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If you need help deciding whether Xfinity by Comcast or DISH is a better TV provider for you, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll break down which provider offers the best price, the best sports options, and which offers the best service overall based on a number of key factors. Keep in mind that every situation is different, and what makes one TV provider great for the majority might not do the trick for you. By reading through the various comparisons we’ll lay out in this piece, you can determine which provider works best for you based on your individual situation.

Table of Contents

    1. Is Xfinity or DISH better?
    2. Is DISH or Xfinity by Comcast cheaper?
    3. Does DISH or Xfinity offer better sports packages?
    4. DISH overview
    5. Xfinity by Comcast overview
    6. How location Effects TV providers
    7. Contracts: Is there a difference?
    8. Breaking down the price difference between DISH and Xfinity by Comcast
    9. Package comparison: Which TV company offers the best packages?
    10. Bundling options: Phone, internet, and other services
    11. Sports channel lineup comparison
    12. How do premium channels from DISH and Xfinity stack up?
    13. Does DISH or Xfinity have a better DVR system
    14. Which provider has better online services
    15. Who has happier customers
    16. Is DISH or Xfinity the best TV service provider overall?

Here’s Why You Can Trust decisiondata.org

The goal of this article is to help you decide which of these companies is best for your family, and it would be difficult to trust the information we’ve compiled here if either of these companies could sway our opinions. That’s absolutely not the case, and here’s why.

Here at Decision Data, we’re wholly unbiased. We’re not affiliated with any of the companies that we review, and we’re provided no recompense by said companies for providing our comprehensive overviews. Our findings are based solely on the facts that we’ve compiled relating to each company.

The information compiled in this piece was collected by a person independent from the companies we’re reviewing and verified several times through each company’s website, online customer service representatives on respective websites and on company social media outlets, and through countless phone calls with company representatives. You’ll also find the results of well-respected consumer reports on TV providers to help you make the best decision based on your values.

Our Overall Pick: Is Xfinity or DISH Better?

We like DISH. Between their lower rates and fee-free billing model, additional options that Xfinity doesn’t offer, and their superior technology, DISH is likely your best bet for TV service providers if it’s between these two. DISH won out in almost every category by which we evaluated these providers.

Xfinity by ComcastDISH
Cheapest Possible Package34.9559.99
First Year Price34.9559.99
Second Year Price34.9559.99
Cheapest Price Over Life of Contract34.9559.99
Sports Package Options
  • NFL Center Ice
  • WWE
  • NBA League Pass
  • Multi-Sport Package
  • ESPN Goal Line
  • NFL Red Zone
  • MLB Extra Innings
  • MLS Direct Kick
  • NFL Center Ice
  • NBA League Pass
  • MLB Extra Innings
  • Multi-Sport Package
  • Fox Soccer Plus
  • Outdoor Package
  • Willow Cricket HD
  • Racetrack TV
Premium Channel Options
  • HBO
  • Cinemax
  • Starz
  • Showtime
  • The Movie Channel
  • Netflix
  • HBO
  • Cinemax
  • Starz
  • Showtime
  • Starz Encore
  • Movie Package
Installation FeesFree, promotionallyFree
Rate Lock-In6 months-1 year2 years
Contract Period1 year2 years
Promos Offered
  • Up to $200 Visa Gift Card when bundling
  • Free premium channels for 3 months
  • Free HD for life
  • Free protection plan for 6 months
DVR Fees$9 per month for each TVIncluded in package price
Bundling Options
  • Xfinity Voice (phone)
  • Xfinity Internet
  • Xfinity Home Security
  • Xfinity Wireless
  • Local telecom companies
  • HughesNet

Price: Is DISH or Xfinity by Comcast Cheaper?

Plain and simple, DISH is cheaper for most customers. When you take into account package costs and add in the fees charged by both companies, you’ll save money by going with DISH. Even Xfinity’s Economy package winds up being as much as DISH’s America’s Top 120, which is a much more comprehensive package, when you take into account DVR costs, HD surcharges, and additional fees that are higher with Xfinity.

The only exception to this is in the top tier packages offered by both companies. Even after the rate lock-in you might be able to save a little bit of money by opting for Xfinity if you’re planning on going with their Premier package versus DISH’s Everything package.

Sports: Does DISH or Xfinity Offer Better Sports Options?

DISH gets our pick for sports programming. While Xfinity’s sports add-ons are just a wee bit cheaper than DISH’s, DISH gives customers more options to put together their perfect sports line-up, piecemeal if they like. You don’t have to bump up your package to gain access to outdoor channels, for example. You can just grab the very inexpensive Outdoor TV add-on instead.

We will say that the sports programming competition between these two providers is significantly closer than is the usual. Both of these companies have taken the cake in sports in past comparisons due mostly to their stellar multi-sport package offerings.

DISH Overview

DISH, also known as DISH Network, was founded in 1987 and is currently headquartered in Englewood, Colorado. It was known as EchoStar Satellite back then, and they officially changed their name to DISH Network in 2008. They are a satellite TV service provider that offers both residential and commercial services.

DISH’s hook is their inclusion of fees in package price, including their free HD for life. They also offer lots of add-on options so that you can put together a channel lineup that works for you without bumping up your package size.

Xfinity by Comcast Overview

Xfinity was formerly known as Comcast, their parent company. In 2010, they rebranded their TV and internet services as Xfinity. A true media giant, Comcast stated that this was done in an effort to keep services straight for customers who may get confused by the company’s growing service offerings, but many critics of the move stated that it was done in order to get the services out from under the bad press and poor customer relations ratings Comcast has received in the past. In addition to TV services, they offer high speed internet, home phone services, new wireless phone services, and home security services.

With Xfinity, bundles are their big deal. Because they have so many different service options, they pride themselves on being able to put together a telecom package that will serve every home’s needs. They give steep discounts and other perks for bundling their services, as well.

How Location Effects TV Providers

Regional Differences

From one region to the next, ratings for TV providers vary quite a bit. One really great way to gauge these differences is the JD Power U.S. Residential Television Service Provider Satisfaction Survey. While there are certainly some trends that you can see based on the results of this survey, it shows that each region has a slightly different take on these services.

DISH took top honors in the North Central and South regions, scoring higher than all the other providers whose customers were surveyed. They only fell short of perfect marks in the communication category in the North Central region and programming in the South. DISH came in third in the West and second in the East, with customers on the coasts finding minor deficiencies in several categories.

Xfinity by Comcast doesn’t rank nearly so well. They come in at fifth place in the West, third in the North Central, fifth in the East, and an embarrassing seventh in the South.

There are several reasons why these vast differences exist. These discrepancies may be able to be explained away by each region’s differing culture and values, and it’s likely due in part to price differences and specials offered in various places. It may also have to do with each company’s infrastructure in a given area potentially affecting the quality of service, customer service, and speed with which installation and any necessary repairs are able to occur.

Availability Issues

The regional difference in how happy customers are with TV service providers likely has a lot to do with the fact that cable simply isn’t available everywhere. In the 2017 JD Power survey, satellite providers like DISH and DIRECTV outperformed cable companies, taking the top spot in 3 out of 4 regions.

If you look carefully at this map of areas with access to Xfinity, you’ll notice that in the South and West regions where the company was rated poorly, coverage is spotty at best. In the North Central region where there is very little access to Xfinity services, customers were happier with the service than they were elsewhere, but they ranked mediocre in the East where coverage is fairly comprehensive.

This is likely due to Xfinity’s established infrastructure in these areas. The thing with cable TV providers is that they must already be established in an area to service the customers there. It’s limited by the locations where they’ve already installed their lines, and to install their services in new areas requires a large outlay of cash and the time to complete the project. Once their system is installed in an area, they must also maintain it and provide service to customers in the area, which means a staff of installers, technicians, sales people, and enough customer service representatives to provide adequate help to future and existing customers.

The interconnected nature of cable TV also means that one problem can put many customers out of service, which results in a lot of bad blood. It’s awfully frustrating to pay for a service you’re not even receiving. Plus, each cable company’s services are simply not available to a broad swath of the population.

This existing infrastructure isn’t necessary for satellite TV providers. Their systems work independently for each customer. They install a satellite dish and box to service each home or business, and that means that if your neighbor’s satellite system is having issues, it doesn’t mean that yours will be. It also means that they aren’t limited by locale like cable companies. So long as you have a place to put a satellite dish so that it can see the sky, you’re home free. Only some places in large cities or areas with extremely tough terrain or heavily treed areas would likely have any problem gaining access to satellite TV services.

Contracts: Is There a Difference?

There’s a pretty big difference in the contracts that you’d sign between these two companies. Generally speaking, that’s to be expected since cable companies and satellite companies offer different types of service.

With DISH, you’ll have to sign a 2-year contract to gain access to their services. This is so that the company can make sure that you stick with their service long enough for them to offset the cost of installing a system in your home. However, DISH also offers a 2-year rate lock-in so that your bill won’t go up while you’re stuck with their service.

Cancellation before your contract is up with DISH will require you to pay about $20 per month, with a maximum payout of $480 ($20 each month for the entire 2 years).

Xfinity, like most cable companies, doesn’t usually require such long contracts. Their standard contract term is one year with a one-year rate lock-in. They offer frequent promotions, sometimes location dependent, that could allow you to grab service under a shorter contract, say six months or so. As a bonus for those who have no desire to be tied to a TV provider, they offer the option to pay about $10 more each month for your package to avoid signing a contract with them at all.

Comcast doesn’t give a cut and dried answer to what they’ll do if you break your contract with them, but they do state that they’ll prorate their mysterious early termination fee based on how long is left in your contract period.

Breaking Down the Price Differences Between DISH and Xfinity by Comcast

Cost of Packages

While it’s simple enough to see how much various packages cost with DISH and Xfinity, it doesn’t give a very comprehensive look at how much each company will actually cost you. There is a lot more to consider even when you’re only looking at the prices (as opposed to the value or the efficacy of services for your needs), like fees charged by each company and how much their rates go up after your rate lock-in expires.

Dish PackagesCost for first 2 yearsRegular Price
America’s Top 120$59.99$69.99
America’s Top 120+$69.99$79.99
America’s Top 200$79.99$89.99
America’s Top 250$89.99$99.99

 

Xfinity PackagesCost for first 12 monthsRegular price
Economy34.9534.95
Starter49.9965.99
Preferred59.9983.99
Premier104.99126.99

Side by Side Package Comparison

How does one company’s offerings stack up to the others? We’ll look at each package and take a look at the other company’s counterpart, except that in some cases there is no counterpart.

We’ll start with Xfinity’s Economy package. At $34.95 per month, this package offers basic cable for a very basic price. There’s a sprinkling of just about everything you could want when you’re looking at it broadly, but if you’re a big fan of a specific channel or channels, definitely make sure it’s included before pulling the trigger on this one. There is no DISH counterpart.

DISH’s America’s Top 120 and Comcast’s Starter package are similar, both in programming and price. DISH’s 120 will run you $59.99, with Xfinity’s Starter package coming in a little cheaper (and a few channels lighter) for the basic package price at $49.99. This package is DISH’s most popular package, and it’s easy to see why. They offer a great variety of channels, from kids to sports to lifestyle programming. While Xfinity’s Starter package has a few channels that DISH’s lacks, the programming with DISH’s least expensive package is slightly more comprehensive.

There’s not really a comparable package for DISH’s America’s Top 120+ package, which is very close to the Top 120 package but with the inclusion of regional sports channels. It comes in $10 more expensive at $69.99. If regional sports are an important addition for you, this a great way to get them without bumping up your package size too much.

Xfinity’s Preferred package is, quite frankly, a powerhouse that’s very comparable to DISH’s America’s Top 200 package. These packages contain just about all the programming out there, including tons of cartoons for the kiddos, a vast array of almost sport you could think of, and all the news you could ever want. Xfinity’s version of this package will cost you $59.99; DISH’s will cost you $79.99. In this race, not only is Xfinity’s Preferred package cheaper, but it also contains Starz Encore channels that are missing in DISH’s upper-middle package. Both these packages are missing some key movie channels.

DISH’s top tier package is their America’s Top 250 package. It contains a huge variety of programming (everything mentioned in the lower tier packages and then some), plus Starz Encore, Epix, and The Movie Channel for $89.99 per month.

Xfinity’s top tier package, the Premier, contains pretty much all the programming out there plus premium movie channels like HBO, Cinemax, and Starz for $104.99 per month. If you want it all and aren’t concerned about paying a little more to get it, this just might be the package for you.

DISH does offer a package with the movie channels, as well. It’s called the America’s Everything package, and it’ll run you $160 per month. There is no rate lock-in on this package, so your rate could fluctuate from the very first month you start service.

Cost Per Channel Comparison

The cost per channel breakdown comes out pretty even at 2 and 2 between these two providers, but not amongst the various package offerings. In this case, it’s just not a great way to judge who offers the better value since it’s kind of a toss-up.

DISH PackagesCost Per Channel
America’s Top 120$0.31
America’s Top 120+$0.37
America’s Top 200$0.33
America’s Top 250$0.31

 

Xfinity PackagesCost Per Channel
Economy$0.35
Starter$0.36
Preferred$0.27
Premier$0.40

Between the only two truly comparable packages with these two companies, DISH’s Top 120 and Comcast’s Starter, DISH’s version comes out a nickel cheaper per channel. At the third tier containing DISH’s Top 200 and Xfinity’s Preferred package, Xfinity takes the cost per channel race at $0.05 cents cheaper. In the Top 120+ from DISH and the Premier package from Xfinity, you can see the bumped-up cost of those channels that are not the norm in their tier.

The cost per channel isn’t really all that important in determining whether a package is a good choice for you; it’s merely a tool to help figure out which company offers the lowest prices, not the best values. The content of those channels is far more important than the number of channels themselves.

After Contract Prices

Generally, we’d want to address how much each company’s prices go up after the rate lock-in period is up. However, that’s not much of a factor with these two companies since both of them offer a rate lock-in that spans the life of their contracts. If you hated the rate after the contract period, you’d be able to go ahead and cancel without any repercussions except that you’d have to find a new TV provider. In that, these two companies are a step above many other telecom companies. Look at the table below to get an idea of Comcast’s “regular” rates.

Xfinity PackagePackage PriceNumber of Channels
Economy$34.99100+
Starter$49.99140+
Preferred$59.99220+
Premier$104.99260+

 

DISH PackagePackage PriceNumber of Channels
America’s Top 12059.99190
America’s Top 120+69.99190+Regional Sports
America’s Top 20079.99240+
America’s Top 25089.99290+

Additional TVs

The package prices for both these companies don’t include any extra TVs. Since most households have more than one television hooked up to their TV service, we’ll look at how much it’ll cost you to hook up additional TVs. That would need to be factored in to your base package of choice price to get a better estimate of how much the service will actually cost you.

For DISH, you’ll pay an additional $5 per month for the first two TVs that are hooked up. After the second TV, each additional TV is $10 per month. It includes HD and DVR service.

Each TV with Xfinity will cost you $10 for X1 DVR receiver service. The first TV is not included in the package price so you’ll need to add on $10 at the very least. For additional TVs, you have the option of foregoing full DVR service in the other rooms and opting for their digital converter, which will only cost you $3.90 per month instead of the full $10.

HD Fees

HD programming is something that’s pretty easy to take for granted these days. You can get HD programming from an antenna for free now, so it would be easy to make the leap to assume that HD was included in these companies’ package prices, but that’s not necessarily the case.

DISH will literally ask you leading questions while you’re getting quotes from them just so they can tell you all about their “Free HD for Life”. Their HD fees are included in their package pricing, so you’d be safe in your assumption that HD was included. Not so with Comcast. If you want HD programming out of Xfinity, you’re looking at an almost $9 upcharge.

Installation Costs

You may be wondering how much it would cost to get your service up and running with each provider. Here’s the skinny.

DISH will install your system for free. They don’t charge for installation at all, which could you save you several hundred dollars based on other company’s install rates.

Xfinity does offer free installation at well, so long as you are ordering a package or bundle that qualifies. If you’re not, they’re pretty bland about how much they charge for installation, so it’d be something you’d need to have quoted on an individual basis depending on your particular install. There’s also the option to self-install for free with Xfinity, and it might be worth a looksee if you’re handy. They send you directions and all the stuff you’ll need to get your service hooked up on your own. This would mean you could avoid that obnoxious cable guy appointment altogether and save a little dough. However, it’s only available with packages bundled with internet.

Other Fees

DISH doesn’t charge any additional fees at all other than the sales tax that all TV service providers charge. Their billing model is very upfront, and they go out of their way not to nickel and dime you into oblivion and give you a predictable bill.

Comcast’s billing practices leave a lot to be desired, to say the least. They charge customers several fees that are not included in their package prices, including a broadcast TV fee that can run you up to $8 per month, a regional sports fee of up to $6 per month, a regulatory recovery fee, and a universal connectivity charge. You’ll also find sales tax on your Xfinity bill, but that’s to be expected of every telecom bill.

Package Comparison: Which TV Company Offers the Best Packages?

This is another very tight race. Each of these companies has a lot to offer customers, whether they’re looking for a bargain basement package, a comprehensive channel line-up on a budget, or access to all the programming on television today.

DISH and Xfinity by Comcast’s channel line-ups in comparable packages are quite similar. We’ll have to break this down by what different people may consider important factors in deciding which package is best for them.

If you’re shopping for a package to please a family with kiddos, DISH wins out. They offer more kids programming in lower-tiered packages, even channels that are fairly high up in most company’s offerings, like BabyFirst TV.

Music and entertainment lovers will also find more for their money with DISH’s lower-level packages. On top of more comprehensive coverage of music channels like CMT at lower levels, DISH also offers 70 Sirius XM radio channels to customers even with their smallest package.

DISH also wins out when it comes to in-package sports channels. Though Xfinity’s coverage their lower level packages is nothing to shake a stick at and is better than other big-name TV providers, they leave out a few key channels that DISH gives access to.

Those who love to keep up to date with the news will likely find Xfinity’s packages more to their liking. They’ve got pretty comprehensive coverage of all the big news outlets even at their lowest level.

For film lovers, Xfinity offers more movie offerings without adding on premium channels than does DISH. You really just can’t beat access to Starz Encore with their Preferred package.

Bundling Options: Phone, Internet, and Other Services

Lots of people are opting to save a bundle by, well, bundling. These days, ordering services like TV, internet, and home phone together can save money and might come with some other awesome perks, as well. If you’re considering bundling services, the options available through a particular TV provider may make them more attractive to you.

DISH’s Bundling Options

DISH offers bundling with internet and phone services. They partner with HughesNet to offer satellite internet to their TV customers with a $5 monthly bill credit for a 2-year period, and though satellite internet isn’t the best available internet option for most people due to high costs and data limits, it may be the only high-speed internet option many people who live in rural areas have. They also partner with local telecom companies like CenturyLink and Frontier. Check in here to see which internet providers are available in your area and on DISH’s bundling page to find out what bundling options are available in your zip code.

Xfinity’s Bundling Options

Because Comcast is a telecom provider themselves, the bundles they offer are for their own services. They offer home phone, internet, a new mobile telephone service, and home security services, though it’s important to note that not all services are available in all areas. Depending on what services you’re considering, you could qualify to receive a prepaid Visa gift card valued at up to $200, free movie channels, free installation, and free DVR service if you choose to bundle two or more Comcast services. You’ll also receive lower rates on the services themselves, though your discount varies based on your location and the services and packages chosen.

Bundle Value Winner

Almost regardless of the options you choose, Xfinity by Comcast offers the better bundles. There are some seriously awesome perks; really, who wouldn’t love a little cash back with their telecom services?

Sports Channel Lineup Comparison

Offerings

Both companies offer similar sports lineups. As is the case with most TV providers, they offer almost identical spreads of sports channels with the real difference coming into play based on how you can gain access to those channels.

Both of these companies offer multi-sport packages that contain channels like NFL RedZone, NFL Network, beIn Sports, and MLB Network. This allows you to pump up your package’s access to sports without actually upping the package size. This is a perfect option for people who watch predominantly sports programming.

DISH’s America’s Top 120+ package is also great way to get access to a vast array of sports programming, including regional sports not available until you get into higher-level packages with Xfinity by Comcast, without laying out a whole lot of extra dough.

DISH also offers a couple of premium sports add-ons that are not available through Xfinity, like Outdoor TV, Willow Cricket HD, and Racetrack TV Network. If one of these options is a deal breaker for you, DISH will definitely have your vote in sports. It’s important to note that both companies offer several of the channels found in the Outdoor package in their upper-tier packages, so you could certainly get access to those by purchasing a premium package with either company.

Cost of Sports

Both Xfinity and DISH offer access to basic sports channels in their lowest tier packages. However, you may want to take into account the costs of additional sports programming with each provider if you’re planning on adding on premium sports.

Overall, Xfinity’s comparable sports add-ons are a little cheaper than DISH’s. Especially when you’re looking at each provider’s MLB Extra Innings premium subscriptions, there’s a noticeable difference between prices. Both companies do offer the option to pay for premium sports over a period of several months (the span of the average sporting season).

Sports PackagesCost with DISHCost with Xfinity (lowest possible prices for full season)
Multi-Sport Package/Sports Entertainment Package (respectively)$13/month$9.95/month
MLB Extra Innings$200 for the season$163.99
NBA League Pass$199 for the season$199 for the season
NHL Center Ice$155 for the season$146.26 for the season
Fox Soccer/MLS Direct Kick (respectively)$15/month$89
Outdoor Package$4/monthNot Available
Willow Cricket HD$14.99/monthNot Available
Racetrack TV Network$50/monthNot Available

How Do Premium Channels from DISH and Xfinity Stack Up?

The premium channel line-ups offered by DISH and Comcast are fairly similar. There are just a couple small differences in their offerings. Chances are, the minute differences between the two aren’t going to sway you one way or the other, but it’s important to factor these things into your overall decision.

Premium ChannelsCost with XfinityCost with DISH
HBO$15$15
Cinemax$12$10
Starz$12$10
Showtime$12$10
The Movie Channel$12Not Available
Netflix$10.99 for Standard Not Available
Movie PackageNot Available$10
Starz EncoreNot Available$6

Netflix Through Comcast

Comcast offers a unique add-on that you don’t see from other cable companies. You can get your Netflix subscription right through Comcast at Netflix’s standard rate. Essentially, you’re bundling that subscription with your Comcast, so it’ll show up on your cable bill rather than coming directly out of your bank account every month. Their X1 DVR also offers you easy access to Netflix without even switching from the cable box’s input on your TV.

Slightly Cheaper Premiums & More Offerings Through DISH

Though they’re pretty close in price, several of DISH’s premium channel subscriptions are slightly less expensive than Comcast’s, but only by a couple bucks a month. DISH also offers a couple more ala carte options than does Comcast, including Starz Encore for just $6 per month and a movie channel package that will give you access to lots of ‘non-premium’ movie channels without bumping up to a bigger package.

Who Offers Better Premium Channels, DISH of Xfinity?

Because there’s just not that much difference between these two provider’s offerings in this department, it’s kind of tough to say. For the average household, the slight price decrease and increased options offered by DISH would make them the winner. After all, DISH’s DVR offers easy access to Netflix, too, even if your subscription isn’t on the satellite bill.

Does DISH or Xfinity Have a Better DVR System?

DVR has been a big deal for the past fifteen years or so, and it’s evolved mightily along with other technologies over that relatively short period. Both DISH and Xfinity offer DVR systems that are rather state-of-the-art, but which one is better? Let’s dig in a little and get the details on both.

Xfinity’s X1 DVR System

The X1 DVR has a 500 GB of storage space. It will allow you to record and watch up to six programs at once. You can also get suggestions on what to watch based on what you’ve watched, your search history, and it’ll put together a list of your favorite programming so it’s easy to access.

The X1 offers a really neat DVR set-up with remote that you can control with your voice, even hopping between apps like YouTube, Pandora, and Netflix with just a word It also offers a cool little perk where you can vote on NBC’s The Voice simply by speaking to your remote. If this show is a staple in your household, that might count for a lot.

You’ll also find access to some extra sports features on the X1. There are pop-up stats, score tickers so you can keep track of games across the league, rosters, and analytics available at the touch of a button while you’re watching your sports programming.

DISH’s Hopper 3 DVR

The Hopper 3 has a pretty vast storage capacity; it can fit up to 2,000 hours of recordings. It can also record up to 16 shows at once so you never have to worry about recording conflicts making family life tense. If by some chance you’ve got a giant family and a lot of screens readily available, you can watch up to 16 programs at once, too. It allows you to put together up to four channels that you’d like to view at the same time with Multiview, giving you the ability to watch several programs with conflicting time slots all at once.

One of the coolest parts of DISH’s Hopper system is that you can skip through commercials on recorded programming with the AutoHop feature. This has the potential to save a ton of time while you’re working your way through your weekly show line-up on the DVR.

Thanks to Amazon’s Alexa, DISH is also able to offer voice-controlled DVR services. However, you will need an internet connected Amazon Home device to operate it, such as the Amazon Echo. It also has a remote finding feature that is pretty neat; you simply press a button on your Hopper’s box and the remote beeps and flashes so that you can find it quickly. Like with the X1, the Hopper has built in apps like Pandora and Netflix.

Is the Hopper 3 or the X1 Better?

We believe you simply can’t beat the gigantic storage space available with the Hopper 3, and though you’ve got to have the additional Amazon hardware to make it function, it’s got all the voice capabilities of the X1 as well. The X1’s storage space seems like an awful lot until you’ve wracked up a couple years’ worth of your favorite movies and watch-again episodes.

Which Provider Has Better Online Services?

TV is no longer relegated to our living rooms. With the rise of cellular internet and Wi-Fi available everywhere, you can watch TV almost anywhere, provided you’ve got a connection available (or sometimes even if you don’t). We’ll take a look at the apps each company provides that allow you to watch TV on the go and control your recordings from just about any mobile device.

DISH Anywhere App

DISH gives customers the ability to watch all their programming, recorded, on demand, and live TV from any device anywhere there’s an internet connection, and they’re the only provider that offers all their content on their app for streaming. DISH Anywhere gives you the ability to download recordings onto a device so that you can watch on the go without a connection.

The DISH Anywhere App is rated 4.1 out of 5 in the Android store and a 3.8 out of 5 in the Apple Store.

DISH also offers another option for getting TV on the go with their Hopper Go, which essentially acts like a pocket-sized DVR system that you can use to transport your DVR programming anywhere with you to watch your recordings without internet access. You can load 100 hours of programming onto that bad boy and use it to watch on up to five devices at a time. There’s also a portable dish system that you can use to watch live DISH programming when tailgating or camping that will cost you as little as $7 per month.

Xfinity Stream App

The Xfinity Stream app doesn’t provide quite the no-holds-barred access to all your content that the DISH app does, but it does still provide a way to download your recordings onto a device, so you can watch it anywhere.

It’s rated 3.4 stars out of 5 on the Android marketplace and a measly 2.6 stars out of 5 in the Apple Store.

Who Has the Best App?

The obvious app winner is DISH. Their app has a little more functionality than Xfinity’s, and the ratings suggest that it is significantly more functional for users.

Website Ratings

Though it’s tough to pin down any concrete ratings or other facts and figures that state that it’s so, our experience was that it is much easier to navigate DISH’s website than Xfinity’s. DISH has readily accessible customer service chat agents available on their website, while you’ll fish around for hours on Xfinity’s site with no sign of help. DISH also keeps the vast majority of their rates easily accessible on their site, whereas you’ll have to speak with an agent either over the phone or through social media helplines much of the time to get an accurate quote from Xfinity.

Who Has Happier Customers?

While not every customer’s experience with any TV provider is going to be the same, it’s a good idea to take a look at how other people feel about various aspects of a TV service. We’ll go over a couple different reports that will tell us which provider’s customers are happier with their service.

JD Power

The JD Power report that we discussed in the Location section of this report has a lot to tell us when it comes to customer satisfaction, regardless of regional differences (though you may want to keep your particular region in the forefront of your mind while shopping around for services).

There are seven factors taken into account in the JD Power Residential TV Service Provider Satisfaction Study: Overall Satisfaction, Performance and Reliability, Cost of Service, Programming, Communication, Billing, and Customer Service.

DISH only fell short of a top Overall Satisfaction rating in one region, while Xfinity received two average ratings and two below average ratings. Clearly, based on this survey DISH customers are happier.

ACSI Telecommunications Report

The ACSI Telecommunications Report looks at customer satisfaction as a percentage rather than the visual rating system used by JD Power, but the results still stand. DISH scored a 67% customer satisfaction rating, while Xfinity scored just 58%.

Customer Satisfaction Winner

The studies show that DISH customers are happier with their service overall than Comcast customers. After all our research with these two companies, our experiences definitely back up the finding that customer service is better with DISH, as well.

Is Dish or Xfinity the Best TV Service Provider Overall?

Between DISH and Xfinity, we give DISH the title for best TV provider. They offer more options, lower rates, better customer service experiences, and they nearlyH match Xfinity in every category they didn’t outright beat them in. However, if you’re looking to do some serious bundling, Xfinity may deserve a second look. The great perks and lower rates may be worth the slightly lower quality of service.