Comcast XFINITY is a quality TV provider with decent coverage for a digital cable service but it is unavailable in Hawaii, Alaska, Nevada, Oklahoma, and many states in the northwest. Although XFINITY is a worthy service the prices for TV packages are not as good as comparable services like AT&T U-verse. However, there may be bundles and price drops that may make this dependable service more competitive. The biggest concern among the consumers who have reviewed the service seems to be prices and fees.
Like most of XFINITY's competition, setting up services is a fairly simple process. Because Comcast chooses to brand itself as a High-Speed Internet, Cable and Phone Service Provider (rather than just a cable provider), you will likely want to choose one of their various bundle packages to save money. Like AT&T, its primary competitor, Comcast's bundles are their primary appeal. So if you only want television services, you may want to research other providers.
Once you have selected your services, a technician will arrive at your home within a few days (usually no more than one week) to set up your service. But there are a few things to keep in mind once you set up service.
The first is that there is an installation fee. The fee is typically about $50, and you can choose to pay it up front or simply have it included on your first bill. And unlike AT&T, there are rarely any options or promotions which will waive your installation fees. However, depending on the services and bundles you select, XFINITY does offer a $100 prepaid Visa debit card, which does mitigate the installation cost a bit.
Furthermore, the equipment isn't free either. And unlike AT&T, you can't keep your cable boxes and modems. XFINITY charges you every month to lease their equipment, so expect separate monthly charges for your cable box and modem. And you do have to return them once you eventually cancel your services. If you don't return the equipment, Comcast will include the cost for each box, modem and remote you don't return, which can get very expensive.
Additionally, while Comcast does offer pretty good DVR and HD services, it doesn't compare favorably to AT&T. First of all, if you want a DVR, you have to upgrade to a DVR-ready box. Of course, this box is a bit more expensive than their standard issue boxes. In contrast, AT&T's DVRs are standard issue and you get them in up to four additional rooms. But with XFINITY, you will have to upgrade to a DVR box (at an additional charge) if you need a DVR in more than one room. The same logic applies to HD service. If you want HD, you have to upgrade your plan to include it at an extra charge for each room you require it.
XFINITY does have some strengths, however. Comcast offers a slew of movies and TV shows you can watch at your leisure using their On-Demand feature. And if you opt for HD, most of them will be in high-definition as well. Furthermore, Comcast includes McAfee Security Suite free of charge, which is a nice bonus if you don't have anti-virus protection on any of your PCs. Some of Comcast's competitors also provide malware protection and firewall kits, but they are often from less well-known companies. So offering McAfee should be considered a plus for Comcast customers.
Another perk of Comcast XFINITY is that it has no minimum term requirement if you are only ordering. So the commitment is minimal for the consumer, and you can cancel your service whenever you wish at no additional charge. However, the majority of their bundles require two-year agreement which does require a bit of commitment.
Like we said earlier, bundling is where Comcast XFINITY makes its name. Depending on the services you require, you will be hard pressed to find a better overall value than XFINITY.
XFINITY Double Play: This package also comes with two options. The X1 Starter Double Play offers internet service and 140 channels for $89.99. X1 Preferred Double Play offers internet, 220 channels and includes the premium movie channel, Starz, for $109.99.
XFINITY Triple Play: This package comes with two options. The first is the X1 Starter Triple Play which offers high-speed internet, 140 channels and phone service for just $99 per month. But if you want faster internet and more channels, there is also the X1 Preferred Plus Triple Play. This option offers twice the speed for your internet, 230 channels and phone service.
XFINITY Quad Play: This service may be Comcast's best overall value. This service offers internet, cable, phone service and home security for $129 per month. In addition, it allows you to watch and record your favorite shows and movies on multiple devices such as your laptop or tablet. Also, if you sign up for this service, you can get up to $200 cash back on a prepaid debit card.
Lastly, Comcast XFINITY offers all of the premium movie channels as well as most of the top sports broadcasts.
According to consumer reviews, this is one area in which Comcast lags behind its competitors. While the company does have 24-hour support over the phone and an online chat feature, Comcast has below average ratings for reliability and customer support. Many current and former customers complain about spending an inordinate amount of time on hold and unhelpful representatives when they finally do get through. The frequency of customer complaints is definitely cause for concern.
Verdict - Good
The service has a quality picture and dependability. Unfortunately, similar quality can often be found for less money. One area that XFINITY has an advantage in is availability as far as a cable company goes. However, better coverage can be found in satellite services. Comcast's greatest strength is bundling multiple services at an excellent value. But if you only need television services, you are likely better off with one of its top competitors.