Cord Cutting Guides, News, and Reviews
Frontier vs DIRECTV
February 22, 2021
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.
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 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.
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:
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 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.
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, FiberOptic, and Dish).
Vantage bundles are generally more budget-friendly but expect most Triple Play bundles to go over the $100/month mark.
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.
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.
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 gives you a choice between their Vantage DVR, FiberOptic 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.
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, FiberOptic, Dish). Basically, they’ve got something for everyone. If you’re more interested in TV + internet plans, their FiberOptic deals have got you covered. On the other hand, if you are a heavy TV watcher, Frontier’s Dish plans are the right choice.
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.
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 FiberOptic 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.
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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