Spectrum vs DIRECTV comparison in 2021
You'll need the details on each of these providers in order to make an informed choice.
DIRECTV vs Spectrum: TV packages
DIRECTV offers six packages compared to three from Spectrum. Inevitably this means that some of the value you get in the mid-tiers from DIRECTV is dispersed across Spectrum's smaller selection of plans. In other words, you'll get some channels in the lowest tier with Spectrum that you won't get in the lower tiers with DIRECTV.
While the pricing between the two providers' comparable packages appears similar, you'll need to factor in extra fees that Spectrum charges separately:
Broadcast TV fee
Professional installation (self-installation is free)
DVR rental fee
DVR service fee (yes, this is a separate fee from your equipment rental)
On the other hand, DIRECTV charges the Regional Sports Fee, which Spectrum includes with your package cost.
Confusing pricing and extra fees
DIRECTV deals & pricing
All packages include one Genie DVR plus dozens of music channels. Choice and up include NFL Sunday Ticket free.
Spectrum TV packages
Xfinity Internet Only Plans
Performance Pro Internet
Extreme Pro Internet
Gigabit Speed Internet
Xfinity TV Plans
Xfinity Landline Plans
Xfinity Triple Play Bundles
Peformance Pro Internet + Extra TV + Voice
Blast! Internet + Extra TV + Voice
Peformance Pro Internet + Preferred TV + Voice
Extreme Pro Internet + Extra TV + Voice
Blast! Internet + Preferred TV + Voice
Gigabit Speed + Extra TV + Voice
Extreme Pro Internet + Preferred TV + Voice
Gigabit Speed + Preferred TV + Voice
Lightning fast options
Multiple speed choices
Large bundle selection
Contract and no-contract options
Hotspot access away from home
Rate hikes after promotional pricing expires
Negative customer support ratings
Good variety of bundles available
No-cost equipment upgrades
Advanced Security to block online threats
30 Day money back guarantee
4K streaming device available
Spectrum TV deals & pricing
All Spectrum TV plans include a large selection of music channels. Silver and Gold both include premium movie channels.
DIRECTV vs Spectrum: TV channels
These two providers offer similar channel counts with a range of movie options and sports coverage.
Top four plans include NFL Sunday Ticket
The most popular channels start in the bottom tier, like Food Network, Cartoon Network, Hallmark Channel, Disney, and AMC
Only Premier comes with premium movie networks like HBO, Starz, Cinemax, and Showtime
Strong sports presence in lowest tier - ESPN, ESPN2, NBC Sports, and Fox Sports 1
Comparable basics to DIRECTV included from the smallest package
NFL RedZone included with Gold package
Premium movie networks come with both top tiers - HBO, Showtime, Starz, Encore, and Cinemax
Bottom line: Spectrum has a solid general sports offering starting with its lowest tier, while DIRECTV gives NFL fans every game as long as you're in one of the top four plans. DIRECTV has the edge by providing middle-of-the-road options for those who don't want to choose between all or nothing.
DIRECTV vs Spectrum: DVR & equipment
Unfortunately for Spectrum, the comparison between the DIRECTV Genie vs Spectrum's DVR is almost embarrassing. There are two possible models available, and you don't get to choose.
1 TB - 200 hours in HD/800 hours SD
Record up to 5 unique streams at once
Connect up to 8 TVs (additional receivers cost extra)
4K (must have a compatible 4K TV)
Manage and watch on the go with app
80 GB or 160 GB - up to 21 or 30 hours of HD/50 or 90 hours of SD
Record up to two shows at once
Connect up to 8 TVs (additional receiver required for each one)
Manage and watch on mobile with app
Bottom line: The Genie is modern and capable with plenty of storage. While Charter has managed to keep their channel lineup fresh and relevant, the Spectrum DVR equipment is stuck in the past.
DIRECTV vs Spectrum: availability
Satellite TV is available nationwide, so DIRECTV has wider coverage than Spectrum.
DIRECTV is available in states: 50
Spectrum is available in states: 41
While Spectrum's state count seems high, it's a bit misleading. Several states that Spectrum operates in only offer TV service across a tiny area. As with most traditional cable companies you're more likely to find availability if you live in a large metropolitan area.
TV providers in my area
DIRECTV vs Spectrum: contract & fees
Spectrum comes out on top with the most favorable terms in this category.
DIRECTV contract & fees
Two-year service agreement required with all packages
Introductory pricing lasts for 12 months, second-year prices vary based on package
Early termination fee of $20 per month for each unfulfilled month in your contract
Spectrum contract & fees
No contract required
Introductory pricing lasts 12 months, then rates go up by $20 per month
Spectrum will reimburse the ETF from your former video service provider up to $500 (must subscribe to Double Play or Triple Play package)
Bottom line: There's no denying Spectrum is lacking in package options and their DVR equipment is woefully outdated. The lack of a commitment, however, may be enough to swing the pendulum for those who don't want to be stuck with their cable provider. The ETF reimbursement is another added bonus if you're looking to bundle your phone, internet, and TV services.
Considerations when comparing DIRECTV & Spectrum
There are several things you should take into consideration before signing up for any TV service:
How much will you pay once the promotional pricing expires?
Are your favorite movie and/or sports networks available?
Is there a contract, and how long is it?
What features and storage capacity do you get in the equipment?
Are there mobile viewing/management options?
Stay tuned for those answers and more in our complete guide to DIRECTV vs Spectrum.
DIRECTV vs Spectrum FAQs
Which is better, DIRECTV or Spectrum?
Whether one will be better is a very personal decision. If after reading our comparison of these two providers you're still not sure which is best for you MoneySavingPro have the tools and guides to help you figure this out. Take a look at the in-depth article packages offered by DIRECTV, then look at our breakdown of Spectrum for more information.
Which is the best TV and internet provider?
You'll need to know what's important to you before switching TV and Internet provider. Are you looking for the cheapest provider, the best customer support, a wider range of channels, or channels tailored to your viewing habits? ake a look through our xx pages and use the xx tool to figure out which internet provider is the best for for you.
Are Spectrum and DIRECTV satellite or cable?
DIRECTV service comes through a satellite dish, Spectrum offers a cable service.
What kind of internet is Spectrum?
This provider offers a range of high speed internet plans at a budget-friendly price.
DIRECTV vs Spectrum is hardly a fair fight. The Genie DVR alone nearly knocks Spectrum right out of the race. On top of that, DIRECTV beats out Spectrum in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) with a score of 64 to 58 (on a scale of 0-100).
There are two reasons which may swing the pendulum toward Spectrum for you:
If you know you're going to move before two years up or otherwise need to avoid a contract
If you want to bundle your TV, phone, and internet services together
Of course you can bundle DIRECTV with a variety of internet and phone options, however Spectrum offers extremely competitive pricing on their bundled services.