Compare DISH vs. Xfinity TV service

DISH Network and Xfinity are among the most widely available TV providers in the U.S. Chances are one or both services are available for your home. How do you choose between the two?

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Compare DISH Network vs. Xfinity TV service

Here’s our take on how DISH and Xfinity stack up against each other. Take a look at the main features of each service.

DISH vs. Xfinity snapshot

  • Available throughout all 50 states
  • Four basic TV packages
  • Price range starting at $59.99-$89.99/mo.*
  • Channel range 190-290+
  • Record up to 12 shows at once
  • Two-year price lock 
  • Two-year contract required
  • Available in 39 states
  • Three to six basic TV packages depending on location
  • Price range starting at $20-$80/mo.*
  • Channel range 10-290+
  • Record up to six shows at once
  • One-year and no-contract options available

DISH vs. Xfinity TV pricing: Which is cheaper?

With the exception of Xfinity’s Basic TV package, which gives you 10+ channels, DISH and Xfinity packages are similarly priced and stacked with channels.

Both providers also give you lots of add-on options for more premium channels, sports and international networks. If you’re hoping to add HBO® or Cinemax® to your package, Xfinity will be your best choice as the two networks are currently unavailable with DISH.

DISH TV packages

Xfinity TV packages

Note that Xfinity TV packages, pricing and channel counts differ from one region to another. In the packages listed above, those with pricing ending in “.99” are likely to be available in one region while those ending in “.00” will be in another.

Why does Xfinity have more TV package options than DISH?

DISH offers the same TV packages throughout their service areas. On the other hand, your location may determine which Xfinity packages are available.

Some addresses will be eligible for the Xfinity Basic, Extra and Preferred packages, while the Xfinity Digital packages are available in other locations. Also, some TV packages, such as the Basic and Digital Premier, may only be available when you bundle with Xfinity internet.

Check out our DISH channel guide and Xfinity channel guide for a full rundown of what channels come with each provider’s packages.

Plan spotlight: America’s Top 120 vs. Digital Preferred

Our verdict: Overall, Xfinity offers the better deal between these two packages as it offers more channels for the same price and does not require any contracts.

DISH vs. Xfinity hidden fees

You can expect added equipment and service fees from DISH and Xfinity, but DISH is a bit more straightforward with their pricing.

  • Installation: free
  • Hopper 3 DVR: $10/mo. + $50 upfront fee 
  • 4K Joey Receiver: $5/mo. + $50 upfront fee (each) 
  • Broadcast TV fee: free 
  • Regional sports fee: $10 to $15/mo. 
  • Installation: $0 to $89.99 (self- or professional-installation)
  • Self-installation: free
  • X1 DVR: $9.95/mo. (per TV)
  • Receiver: $0 to $15/mo. 
  • HD technology fee: $0 or $10/mo. 
  • Broadcast TV fee: up to $14.95/mo. 
  • Regional sports fee: up to $8.75/mo.

DISH’s Hopper 3 DVR is the best DVR on the market. It supports up to seven TVs, records 16 shows at once and supports 4K viewing and streaming app access. However, you can opt for the less expensive DVR, the Hopper Duo Smart DVR for $5/mo. This DVR supports one to two TVs and allows you to record up to two shows at once. Each DVR and receiver you rent requires a $50 upfront fee. 

Xfinity’s X1 DVR allows you to record up to six shows at once and store up to 500 GB of content. However, you have the option to use your own compatible TV equipment. If you choose to rent the X1 DVR, then a TV receiver is included at no extra cost, otherwise, it’s $15/mo. Regardless of whether your first receiver is included or costs $15/mo., all additional receivers cost $5/mo. Lastly, Xfinity charges a $10/mo. HD technology fee. However, this fee can be waived if you rent the X1 DVR. In short, Xfinity offers compelling incentives to rent the X1 DVR because when you do, Xfinity provides you with a free receiver and waives the HD technology fee.

DISH vs. Xfinity equipment and accessories

Choosing one provider over the other will get you different TV equipment, features and accessories. Here are a few things that are exclusive to each provider to help decide which one you prefer.

DVR: DISH offers the Hopper 3 DVR and Xfinity offers the X1 DVR. The Hopper 3 is the better device as it allows you to record more shows at a time and greater storage capacity. 

Streaming: Netflix and Pandora are accessible right from DISH’s Hopper 3 TV box. The X1 DVR also has built-in access to streaming services and voice remote compatibility, similar to the Hopper 3 from DISH.

Apps: With the DISH Anywhere app, stream from any mobile device with Wi-Fi access. With the Xfinity Stream app, you can also access your shows and recordings on your mobile devices. 

Premium channels: With select DISH packages, SHOWTIME, STARZ and the DISH Movie Pack are included at no extra charge for three months. After three months, you will be billed $30/mo. unless you call to cancel. However, DISH does not offer HBO and Cinemax. If you want to add these premium networks to your package, you’ll be better off choosing Xfinity over DISH. In fact, Xfinity’s highest-tier package, Digital Premier, includes HBO Max, SHOWTIME and EPIX. 

Additional features: DISH packages also come with over 36,000 free and rental On Demand titles.

DISH vs. Xfinity availability

Satellite TV service is available virtually everywhere, an advantage DISH has over Xfinity. Xfinity is not lacking in availability, however, and is one of the largest cable providers, covering more than 35% of the U.S. population across 39 states, according to the FCC.

Primary service areas for Xfinity include the South, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Midwest and Western U.S. It’s in these regions you’re most likely to find DISH and Xfinity services overlap.

DISH coverage map

Xfinity coverage map

Xfinity availability map


Xfinity is not as widely available in the central U.S. states including Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota and Oklahoma, which will be better served by DISH or another TV provider, such as DIRECTV, Spectrum or Mediacom. Click below to check availability in your area.

DISH vs. Xfinity TV and internet bundles

Interested in a bundle package that includes DISH or Xfinity TV? Xfinity offers TV, internet and home phone services, making bundling multiple services with the same provider simple and convenient.

DISH does not offer internet or home phone service, so you’ll have to add service from another provider if you choose to bundle. Available providers will vary by location, so DISH TV and internet bundles will vary in price, internet speeds and more, depending on your address.

DISH vs. Xfinity customer satisfaction

Each year, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) takes feedback from real customers regarding service quality, cost of service and more from top TV providers and gives them a score out of 100. Here’s how DISH and Xfinity TV service scored over the past three years.


DISH vs. Xfinity: Our final verdict

Overall, if you are looking for a cheaper TV package, then Xfinity is your best option as its low-tier packages are a superior value. Another perk of Xfinity is that it offers several low-tier packages and DISH only offers one. Xfinity is also the better option if you want a high-tier package that includes premium channels, such as HBO Max, SHOWTIME and EPIX. In fact, DISH does not offer HBO at all. Additionally, if you want to bundle internet and TV, bundling with Xfinity will save you up to $30/mo. 

DISH is the better option when it comes to TV equipment and customer service, but not so much when it comes to saving money or getting the best deals. Although DISH’s additional fees are less complicated than Xfinity’s are, they still add-up to similar amounts.

DISH vs. Xfinity FAQs

Is DISH better than cable?

DISH offers better availability and a higher-performing DVR device than cable companies such as Xfinity, Spectrum or Cox. However, new DISH service comes with a two-year contract and may not offer the TV and internet bundle savings you’d get from cable providers.

You can get DISH television service and Xfinity internet service. Xfinity internet is compatible with Hopper 3 devices and will support On Demand streaming as well as services such as Netflix and Pandora that are accessible from the Hopper 3 DVR.

Xfinity does offer a low-cost TV package in select areas that gives you 10+ channels including locals. DISH does not offer a similar package. Other Xfinity packages are comparable in pricing and channel counts to DISH packages.

DISH packages range from 190 to 290+ channels, whereas Xfinity packages range from 10 to 260+ channels where available. Available channels from each provider are similar, but Xfinity may offer more premium channel options.

No. Due to a licensing dispute in late 2018, HBO is not available on DISH or its affiliate steaming service, Sling TV. However, you can access HBO content through the HBO NOW app.

DISH does not provide internet, but rather partners with various internet service providers, such as CenturyLink, Frontier and HughesNet to make bundling convenient for their customers. You can choose to pair DISH with any internet service in your area, but you will be billed separately for the TV and internet services.

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Lisa Iscrupe

Written by:

Lisa Iscrupe

Writer, Broadband & Data Content

Lisa uses years of experience in sales and customer service for internet-TV providers to inform her writing on broadband. Her work has been referenced by CNN and other national sources. In Lisa’s Words: Ever… Read more

Robin Layton

Edited by:

Robin Layton

Editor, Broadband & Wireless Content

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