those plans run a whopping $299.95 per month.
DISH’s internet situation is a little convoluted. The company itself no longer offers internet service. Instead, it partners with local providers and the national satellite internet provider HughesNet to offer bundles. The issue with that is there is a ton of variation in cost and availability, so sorting through your options can be a little tough. Adding HughesNet service to a DISH plan starts at $49.99 per month.
More About the Providers
Xfinity is a national TV, internet, and phone provider owned by Comcast. Xfinity is one of the largest providers of cable internet and TV in the United States, serving over seventy-two million households in forty states.
DISH is one of the largest satellite TV providers in the US. Founded in 1997, DISH now serves nearly fourteen million customers across the US.