Xfinity vs YouTube TV: Which Live TV Streaming Service is Cheaper & Better?

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Written by

Jason Lin
Jason Lin

Published on

All ArticlesReview, Xfinity Box, YouTube TV
Xfinity Vs Youtube Tv

Live TV streaming services like YouTube TV have seen a lot of price hikes recently, leading some to wonder if cable TV like Xfinity is now the more affordable option. This comprehensive guide compares Xfinity and YouTube TV across pricing, channels, features and more to determine which provides the best value in 2024.

Key Takeaways

  • YouTube TV costs $72.99/month while Xfinity ranges from $74.99 to $214.99/month for TV service alone. With internet, YouTube TV is cheaper.
  • YouTube TV has better base channel lineup, interface and DVR features. Xfinity offers more regional sports and simultaneous streams.
  • Over 2 years, YouTube TV saves $500+. Over 3 years, savings jump to $1000+ over Xfinity.
  • If needing regional sports or 5+ simultaneous streams, choose Xfinity. Otherwise, YouTube TV is the better deal.

Cost Comparison: Xfinity vs YouTube TV Pricing

The most important factor for most consumers choosing between cable and streaming is cost. Let’s analyze the pricing and bill breakdown of Xfinity TV and Internet vs YouTube TV.

Xfinity TV Packages and Pricing

Xfinity Logo

Xfinity offers three main TV packages:

  • Preferred ($74.99/month) – 140+ channels
  • Extra ($104.99/month) – 220+ channels
  • Premier ($214.99/month) – 300+ channels

However, the advertised prices rarely reflect the true monthly costs:

  • HD Technology Fee ($9.95)
  • Regional Sports Fee ($8.75 avg)
  • Broadcast TV Fee ($16.45 avg)
  • TV Box Rental Fees ($5-15 each)
  • Taxes and other fees (15%+ of bill)

Many customers also add on premium channels, DVR service ($10/month) and extra TV outlets.

Below is a breakdown of a real Xfinity bill from a reader for reference:

  • Preferred TV: $74.99
  • HD Technology Fee: $9.95
  • Broadcast TV Fee: $21
  • Regional Sports Fee: $11.85
  • 2 TV Box Rental Fees: $17 ($8.50 each)
  • DVR Service: $10
  • Taxes & Other Fees: $143.50

Total: $288.79/month

As you can see, the actual monthly cost is almost $215 higher than the advertised Preferred TV package price due to hardware rentals, HD fees, regional sports fees and taxes/other fees.

YouTube TV Pricing

Youtube Tv Logo

YouTube TV pricing is much simpler:

  • $72.99/month for 100+ channels
  • No added fees
  • Can cancel anytime

YouTube TV has raised prices from $49.99 to $72.99 in the past two years. But even at $73, the pricing remains straightforward and relatively reasonable compared to the true cost of cable TV once you tally up all of Xfinity’s fees.

YouTube TV requires high-speed internet which can cost around $50-100 per month depending on your provider. Some providers charge equipment fees, regional sports fees and other add-ons that inflate the advertised pricing too.

Price Comparison Over 2-3 Years

Comparing total cost over a 2-3 year period reveals where the real savings come in for cord cutters:

  • Year 1
    • Xfinity Preferred TV + Fast Internet: $124/month
    • YouTube TV + Xfinity Internet: $95/month
    • Savings: $348/year
  • Year 2
    • Xfinity Preferred TV + Fast Internet: $124/month
    • YouTube TV + Xfinity Internet: $157/month
    • Savings: $504/year
  • Year 3
    • Xfinity Preferred TV + Fast Internet: $176/month
    • YouTube TV + Xfinity Internet: $157/month
    • Savings: $972/year

The numbers will vary based on internet pricing and fees, but the overall trend remains consistent:

Over 2-3 years, YouTube TV provides significant savings compared to bundled Xfinity TV + Internet.

Now let’s compare features to see which service provides the superior experience.

Feature Comparison: YouTube TV vs Xfinity

Beyond pricing, YouTube TV and Xfinity each offer their own advantages in channels, DVR, streaming and interface. Let’s compare the details.

Channels

YouTube TV and Xfinity Preferred TV both offer around 140+ channels in their base packages. Here is how they compare:

  • Unique to YouTube TV: ACC Network, Cartoon Network, ESPN U, MLB Network, NBA TV
  • Unique to Xfinity: A&E, Lifetime, History

Xfinity includes more regional sports networks. YouTube TV only offers NBC Sports RSNs in select markets. Some users have reported issues like YouTube TV NBC not working. Here are some things you can try.

Xfinity channels
Xfinity

For kids and sports channels especially, YouTube TV has the edge. But Xfinity Preferred includes a few more entertainment options.

Youtube Tv Channels 1
YouTube TV

To get the full channel lineup of YouTube TV, you would need to upgrade to Xfinity Extra or Premier which increases costs significantly.

Overall, YouTube TV wins for base package channels. But serious sports fans may prefer Xfinity.

Streaming & DVR Capabilities

Both Xfinity and YouTube TV allow for TV streaming with complimentary cloud DVR. But YouTube TV has distinct advantages:

  • Video Quality – YouTube: 1080p HD / Xfinity: 720p
  • DVR Storage – YouTube: Unlimited hours / Xfinity: 20 hours (upgrades available)
  • Simultaneous Streams – Xfinity: 5 home + 3 mobile streams / YouTube TV: 3 streams
  • Interface – YouTube TV’s interface is cleaner and easier to navigate
  • TV Everywhere Apps – YouTube TV credentials work on more apps like ESPN

Xfinity Stream edges out YouTube TV for number of simultaneous streams allowed.

Xfinity recordings
Xfinity

But YouTube TV streaming boasts full HD picture quality, limitless cloud DVR, an intuitive interface and TV Everywhere app support across devices.

Youtube Tv Recordings
YouTube TV

Want to free up space on your YouTube TV DVR? Learn how by deleting recordings on YouTube TV.

Overall, streaming features are better with YouTube TV – but Xfinity isn’t too far behind.

Contracts, Cancellation and Equipment Fees

Two more advantages YouTube TV provides over cable are no contracts and no equipment rental fees ever.

Xfinity requires a 2-year TV contract, with up to $10/month box rental fees for each TV. Breaking the contract results in up to a $240 early termination fee.

YouTube TV has zero equipment fees and lets you cancel anytime since there are no contracts.

If you value choice and flexibility, YouTube TV is the clear winner.

Xfinity vs YouTube TV: Which is the Better Deal in 2024?

Taking pricing, features and flexibility into account, here is a final comparison to determine whether Xfinity or YouTube TV offers better value overall:

YouTube TVXfinity
Price (Monthly)$72.99 ($62.99/mo for your first 3 months)$74.99+ fees (Avg $125+ per month)
Contract CommitmentNone, cancel anytime2 years
Top Channels100+ channels with sports, news entertainment140+ channels, more regional sports
Video Quality1080p HD720p
DVR StorageUnlimited Cloud DVR20 hours Cloud DVR (upgrades available)
Simultaneous Streams35 home + 3 mobile
Ease of UseVery easy, intuitive interfaceCan be more complicated to navigate

In most cases, YouTube TV delivers better overall value with lower pricing, flexibility to change or cancel anytime, and superior streaming features to enhance the viewing experience.

Youtube Tv Sports Channels
YouTube TV

Xfinity makes sense over YouTube TV ONLY IF:

  • You need a ton of regional sports networks
  • You require 5+ simultaneous streams

Aside from those two exceptions, YouTube TV stands out as the superior service for cord cutters – delivering an excellent viewing experience at a better value.

Over a 2-3 year period in particular, the savings from switching to YouTube TV really add up over bloated cable TV bills.

Sling TV and YouTube TV offer different benefits covered in this Sling vs YouTube TV breakdown.

If considering FuboTV, check out FuboTV vs YouTube TV to compare and contrast the two.

FAQ: Xfinity vs YouTube TV

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions for consumers choosing between Xfinity and YouTube TV.

Does YouTube TV have local channels?

Yes. YouTube TV carries live local stations from ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and more, including local news and live sports like NFL games. Availability may vary by exact location.

What happens after the 2-year Xfinity TV contract expires?

After 2 years, the monthly rates for Xfinity TV service generally increase significantly, often by 50% or more unless you call to renegotiate pricing and sign another contract.

Can I get my Xfinity internet-only price if I cancel TV service?

No. Xfinity does not allow customers to retain internet-only pricing if downgrading from a TV bundle. Your internet rate will increase to regular pricing.

Does YouTube TV offer pay-per-view?

At this time YouTube TV itself does not offer PPV events. You can access pay-per-view through the NFL, NBA, WWE and UFC apps using your YouTube TV credentials however.

How fast does my internet need to be for YouTube TV?

YouTube TV recommends internet speeds of at least 3 Mbps per stream for SD quality and 6 Mbps per stream for best HD quality. So around 25 Mbps for a whole home.

Key Takeaways: Choose YouTube TV Over Xfinity For Most

After this thorough Xfinity and YouTube TV comparison looking at pricing, channels, features and contract differences, our verdict is clear:

For a superior viewing experience at a better value, YouTube TV beats out overpriced Xfinity TV for most households.

The only real advantages Xfinity provides is for sports-centric viewers who require Bally Sports and 5+ simultaneous streams. Aside from that, YouTube TV offers more flexibility, more streamlined pricing and a better interface – at a cost that saves over $1000+ over 2-3 years.

If it’s time to finally cut the cord, YouTube TV stands tall as a top replacement for bloated cable bills in 2024 and beyond.

I hope this comprehensive guide helps compare Xfinity and YouTube TV to determine the best live TV streaming service for your household. Please share any questions below!