Xfinity vs Dish comparison in 2021
There are several factors you should look at before you decide on a pay TV provider.
At first glance, Dish vs XFINITY pricing looks fairly similar. If we dig a little deeper though, we find that there are a few extra fees that can add up quickly on your monthly XFINITY bill.
Separate DVR rental and HD service fees
Broadcast TV fee
Regional Sports fee
Installation fees (for both self-install and professional installation)
These fees can total up to $30 or more just on their own, which turns that nice introductory into a big dose of sticker shock.
With Dish, you get the first Hopper 3 free, although you do pay a monthly DVR service charge.
In terms of promotional pricing, most of Xfinity's deals last 12 months. Dish guarantees your pricing for two years.
Xfinity TV Packages & Prices
Xfinity Digital Starter
Xfinity Digital Preferred
All of the packages include music channels, and Premier gives you premium movie channels like HBO, Showtime, Starz, and Cinemax.
Dish TV Packages & Prices
Dish America's Top 120
Dish America's Top 120 Plus
Dish America's Top 200
Dish America's Top 250
All plans include local channels and 70+ Sirius XM music channels.
Both providers give you a decent selection of the most popular channels across their mid-tier offerings. Dish has a bit of an edge on sports coverage while Xfinity excels at on-demand content with over 84,000 titles to Dish's 20,000+.
Broad sports coverage starts at the very bottom tier with ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, Fox Sports 1, and NBC Sports Network
NFL Network comes with three out of the four packages
Multi-Sport package comes with over 35 premium and regional sports networks, including NFL RedZone
Unique sports add-ons available like Willow Cricket channel and Racetrack Television Network (horse racing)
Top tier - America's Top 250 - comes with The Movie Channel, Showtime, Starz, Starz Encore, Epix, and FXM
Typical selection of sports and family channels across lower tiers
NFL Network and MLB Network included in top three plans
Sports Entertainment Package sold separately with NFL RedZone and out-of-market regional sports
Starz Encore channels come with all plans from Preferred and up
Premier plan includes HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, Encore, and The Movie Channel
Bottom line: The big news here is that at the time of this writing, HBO and Cinemax are noticeably absent from the Dish premium movie channel lineup. This is due to a fee dispute with AT&T and may change over time.
Other than that issue, both offer PPV events and the typical menu of premium sports add-ons like NHL Center Ice and NBA League Pass. Dish channels are great for sports fan while Xfinity channels are suited to those who are more interested in a varied blend of different entertainment types and must have their HBO shows (at least for the time being).
Dish Network's Hopper 3 is notorious for its massive capacity and flexibility. XFINITY's X1 Cloud DVR is no slouch, but it's tough to compete with the Hopper.
Dish HD DVR Hopper 3
2 TB - up to 500 hours of HD recording/2000 SD
Record up to 16 shows simultaneously
Connect up to 8 TVs total (extra receivers - called Joeys - incur additional monthly fees)
Manage and watch on other devices with the Dish Anywhere app
Download programs for offline viewing
Xfinity X1 Cloud DVR
500 GB - up to 60 hours of HD recording/300 SD
Record up to 6 unique streams at once
Download recordings for offline viewing
Manage and watch on the go with the Xfinity app
Bottom line: Despite Xfinity adding flexibility via their cloud DVR, it's still a weak contender against the Hopper 3. In fact, since you can also access your recordings, live TV, and on-demand content on your mobile with the Dish app, it's tough to pinpoint many advantages to the Xfinity cloud DVR.
Availability is where satellite TV service really shines over traditional cable.
States with Dish: 50
States with Xfinity: 40
Still, if you're a die-hard fan of cable television you'll have a much better chance of finding Xfinity near you than other cable TV providers. For example, AT&T availability is limited to just 21 states, while Spectrum rivals Xfinity with service in 41 states.
Contract terms can influence your decision as much as price or selection.
Dish Contract Terms
24-month service agreement required
Price guaranteed for the duration of the contract
Early termination fee is $20 for each month left in your contract
XFINITY Contract Terms
Promotional pricing offers require a 12-month commitment
Prices go up in your second year
No-contract service costs more per month
Bottom line: If you're not desperate to avoid commitment, it's worth it to calculate the potential savings you'll see over two years with Dish compared with XFINITY's pricing plus their extra fees.
Promotional pricing can lure you in quickly, but remember - no matter which TV provider you choose, that attractive pricing is temporary. It's best to look at the big picture.
What other fees are added to your bill?
Are your favorite channels available?
Is there a contract?
How long does the promotional pricing last?
What kind of equipment do you get?
Find out all about how Dish measures up against Xfinity in the following comparison.
Ultimately your choice of the best TV provider boils down to personal preference. You might be willing to pay a little more to stay out of a contract, or maybe you'd rather have the larger storage capacity offered by Dish's DVR system.
Xfinity may also tip the scale with their affordable internet and TV bundles. Don't count out Dish for bundled services either as the satellite company partners with internet providers in your area to offer more value as well.