In a recent article, we looked to see if live TV streaming services are cheaper than Xfinity TV. The answers were mixed, so I wanted to do a pound-for-pound comparison of Xfinity TV and various live TV streaming services. Here we will compare Xfinity and YouTube TV to see which is the better value.
Xfinity TV vs. YouTube TV Feature Comparison
Before we look at the price comparison of these two services, I wanted to look at the features each offer. After all, we want to do a fair price comparison, and we may need to have to make some adjustments if one service features greatly outweigh the other. We will compare YouTube TV’s Standard Service with Xfinity’s “Popular” Channel Package. For the purposes of this comparison, we will also assume the use of the Xfinity Stream app. This app will allow you to live stream all the channels in your Xfinity package on a device like a Roku instead of having to pay expensive cable box fees every month. Let’s get to the comparison.
Surprisingly, YouTube TV’s standard plan has a better channel lineup than the Xfinity “Popular” plan. YouTube TV is missing Lifetime and A&E, which Xfinity has in their “Popular” lineup. However, if want channels like ACC Network, Cartoon Network, Disney Jr., Disney XD, ESPNU, NFL Network, SEC Network, and more, you will need to pay an extra $20 per month for Xfinity’s Ultimate Plan. All of those channels are available with YouTube TV’s basic service. I will put a side-by-side list of channels at the end of this article.
YouTube TV bests Xfinity TV when it comes to channel offers, except when it comes to regional sports. Xfinity offers every regional sports network for the NHL, MLB, and NBA in all parts of the country in their Popular plan. YouTube TV only offers NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBC Sports Washington, and SportsNet NY. All of which Xfinity offers. If you don’t live in one of those areas and want to watch your local teams’ games, then this may be a deal breaker for YouTube TV. Otherwise, YouTube TV wins out on the channel lineup for this comparison. However, if you upgrade to Xfinity’s Ultimate Plan (an additional $20 per month), then Xfinity has every channel YouTube TV offers and more.
Other Features Comparison
Since we are going to take a fair look at this comparison, I’ll use the Xfinity Stream App when making this comparison. This will save the cost of cable box fees when we look at the cost comparison. Both the YouTube TV App and The Xfinity Stream app download to popular devices like Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast devices. The installation is as easy as downloading an app to a smartphone and both apps are very easy to navigate. Let’s look at how these apps compare.
Video Quality – YouTube TV streams up t 1080p/60fps video quality while Xfinity stream maxes out at 720p. YouTube TV also has Dolby 5.1 surround sound on select devices, whereas Xfinity stream does not. Youtube TV bests the Xfinity Stream app when it comes to both video and audio quality.
Cloud DVR – YouTube TV provides Unlimited cloud DVR storage. Xfinity Stream’s cloud DVR only comes with 20 hours. If you want more storage, you have to pay an extra $10 per month for 150 hours and an extra $20 per month for 300 hours. YouTube TV has the better cloud DVR plan.
Number of Streams – Xfinity Stream allows you to stream on 5 devices at once in the home and 3 outside. YouTube TV only allows 3 streams at once. YouTube TV will allow you to upgrade to unlimited screens at an additional cost of $9.99 per month with the YouTube TV 4K upgrade. Xfinity wins this feature.
Both apps provide similar on-demand features. Basically, if the network makes the show available on demand, it will be available on both services. You can also rent and purchase movies through both apps.
Xfinity TV vs. YouTube TV Price Comparison
For the purposes of this comparison, I’m going to see how Xfinity’s “Popular” TV service + Fast Internet stacks up against YouTube TV. Streaming live TV with YouTube TV requires an internet connection, so it’s only fair to factor in the cost of internet access if you were to subscribe to YouTube TV. Since many living in Xfinity’s service area only have Xfinity as an Internet option, I’ll see what the cost looks like using YouTube TV with Xfinity’s “Fast” Internet service. I’ll also see what the price comparison looks like if you have access to other internet service providers.
I did a deep dive on all the hidden fees and pricing tricks Xfinity tries when signing up for their service in this article. Basically, Xfinity’s Popular TV + Fast internet (400 Mbps) costs about $124.15 per month for your first 2 years, with a price jump to $176.15 a month in year 3 and beyond. If you have to be an Xfinity Internet customer when you switch to YouTube TV, they will provide Xfinity Fast Internet for $30 a month in year one, with costs tripling to $92 a month in year 2 and beyond. YouTube TV’s standard package is $64.99 per month. These numbers are plotted in the table below
|Year||Xfinity TV+Internet||Just Xfinity Internet||YouTube TV||YouTube TV+ Xfinity Internet||Savings With YouTube TV|
So as you can see, the first two years are a wash. You save $29 per month your first year only to lose almost $33 per month your second year. However, in year 3, you are saving a steady $19 per month, making YouTube TV and Xfinity Internet a better price than bundling Xfinity Popular TV with Xfinity Internet
Now let’s assume you live in an area with more than one Internet provider. I find that you can generally keep your Internet access costs below $60 per month if there is more than one residential ISP in your area. You can do this by picking up the promotional rate and then switching to the other provider when your contract expires. Some ISPs like Verizon Fios even keep the same rate with no price gimmicks. If we assume a $60 per month internet access cost, the price comparison, and savings get better with YouTube TV
|Year||Xfinity TV+Internet||Alternative Internet||YouTube TV||YouTube TV+ Internet||Savings With YouTube TV|
As you can see, the first 2 years are still a wash, but in year 3, you are saving over $50 per month by using YouTube TV.
Which Is the Better Deal
YouTube TV will save you a bit of money in the long run. By the time your promotions expire in the 3rd year, you will be saving between $20-$50 per month by going with YouTube TV. If you can find a cheaper Internet provider, then your savings are even better. Furthermore, YouTube TV is a better TV service than using Xfinity Stream. They have a better Cloud DVR with unlimited storage, and YouTube TV has better video and audio quality. On top of that, YouTube TV has a better channel lineup than Xfinity’s Popular TV plan. Xfinity’s Ultimate plan bests YouTube TV’s channel plan, but that raises the price of Xfinity by $20 per month.
YouTube TV is the better option over Xfinity in most cases. Here is the decision tree I recommend when choosing between the two.
- If you must have a regional sports network other than the NBC Sports RSNs then you should go with Xfinity.
- If you are going to stream your live TV service to more than 3 TVs at the same time, then go with Xfinity. They will allow you to stream up to 5 streams at once.
- If your situation doesn’t reflect the previous 2 points, then YouTube is the better service and will save you money.
Channel Comparison List
|Channel||Xfinity “Pop” TV||YouTube TV|
|BBC World News||✗||✓|
|Big Ten Network||✓||✓|
|CBS Sports Network||✗||✓|
|Fox News Channel||✓||✓|
|Fox Sports 1 (FS1)||✓||✓|
|Fox Sports 2 (FS2)||✗||✓|
|FX Movie Channel||✗||✓|
|Game Show Network (GSN)||✓||✓|
|Hallmark Movies & Mysteries||✓||✓|
|Nat Geo Wild||✗||✓|
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