Verizon Fios has decent smart TV options and makes sense if you want a 1-year contract with HD support and good sports. DirecTV specializes in TV, and it shows — they're my top recommendation if you need NFL and want to maximize your HD channel list. Verizon and DirecTV have their pros and cons when it comes to TV service. Verizon offers a more expensive service with a wider selection of available channels. DirecTV offers a competitively priced service with some hard-to-find sports channels. Fios makes more sense if you live in a suburban or urban area and plan to do a lot of streaming with Roku, Netflix, etc. Verizon Pros and Cons Pros Excellent channel lineup Great reliability No contracts with many plans Cons More expensive Fewer sports options Lower availability Requires a contract Verizon offers a premium television service, but the large channel lineup comes at a price. In most situations, it will be more expensive than DirecTV, but that cost is somewhat offset by the lack of contractual obligation with many plans. Fiber Optic connections are very reliable, but the company’s area of coverage is much smaller than that of DirecTV. DirecTV Pros and Cons Pros Comprehensive sports options Budget pricing Good suburban and rural coverage Cons Contract often required Fewer channels Satellite can be less reliable DirecTV offers a quality service at an affordable price, but it falls behind Verizon in terms of sheer channel selection. A mandatory contract means it’s difficult to leave if you’re not satisfied with service, but the lower prices and wide variety of sports options still make it a solid competitor. Verizon vs DirecTV – Installation and Bundled Services One of the main differences between Verizon and DirecTV is the installation process. If you’re in Verizon’s service area, chances are that you’re ready to be hooked up with a fiber-optic connection. Installation is generally as easy as setting up your equipment with a self-installation kit and jumping into your favorite shows. DirecTV, on the other hand, is a satellite TV provider. This means that a technician will have to install a satellite on your home in order for you to get reception and access to channels. This may be a deal-breaker for some people, as they might not like how a satellite looks attached to or outside the house. Satellite connections also generally have a disadvantage when compared to fiber in terms of picture quality and reliability. For example, bad weather can affect your reception with DirecTV, while Verizon’s service will generally be unaffected. One of the upsides to DirecTV installation, however, is that it generally won’t cost you much at all — despite the fact that it’s more labor-intensive than Verizon’s activation. Verizon, on the other hand, has been known to charge fees of up to $80 for installation, even if you set up everything yourself! Basically, there are pros and cons to both providers, but the way they offer their service is fundamentally different and worth some consideration. Bundled Services If you’re looking to bundle internet or phone with your TV service, you’re generally going to be much better off with Verizon. While DirecTV does offer internet through a partnership with AT&T, there aren’t really any bundle deals and it’s clear that the company is primarily focused on satellite TV. If you’re just in the market for TV service, either provider can be a safe bet. As soon as you’re looking for internet or phone, Verizon will usually come out on top. Verizon vs DirecTV TV service Verizon Over 500 channels with high-end plans HD support Easily customizable TV packages Online DVR management Watch on the go with the mobile app DirecTV Fully-featured TiVo Genie DVR Large selection of sports channels Excellent DVR integration for tracking sports Support for 4K Mobile viewing with the DirecTV app Verizon offers more channels and more customization when it comes to TV packages. DirecTV is also impressive, however, with a better DVR, more sports options, and support for 4K programming. Sports Packages Verizon Sportspass offers access to a wide variety of sports like college athletics, extreme sports, soccer, football, tennis, and more. Additional package options cover leagues like the NHL, NFL, NBA, MLB, and Soccer. Pick and choose what you’d like to watch with customizable add-on options. DirecTV Genie DVR allows you to track multiple games at once. A perfect feature for fans of multiple sports. Access to 30+ sports networks with their base sports package. Add-on services for sports like soccer, basketball, and college sports provide comprehensive coverage of your favorite sports. DirecTV offers more options for sports viewers by default, and the integration with the Genie DVR is really convenient for fans who don’t want to miss any of the action. For those focused on a specific sport, there are a variety of additional premium services that really provide full coverage of your favorite sports. Equipment As mentioned above, the DirecTV Genie DVR outclasses the Verizon DVR in almost every way. While the Verizon DVR is a respectable device that gets the job done, TiVo has been in the DVR business for years and has really perfected DVR technology. A large variety of features really set DirecTV apart from the rest when it comes to DVR service. Verizon Key Advantage: Large Channel Selection and Reliable Service Fiber Optics are generally more reliable than a satellite connection, and Verizon has way more channels than DirecTV with their more expensive plans. The provider offers far more entertainment options – an important feature for heavy TV viewers. DirecTV Key Advantage: Solid Sports Options and a Superior DVR While DirecTV doesn’t offer as many channels as Verizon does, it has a better sports package and a DVR that integrates with that package. The Genie DVR is an excellent piece of equipment that makes recording and watching your favorite shows much more convenient and enjoyable. Our Pick: DirecTV, for Affordable Prices, Excellent Sports Coverage, and a Handy DVR It’s very difficult to make the decision between Verizon and DirecTV for television coverage, because they both offer different benefits best suited for different crowds. If you want the maximum amount of channels, Verizon will be a better bet, but the majority of viewers don’t need over 500 channels. DirecTV is much more affordable, is the better choice for sports viewers, and has a Genie DVR that really adds to the TV viewing experience. While reception can sometimes be an issue, picture quality definitely isn’t, as DirecTV is one of the few providers that offers support for 4K programming. With a large number of features the provider offers, there’s no denying that DirecTV’s service can compete with the best of them.