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Go with Xfinity if you want strong budget pricing and combined TV + Internet. Go with Dish TV if you enjoy a lot of premium channels and sports.

Delving into the depths of some of our favorite TV and bundle providers in the US, today we take a look at an interesting matchup.

In one corner we have America’s favorite cable provider, Xfinity, a well-known (for better or worse) cable provider.

In the other corner, we have a relative upstart, Dish, a satellite provider that specializes in premium TV.

Xfinity Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Reliable network
  • Large choice of bundles
  • Top 100 shows preloaded on box

Cons

  • More expensive than other providers
  • DVR recording space is a little small

Dish Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Satellite technology = nationwide coverage
  • Affordable pricing structure
  • Powerful DVR for recording

Cons

  • Weather can affect your service
  • Internet bundles only available through partners

Xfinity vs Dish Internet Performance

Xfinity’s Internet connection is run over their cable network and is generally well known for being fairly reliable.

Dish offer Internet packages through several other secondary providers such as Frontier (with both their DSL and FiOS – which is faster – networks), CenturyLink DSL, and HughesNet satellite. Availability of providers will depend entirely on your location. Unless you have access to Fios, I don't recommend partnering with one of the Dish partners over Xfinity. Xfinity simply has better speeds and performance, even if it comes with all the Comcast baggage.

Speeds Offered

Xfinity has sectioned off their Internet offerings in terms of speeds. You have the option to choose up to 10Mbps, 25Mbps, 50Mbps, 100Mbps, 1000Mbps, and 2000Mbps. Their gigabit plans (1000 & 2000) are only available in very restricted areas and with specialized equipment. Xfinity’s top speeds are fairly close to the top speeds you’ll reach (depending on your location). Be aware that most customers have a 1TB data cap.

Since Dish offers their Internet through secondary providers, you’ll need to check in with the available provider in your area to see what speeds are available. It pays to check out all available providers. Check with the secondary provider to see if they impose a data cap.

Bundled Services

Xfinity Internet plays well with cord-cutter devices like Roku. They currently offer relatively affordable Internet-only deals. Image via Shashi Bellamkonda/Flickr

If you’re after a bundle, then Xfinity has bundles galore. They have a TV and phone bundle, a phone and Internet bundle, 13 Internet and TV bundles, and 13 Triple Play (phone, Internet, and TV) bundles, along with a home security service!

Triple Play services start at $79/month – not including additional fees.

Dish Internet and TV bundles will vary, depending on the Dish partner Internet providers available in your area. You can call to inquire about options at your address through a Dish sales agent.

Xfinity vs Dish TV Service

Channel choices between Xfinity and Dish do vary quite a bit. On Xfinity’s Economy plan you’ll receive 100+ channels, Xfinity’s Premier package gives you 260+ channels, however, it’s over double the price. Dish offers you 190 channels on their base plan (America’s Top 120), and 290 channels on their top tier plan, America’s top 250. For around the same price as Xfinity’s 140+ channels, you’ll get 190 on Dish.

Xfinity vs Dish Sports packages

Xfinity is pretty good when it comes to sports. Not only do you get channels like ESPN, Fox Sports 1, Golf, and MLB (depending on your package), but you can choose add-ons like Fantasy Football on X1, NFL RedZone, ESPN Goal Line, MLS Direct Kick, and Pay Per View events.

Dish is currently running a good promotion which gives customers a free Multi-Sport pack on all plans (except the very lowest tier plan) with 35 sports channels including NFL Network, MLB, RedZone, and more. Other add-ons like NBA League Pass and Fox Soccer Plus can be added for an additional cost.

Xfinity vs Dish Equipment

If you’re after some neat tech, then Xfinity’s X1 is likely to impress. With the X1 system, you’ll receive a voice-activated X1 remote, the X1 box, and DVR. Your box can give you show recommendations and offers enhanced search. The DVR allows you to record 6 shows at a time and has 300 hours of standard definition storage.

While Dish doesn’t have as complete a system, what it does have is the Hopper 3 – a whoppingly powerful DVR that can record 16 shows at once and save 2000 hours of programming so you’ll never miss anything again.

Both have streaming apps so that you can watch all your channels live, recordings, and On Demand titles on the go.

Xfinity Key Advantage: Reliable Networks

The Comcast cable network that Xfinity runs on is reliable and (mainly) nationwide – this is why they are the provider of choice for many households.

Dish Key Advantage: Affordability

Dish’s great pricing points and lack of too many additional fees mean that they get the tick of approval when it comes to an affordable TV service.

Xfinity vs Dish Equipment and Installation Considerations

Apparently, installation fees for Xfinity vary depending on your location, the package you’re going with, and maybe even how they feel on the day… Try and negotiate a good deal with this one. If you’re getting a Double or Triple Play with Internet you can save on modem rental fees by purchasing one yourself. Be aware of service charges, charges for extra TVs, and more before you agree to your contract – there’s a lot of fine print.

Dish’s installation is free — as is the hire of the satellite Dish they’ll need to install at your home. Leasing fees for the Hopper 3 are currently $15 per month and you’ll be charged additionally for any extra TVs.

Our Pick: Xfinity, the Tried and Tested Option

While Dish does offer a sweet deal and their service is available nationwide, Xfinity is number one in the game for most customers now that they've begun building up their smart TV features and on-demand library in the X1 entertainment box.

Their network ensures customers receive the best cable services in the country. Dish makes the most sense for customers who want additional sports content, or who simply can't access one of Xfinity's more affordable deals at their address.

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