Saturday, April 29, 2017

Xfinity vs. DirecTV: The Nickelodeon and Disney Channel Reviewed, uh, Review (or at least Unknown's Opinion)

So for this "review" we're doing something different: comparing two subscription TV providers, head-to-head. We're doing this for a number of reasons: because Nickelodeon and Disney Channel are subscription TV channels, and because I've subscribed with both Xfinity and DirecTV in the very recent past so I feel I'm qualified to speak on each's weaknesses and benefits and come to some conclusion as to which is the "winner" (more on why that's in quotes at the end). 

There's of course a third subscription TV service, Dish Network, but they're so pathetic I feel it's not even worth rating them beyond an "lol." And of course there's lots others, such as Netflix, Hulu, etc., but I feel it's most worthwhile pitting the two most "traditional" subscription services together and mention the newcomers at the very end (it should be obvious why at the very end).

In the first corner, Xfinity


 - They're more or less reliable. I guess you really do get what you pay for, if what you value most of all is just the ability to watch shows whenever the provider/network dictates it, and access OnDemand features. You don't have to worry about the weather.


 - They're hideously expensive compared to other options including DirecTV, when comparing feature-to-feature. To pay for the equivalent number of features comparable to even DirecTV (including basic HD packaging) you have to pay out the nose so much it just becomes stupid. If you do not have any concept regarding the value of money, it might not matter, but to most people living in the real world, an Xfinity subscription might just come off as outright idiotically stupid in terms of what you actually pay for.

I mean, seriously, you might as well just freely donate money to Xfinity's corporate bosses.

 - the customer service is awful and unresponsive, which means all that money you're freely giving to them is going to great use.

In conclusion: if you hate the money in your savings account, Xfinity is a great service. Final Grade: F Minus Minus. Just the fees and pricing you pay alone is an exercise in masochism.

In the second corner, DirecTV


 - They're relatively cheap, at least upfront. You get a number of services for the fraction of the cost you'd be paying for from Xfinity. Unless you opt for the most basic package possible HD is pretty much guaranteed across the board. Even really cheap packages come with oodles of channels.


 - Reliability is about on par with an early 90s Yugo. If it snows, you can pretty much forget about watching or recording TV. If you live in a climate where it snows at all you might want to think twice about DirecTV. Even if you live in a very sunny, warm climate the basic equipment itself is of questionable functionality. Remote controls tend to be very unresponsive and if you end up flinging them at your TV often, I won't blame you.

- You ever see those commercials from Xfinity about the hidden fees from DirecTV? Yeah, they have a point. Don't be surprised if your phone is hounded by DIrecTV sales people asking if you'd like to take advantage of a "promotional price" to add channels you'll never watch and inflate your monthly bill.

 - Customer service is about on par with Xfinity, in that it sucks.

In conclusion: If you think TV isn't something you should watch every day, especially when the weather sucks, and if you think remote controls are too easy to use, then DirecTV is the service for you
Final Grade: F Minus Minus. This type of unreliability should've gone extinct with the Soviet Union

The Xfinity vs. DirecTV winner is: Neither. They both suck equally, they're both equally a waste of money and giving your money to either is equally incredibly, mind-numbingly stupid. Like, giving your money as a political donation to Donald Trump-stupid. Just cut your damn cord already.

There's a reason why providers like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and what have you are gaining ground quickly and why the traditional big-boy players like Xfinity and DirecTV are facing extinction, whether they realize it or not. With Netflix you really get to dictate and determine your own schedule, not be left to the whims of people with bigger corporate bank accounts than you. 

Now granted, Netflix isn't perfect (they have huge gaps especially when it's relevant to what this blog reviews, as they've only just recently included shows like Liv and Maddie, Jessie, Austin & Ally etc) but it is the belief of this blog (well, Unknown at least) that those gaps can be economically filled with purchasing the individual episodes from Amazon Prime if needed (and really, what are you losing from shows that aren't included in Netflix? Are they really that hot if they're not on Netflix to begin with?) Or just sign up with Amazon Prime.

Live events are also a bit iffy with either Netflix or Amazon Prine - including the KCAs and RDMAs if you care about them - but both Nickelodeon and Disney Channel themselves are moving more to an online streaming format, which is clearly where the future is headed. As long as you have some sort of package or deal where you have access to and can unlock content from Watch Disney Channel or Nickelodeon Online, you should be good. And if recent years are any indication, you aren't missing much by missing the KCAs and RDMAs anyway.

Final Conclusion: In the opinion of Unknown, singing up for and paying out the nose for either Xfinity or DirecTV is just friggin' incredibly stupid. You might as well pay someone to let you bang your head against a goddamn brick wall. Those two services are dinosaurs, and it's in Unknown's opinion that their extinction is inevitable. Do you really want to financially back a guaranteed loser? It's in Unknown's opinion that "cutting the cord" and taking advantage of Disney Channel's and Nickelodeon's own acknowledgement that online streaming is the future, with services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime is a much better investment of your entertainment dollar. 

Don't sign up with either Xfinity or DirecTV. If you do, you're a goddamn idiot. If you sign up with Dish Network, you're doubly a goddamn idiot. Go back to middle school if you're going to do that.


  1. I've had Direct Tv and AT&T Uverse. Both are about on par. I kinda perfer the former cuz for me AT&T is connected to the internet so if one goes down, so does the other. That's reaaaly bullshit.

  2. But as long as Comcast's internet service is the default high speed service in your community, they'll get your money, whether you like it or not.


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