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Mediacom Cable is a great choice for people who prefer to bundle Internet and TV from one provider. Their TV plans are “smart” and have on-demand content.
That said, DirecTV has an unbeatable sports and premium channel lineup that includes NFL Sunday Ticket access (with free seasons included in some current promotions.)

Both Mediacom Cable and DirecTV are top-notch providers, and each has a lot to offer. As a result, deciding which one to choose can be quite difficult. Here's the info you need to make a good decision.

Mediacom Cable is more Triple Bundle-oriented (especially with its Xtreme platform), and features pricier plans and bundles. However, they offer superior recording equipment and more On Demand variety.

DirecTV, on the other hand, is more popular with consumers who are heavy TV watchers who like stand-alone TV plans. If you want Internet and phone services, you need to bundle DirecTV’s TV services with what their affiliates offer.

I should also mention that DirecTV was acquired by AT&T back in 2015. Thus, people can now bundle DirecTV’s services with what AT&T offers if they want.

Naturally, this is just a brief overview. If you want to learn more about what sets each provider apart, here’s what I was able to found out.

Mediacom Cable Pros and Cons

Pros

  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • Better recording equipment
  • A large On Demand library

Cons

  • Pricey bundles
  • More channels only included with Xtreme Triple Play deals
  • Unimpressive sports selection

DirecTV Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Better sports variety than Mediacom
  • Free installation
  • More cost-efficient and superior TV plans

Cons

  • No stand-alone Internet or phone services
  • Weaker DVR equipment than Mediacom
  • You need to get a satellite Dish installed

Mediacom vs. DirecTV Coverage

DirecTV — Universal USA Coverage

DirecTV can't be topped when it comes to coverage. Their satellite broadcasts can reach anywhere with a southern view.

The only catch with DirecTV coverage is that you'll need a place to install the dish that pulls in video. This is a couple feet wide and designed for easy installation on balconies, windows, roofs, and etc.

Mediacom Cable vs. DirecTV – Internet Performance

Mediacom offers a cable Internet network. While that generally means you get fast Internet for a reasonable price, it also means you have to deal with data caps.

Mediacom’s data caps vary from 150GB (Gigabytes) to 6TB (Terabytes) per month. The amount of data you get to enjoy depends on the Internet plan you choose.

The situation with DirecTV is a bit different since they have no stand-alone Internet services. Instead, you need to pick from some of its partners if you want bundled services:

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

Interestingly enough, Mediacom is also a partner, so you can actually bundle up DirecTV services with Mediacom Internet and phone services.

As for data caps, it depends on the provider. Many customers usually choose AT&T because they get unlimited data allowance at no extra cost as long as they maintain a bundle of TV and Internet services on a combined bill.

Data-wise, AT&T’s caps can range from 150GB to 1TB per month.

Bundled Services Options

Both providers offer Animal Planet. In my experience, animals don't like it that much.
Image via JKehoe_photo/Flickr

DirecTV Bundles

You can bundle DirecTV’s TV services with phone and Internet services from other providers, so you have access to plenty of Double and Triple Play bundles.

Pricing can vary, but if you want to get an idea of what you will be paying keep in mind that DirecTV + AT&T bundles are usually in the $80-$100/month range for the first two years.

Mediacom mostly offers bundles under its Xtream brand. It’s basically a Triple Play system all-in-one. The offerings have good Internet performance (you can enjoy download speeds up to 100-200 Mbps), and the pricing is varied and ranges from $80 to $100+ per month. The TV options are pretty standard and mostly make sense for budget shoppers.

They also offer Double Play bundles, but the download speeds are not very impressive as they only go up to 60 Mbps. This is higher in some regions though, the easiest way to figure out exactly what they offer for your house is to just call and ask.

Basically, both providers have appealing and well-priced bundles, but if you’re looking to cut costs, DirecTV + AT&T bundles might be a better choice. Of course, you can get DirecTV + Mediacom bundles too, but you might deal with some pricier deals.

Mediacom Cable vs. DirecTV – TV service

Mediacom Cable

  • 24/7 unlimited access to HBO GO and HBO On Demand + 13 HBO channels free of charge
  • Free On-Demand (20,000+ titles)
  • Free TV Everywhere, which lets you watch shows wherever you are on your mobile devices
  • HD channel support
  • Xtream, a platform that features TV and Internet-integrated services. It has TiVo integration, in-home WiFi, and modern caller ID

DirecTV

  • Exclusive access to the NFL SUNDAY TICKET
  • HD and 4K support
  • Watch movies in 1080p HD trough Pay-Per-View with DirecTV Cinema
  • Over 10,000 On Demand titles, and the ability to watch On Demand shows that aired in the past 72 hours
  • Get to watch up to eight channels on a single channel (ideal for sport lovers)
  • Use DirectTV Everywhere to watch and stream your favorite shows if you have a Wi-Fi connection

Both Mediacom Cable and DirecTV offer attractive features. But while Mediacom has more On Demand variety, I liked DirecTV’s 4K support and NFL SUNDAY TICKET features more.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that DirecTV’s stand-alone TV plans offer more channel variety than Mediacom Cable’s TV plans. However, Mediacom’s Xtreme has an overall higher channel count that DirecTV (380+ channels), but it’s essentially a Triple Play system, so it’s more expensive.

Mediacom Cable vs. DirecTV – Sports Packages

Mediacom Cable

  • Sports package includes 30+ sports channels including the NFL Network and ESPN NEWS
  • Local Connections channel (MC22) that features local sports programming
  • An okay channel selection that includes the NFL Network, SEC Network, and Big Ten Network
  • Has the national feed of the YES Network

DirecTV

  • Watch all out-of-market NFL games courtesy of the NFL SUNDAY TICKET
  • Enjoy the NBA League Pass and NHL Center Ice
  • Sport packages include 30+ regional sports networks, as well as specialty sports, international sports, the MLB Network Strike Zone, college sports, and much more.
  • Has all major sports networks

DirecTV is definitely the superior option in this case. And that’s not only due to their better channel offering and exclusive NFL SUNDAY TICKET.

Keep in mind that among the 30+ channels offered by the Mediacom Cable sports package, you’ll also find news channels since the main package features both sports and news-related additions. Also, Mediacom doesn’t carry the MLB Network, NHL Network, or NBA TV.

Mediacom Cable vs. DirecTV – Equipment

Mediacom Cable only offers a TiVo DVR. It can handle 150 HD and 1,000 SD hours since it has 1TB storage capacity. Additionally, Mediacom’s TiVo lets you record up to six shows simultaneously.

Other features include advanced pause, rewind, playback, and fast-forward features.

With DirecTV, you can choose between TiVo, the DirectTV Plus HD DVR, and the Genie DVR.

The DirecTV TiVo can handle around 100 HD and 400 SD hours and lets you record two shows at once while watching a previously recorded show.

If you choose the DirecTV Plus HD DVR, you get to enjoy around 500GB storage capacity. The Genie, on the other hand, comes with 1TB of storage. With it, you can record up to five shows simultaneously, enjoy two shows at the same time with Picture-in-Picture, and even watch recordings on your laptop and mobile devices without needing an Internet connection if you pair it up with the GenieGO.

All in all, Mediacom’s equipment ends up being more powerful than what DirecTV offers – even when you compare the Mediacom Cable TiVo with the DirecTV Genie. The only problem with Mediacom is that it just offers one type of equipment, so there’s no variety.

Pick Mediacom Cable for 90-Day Money-Back Guarantee and Xtreme Offers

Mediacom Cable offers their customers access to a 90-day money-back guarantee if they’re not “100% satisfied” (in Mediacom’s own words). That’s definitely a nice perk, and not something you see often. At best, you get a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Also, Mediacom’s Xtreme platform is definitely interesting. While some plans can get pretty expensive, you get to enjoy a lot of channel variety, decent Internet speeds, quality phone features, up to 19,000 On Demand titles, and a single-room TiVo or multi-room TiVo.

Pick DirecTV for Sports Variety and Quality TV Plans

If you love sports, you’ll definitely feel right at home with DirecTV. Their sports channel offering and packages are superior to what Mediacom Cable offers, and it’s hard to compete with DirecTV’s exclusive access to the NFL SUNDAY TICKET.

And if you’re just looking for stand-alone TV plans, DirecTV has got you covered. They offer TV plans starting at around $50/month that gives you access to 150+ channels. The $60/month-range plans (and higher) even include the NFL SUNDAY TICKET 2017 season free of charge.

Mediacom Cable vs. DirecTV – Equipment and Installation Considerations

Mediacom installation fees can start from around $49,99 and go up to approximately $99,99 depending on how many services you need installed. I haven’t seen any bundles or deals that include free installation, and it’s a bit frustrating that some services require professional installation.

At least Mediacom has got your back if you can’t get off work to have the services installed. That’s because they offer night and weekend installation appointments. They also have 30-minute arrival appointment windows available.

As for DirecTV, you’ll get to enjoy a free installation with their two-year agreements. The only thing you might not like is the fact that you’ll need a satellite Dish installed.

In the end, it’s up to you what type of installation you prefer. But if you’re really looking to save money, you can’t go wrong with DirecTV’s free installation.

Our Final Verdict: DirecTV, for Their Attractive Promotional Pricing and Varied TV Plans

If you’re mostly interested in TV, DirecTV is the way to go. While Mediacom Cable offers decent TV deals, the best ones are part of Triple Play offers and are very costly. And yes, Mediacom Cable has better recording equipment, but the difference between their TiVo and DirecTV’s Genie isn’t that huge in the end.

With DirecTV, on the other hand, you can save money thanks to their two-year promotional periods for bundles and one-year promotional pricing for their varied TV plans, and free installation perks as well.

Plus, the exclusive NFL SUNDAY TICKET access is definitely appealing — not to mention the rest of the channels and networks they offer.

The good thing here, though, is that if you’re not completely satisfied with each provider but like something from each one, you can just bundle up DirecTV’s TV services with phone and Internet services from Mediacom. That’s actually a good idea if you’re a die-hard sports fan and also want to take advantage of lighting-fast Internet speeds and large data caps.

Long story short: DirecTV wins out for TV services, while Mediacom has the added benefit of Internet and phone service.

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