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Frontier vs DIRECTV

Last updated: August 26, 2020

Starts at $27.99/mo
vs
Starts at $59.99/mo

Frontier is the best pick for those of us who want to bundle Internet and TV for one bill. That being said, DirecTV has much stronger sports offerings for the price, including exclusive access to NFL Sunday Ticket. If you can sign a 2-year contract and pass the credit check, DirecTV is the best deal for premium TV in my opinion. That said, Frontier has a stronger bundle value overall.

Frontier and DirecTV are both decent providers, so choosing one can feel a bit daunting at first. Well, we’re aware of that, which is why I aim to offer you a quick rundown on what sets each provider apart.

DirecTV is quite popular with sports fans, and people usually love the free installation they offer. They don’t offer any Internet or phone services of their own, but they team up with other providers.

I should also add that DirecTV was bought by AT&T in 2015. That means consumers can now pair up DirecTV services with AT&T services if they want.

Frontier is generally preferred by people who want DSL or fiber services. Many people like their service variety, large On Demand library, and the fact that they can get the Hopper DVR through Frontier’s Dish TV plans.

Still, this is just a brief overview. We’ll discuss the two providers more in-depth in this comparison article.

Frontier Pros and Cons

Pros

  • No data caps
  • Hopper DVR
  • Large On-Demand variety

Cons

  • Pretty expensive Double and Triple Play deals
  • Not as much sports variety as DirecTV
  • Lower Internet connection speeds than DirecTV

DirecTV Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Free installation
  • Better sports options
  • 4K support

Cons

  • Satellite Dish installation required
  • Unimpressive DVR options compared to Frontier
  • Don’t have their own Internet and phone services

Network Comparison

DirecTV Coverage Area

DirecTV has coverage across the contiguous US, so long as you have space in your yard (or roof, or window, or patio…) to install the reception device.

Landlords may be required to provide written permission in rental units, and it's worth mentioning that if a building or tree blocks your view of the southern sky you won't be able to access service.

Frontier Coverage Details

Frontier offers digital subscriber line services. It’s known as the fourth largest DSL provider in the US, after all. With DSL, you usually get decent connection speeds and stability, but many consumers worry about the limited availability many DSL services feature. Fortunately, Frontier is available in most of the US.

Also, since Frontier bought some phone lines from AT&T, that means they now utilize fiber networks too. The only problem is the limited availability, ironically.

Frontier has no data caps, which is why they are so popular with people interested in unlimited Internet access.

DirecTV Coverage Details

With DirecTV, however, things aren’t so straightforward. That’s because they don’t provide their own Internet services. Instead, DirecTV partners up with other providers:

  • AT&T
  • CenturyLink
  • Exede by Viasat
  • Mediacom
  • Cincinnati Bell
  • HughesNet
  • Windstream

As a result, the type of network can vary depending on the provider (dial-up, satellite, cable, DSL, and so on).

The same goes for the data cap. Many consumers usually stick with AT&T Internet services because they can get unlimited data allowance at no extra charge if they maintain a bundle of TV and Internet services on a combined bill.

Frontier vs. DirecTV – Internet Performance

Frontier offers download speeds ranging from 12 Mbps (megabits per second) to 150 Mbps, and upload speeds that go up to 150 Mbps.

In the case of DirecTV, the Internet connection speeds depend on the provider you choose. If you’re looking for lighting-fast speeds, I recommend sticking with AT&T or CenturyLink, as their download speeds go up to 1,000 Mbps. With AT&T, upload speeds also go up to 1,000 Mbps.

Overall, DirecTV is a better option if you’re looking to get the most out of your Internet connection speeds. However, if you’re iffy about the potential data caps, Frontier might be better.

Bundled Services

Frontier Bundles

Frontier offers Double Play and Triple Play bundles, but they are more varied than what DirecTV offers. That’s mostly due to them providing consumers with three type of services (Vantage, FiOS, and Dish).

Vantage bundles are generally more budget-friendly but expect most Triple Play bundles to go over the $100/month mark.

DirecTV Bundles

DirecTV offers Double Play and Triple Play deals. The pricing and the phone and Internet services vary depending on the provider, of course.

If you’re looking for an estimate, though, keep in mind that DirecTV + AT&T bundles usually cost anywhere between $80 and $100 per month, and that offer lasts for the first two years.

Frontier bundles have more to offer in terms of perks (a free WiFi router, for example) but keep in mind that some bundles feature big price increases after the promotional period. If you’re looking for more cost-efficient options, DirecTV is the right choice.

Frontier vs. DirecTV – TV Service

Frontier

  • Up to three types of TV plans: Dish, FiOS, and Vantage TV
  • Gain access to the Hopper DVR through Dish plans
  • Frontier TV Everywhere lets you stream subscribed live TV and On Demand content on your computer or mobile devices wherever you are
  • Frontier FreedomTV lets you cut your cable bill and unwanted channels
  • Cord-cutting options available
  • Channel Peeks by Vantage TV let you see what’s on next without having to change the channel
  • A large On Demand library (20,000+ titles)

DirecTV

  • You can watch up to eight channels on one channel
  • Enjoy both HD channel support and 4K content
  • Instant access to 1080p HD movies through Pay-Per-View thanks to DirecTV Cinema
  • Get exclusive access to the NFL SUNDAY TICKET
  • View On Demand shows that aired in the past 72 hours
  • If you have a Wi-Fi connection, you can watch and stream any show you want from anywhere

Both providers fare quite well against each other. While DirecTV’s exclusive NFL SUNDAY TICKET access is definitely appealing, I have to give it to Frontier to their enhanced TV plan variety and larger On Demand selection.

Frontier vs. DirecTV – Sports Packages

Frontier

  • A decent selection of sports channels
  • Sports packages include Pac-12 games, as well as 14 extra channels
  • Sports options also include Fox Soccer Plus, the NBA League Pass, and ESPN College Extra

DirecTV

  • Watch all out-of-market NFL games with the NFL SUNDAY TICKET
  • Features all major sports networks
  • Has the NBA League Pass and NHL Center Ice
  • Sports packages feature specialty sports, international sports, college sports, the MLB Network Strike Zone, and much more.
  • Gain access to 30+ regional sports networks through DirecTV’s sports packages

All in all, DirecTV is the better option for sports lovers. They offer more channel variety and have the NFL SUNDAY TICKET. Also, it’s worth noting that Frontier is missing the Pursuit Channel and the Ski Channel.

Frontier vs. DirecTV – DVR and Equipment

Frontier gives you a choice between their Vantage DVR, FiOS set-top boxes, and the Hopper DVR.

The Vantage TV DVR lets you record up to six shows at once, has 1TB (Terabyte) storage, features a wireless set-top box, and makes it possible to preview/tune into the last five DVR recordings.

The Hopper DVR lets you record up to 16 shows at once (if you get the Super Joey DVR receiver), has a storage capacity of up to 2,000 hours, and makes it possible to record and watch your favorite shows from any room. Also, it lets you auto-skip commercials in Prime Time.

DirecTV lets customers choose between TiVo, the DirecTV Plus HD DVR, and the Genie DVR.

The DirecTV Plus HD DVR has around 500GB (Gigabytes) worth of storage, while the Genie has a 1TB storage capacity. The Genie also lets you record up to five shows simultaneously, use Picture-in-Picture to enjoy two shows at the same time, and can be teamed up with the GenieGO to let you watch DVR recordings on your laptop or mobile devices without having to be connected to the Internet.

Frontier obviously wins this round. The Vantage TV DVR is superior to what DirecTV offers, and on top of that, you can also get access to the amazing Hopper DVR through Dish plans.

Frontier has Better On-Demand Content and TV Plan Variety

If you love On Demand content, you can’t go wrong with Frontier. They offer much more content variety than DirecTV in this regard.

I was also impressed by the variety of Frontier’s TV services (Vantage, FiOS, Dish). Basically, they’ve got something for everyone. If you’re more interested in TV + Internet plans, their FiOS deals have got you covered. On the other hand, if you are a heavy TV watcher, Frontier’s Dish plans are the right choice.

DirecTV Key has More Sports Variety and 4K Support

When it comes to sports, it’s hard to compete with DirecTV. Not only do they offer a top-notch channel lineup and amazing sports packages, but they also give you exclusive access to the NFL SUNDAY TICKET.

Also, you won’t find many providers out there who offer 4K content and support. It’s quite a rare thing to see, and we’re happy that DirecTV has this feature. It’s the best way to enjoy the sports channels DirecTV offers, after all.

Frontier vs. DirecTV – Equipment and Installation Considerations

In the case of Frontier DSL services, the installation is usually pretty smooth. In case you chose fiber services, you should know that an Optical Network Terminal will need to be installed. Frontier technicians will usually place that in the garage, closet, or basement. You can also ask the technician to connect any of your previously-used devices to the new network.

If you opt for Dish plans, it might be possible you’ll need a satellite Dish installed.

Price-wise, Frontier installation fees are costly. The FiOS installation is priced at $79,99, which is why many customers prefer doing a self-install. It’s a shame not all of their bundles come with free installation.

With DirecTV, the installation always comes free with their two-year agreements (which feature decent pricing). The only thing that might bother you is the fact that you’ll need to have a satellite Dish installed.

Both providers have their pros and cons in this case, though I can’t say I don’t enjoy the fact that you can get a free installation from DirecTV more.

Our Pick: Frontier, for Their Superior DVR Options and No Data Caps

The fact that you can get access to the Hopper through Frontier’s Dish plans (which are ideal for heavy TV watchers) is extremely appealing. And Frontier’s lack of data caps means you won’t have to worry about going over the limit and having to pay extra fees.

Of course, if you’re a die-hard sports fan and want to cut installation costs, DirecTV is a better option. The same goes for those of you who want 1,000 Mbps Internet connection speeds and don’t mind sifting through affiliate services or dealing with potential data caps.

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