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Optimum vs DIRECTV

Last updated: November 17, 2020

Starts at $39.99/mo
Starts at $59.99/mo

Optimum is a good pick if you want simple TV and don't want to sign a long contract. DirecTV requires a 2-year contract, but includes NFL Sunday Ticket access and a much stronger premium channel package listing, plus more HD content.

Optimum by Cablevision both and DirecTV have benefits and drawbacks when it comes to TV service.

Namely, Optimum by Cablevision offers more channels and better sports coverage for a more expensive price.

Meanwhile, DirecTV is a better budget buy, with wide support for HD programming and an excellent DVR.

This article will compare and review Optimum by Cablevision and DirecTV to help make your decision a little bit easier.

Optimum by Cablevision Pros and Cons


  • Comprehensive Sports coverage
  • Wide selection of channels
  • Good bundled plans


  • More expensive
  • No 4k support
  • Less available to rural customers

If you’re looking for the maximum amount of channels, Optimum by Cablevision’s higher-tier plans are probably your best bet. The service is also great for sports fans and bundlers, but premium service comes with a price. You’ll generally find that Optimum is the more expensive TV provider.

DirecTV Pros and Cons


  • Good rural coverage
  • Fully-featured DVR
  • Support for 4K programming


  • Fewer channels
  • Fewer sports options
  • Satellite can be less reliable

DirecTV is one of the few TV providers that supports 4K programming, which is the gold standard in picture quality. Additionally, the TiVo Genie DVR is miles above the competition in terms of features, and service is generally more available to rural and suburban customers at a competitive price.
Unfortunately, DirecTV falls behind when it comes to channel selection and sports. If you’re looking for the maximum amount of content and are willing to pay a higher price, Optimum may be worth looking into.

Network Coverage Differences: DirecTV is Nationwide

Nationwide Satellite DirecTV Coverage

Something that stands out about DirecTV as a TV service is that it's available throughout the US, regardless of your distance from local cable or telephone infrastructure.

Service is beamed down from a satellite, and received by a dish on your roof, yard, or wherever you decide to have it installed. Having space for the dish installation and an unobstructed view south are pretty much the only requirements, assuming you live in the continental US.

Optimum by Cablevision vs DirecTV – Installation and Bundled Services

DVR Situation

The TiVo Genie DVR is truly one of the best options on the market, with a large number of features that really enhance the TV viewing experience.

While Optimum by Cablevision offers a basic DVR that gets the job done, the equipment really can’t compete with TiVo – one of the original players in the DVR game.

A major difference between Optimum by Cablevision and DirecTV is the way in which services are installed.

Optimum, like many other providers, delivers content through a cable network. Cable was previously the gold standard for TV and internet connection before being unseated by fiber optics and provides a fast and reliable connection with good picture quality.

Because there’s an existing cable network in many suburban and rural areas, setup is often as simple as picking up a self-installation kit and plugging it in yourself. You can often have your TV service up and running within a few minutes.

DirecTV, on the other hand, uses a satellite Dish to deliver their TV content. Satellite connections receive a signal over airwaves, and as a result can be a little more unreliable than cable connections. While DirecTV offers superior picture quality with their 4K support, the picture may be spotty during inclement weather like storms.
Although DirecTV installation is more involved, it’s actually usually either inexpensive or free.

Optimum by Cablevision charges for the convenience though and can cost up to $80 for installation despite the ease of setup.

Optimum by Cablevision vs DirecTV TV service

Optimum by Cablevision

  • Over 400 channels with more expensive plans
  • Over 140 HD channels
  • Comprehensive support for international viewers
  • Optimum app for mobile TV viewing
  • Large amount of sports options


  • TiVo Genie DVR packed with useful features
  • Excellent DVR integration for keeping track of your favorite sports
  • Support for 4K programming
  • Watch TV away from home with the DirecTV app
  • Inexpensive prices

Optimum by Cablevision offers a huge amount of channels with higher-tier plans and is also one of the better options on the market for international viewers. The provider is a little more expensive than DirecTV for most plans, but it more than makes up for the additional cost with its comprehensive sports programming and a wide selection of entertainment options.

DirecTV is the less expensive provider, yet still manages to deliver quality TV service. As mentioned above, DirecTV is one of the only providers to offer support for 4K programming, and the TiVo DVR is one of the most fully-featured models on the market.

Sports Packages

Optimum by Cablevision

  • Optimum Sports Entertainment Pak provides access to more than 25 different sports
  • Fans of College Athletics will be more than happy with the Optimum College Sports Pak, an option with comprehensive college sports coverage.
  • Additional premium network options to suit your individual needs.


  • Genie DVR allows you to keep track of more than one game at once.
  • Default sports package offers a wide variety of sports for an affordable price.
  • Add-on options for college sports, soccer, basketball, and more provide access to live coverage of your favorite sports.

While the Genie DVR is packed with useful features, the service falls behind when it comes to the sheer amount of sports offered.

While Optimum by Cablevision may not offer as many cool perks, it comes out ahead due to wider coverage and packages that focus on popular athletics like college football.

Optimum by Cablevision Key has a Wider Channel Selection and Comprehensive Sports Coverage

Optimum offers more channels with higher-tier plans and is the superior choice when it comes to sports options. Although it’s a little more expensive than DirecTV, it does offer a more premium service with plan options at a variety of price points.

DirecTV Has the Best 4K Programming and an Excellent DVR

While Optimum by Cablevision pulls ahead when it comes to the number of channels offered and the wide coverage for sports options, DirecTV still has some significant benefits.

4K programming is a feature unique to DirecTV, and provides a picture quality that remains unmatched. Additionally, heavy TV viewers may really get a lot of use out of the Genie DVR – a device that truly stands above the rest.

TV Nerd Top Pick: Optimum by Cablevision, for Better Sports and More Channels

It’s difficult to declare a superior provider when comparing Optimum by Cablevision and DirecTV, as both services have their pros and cons.

Optimum by Cablevision offers a larger amount of channels, great bundle deals, and more options for sports fans. Although this comparison is focused specifically on TV service, as soon as you start looking at phone and internet it’s clear that Optimum is the superior option.

DirecTV is a less expensive option with superior picture quality, but it falls behind in both channel selection and sports programming – two aspects that play a key part in the evaluation of a TV provider.

Although both options are more than viable for a TV provider, I feel that Optimum by Cablevision retains the upper hand.

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