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DIRECTV vs. Optimum vs. Verizon Fios Television plan comparison


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Researched by
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Reviewed by
Updated 4/10/23

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DIRECTV
Staff rating
4.1
Customer rating
3.9
(81)

  • Plans starting at $48.99
  • 350+ channels
Optimum brand
Staff rating
4.5
Customer rating
3.7
(22)

  • Plans starting at $15.00
  • 420+ channels
Verizon Fios brand
Staff rating
4.5
Customer rating
4.4
(32)

  • Plans starting at $49.99
  • 425+ channels
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DIRECTV
Staff rating
4.1

DIRECTV offers the best of sports and entertainment in HD

DIRECTV is our top choice for regional sports networks and offers channels for every appetite, but watch out for second-rate DVR tech and hidden fees.

What we like

  • Exceptional sports lineup
  • Crystal clear 4K picture
  • Installation included with activation fee
What we dislike

  • Prices go up after year two
  • Steep early termination costs
  • Lots of hidden fees
Savings tip: DIRECTV often has
sign-up promotions
for first-time customers. Call to ask a rep about current deals and discounts.
Check deals
Optimum brand
Staff rating
4.5

Huge value for internet-based TV

Optimum offers exceptional value. You get tons of channels, a solid DVR, and a good selection of sports and premium channels for a very reasonable price. Despite some additional fees, Optimum is an excellent choice.


What we like

  • No contracts
  • High channel count
  • Excellent value
What we dislike

  • Some areas can't get fiber internet
  • High fees
  • Second-year price hikes
Savings tip: Optimum often has
sign-up promotions
for first-time customers. Call to ask a rep about current deals and discounts.
Check deals
Verizon Fios brand
Staff rating
4.5

Excellent value and customizable options

Verizon Fios TV offers an excellent value TV service. The customizable Your Fios plan is particularly attractive, but all tiers offer a lot of TV for the money. Add in outstanding internet, and it’s hard to go wrong with Verizon.

What we like

  • No contracts
  • Personalized channel lineup
  • Excellent fiber internet bundles
What we dislike

  • Pricey DVR storage
  • For TV-only customers, a Verizon router is still required
Savings tip: Verizon Fios often has
sign-up promotions
for first-time customers. Call to ask a rep about current deals and discounts.
Check deals
DIRECTV
Content
5.0
All the channels you could hope for

DIRECTV satellite offers a metric ton of channels, including almost all the most popular networks in the US. It also offers more regional sports networks than any other TV provider, making it one of our top choices for content among all the providers we review.

Local: 4.5/5
Local channels are the heart of a good TV package, and DIRECTV has you covered at every tier. You get access to the big four networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX) plus a handful of Spanish-language channels. You’ll miss out on a few of the nation’s top 100 picks because they’re only available over the air, but there’s no provider out there that can beat out DIRECTV for local coverage.

Sports: 4.5/5
DIRECTV offers access to every one of the top sports channels out there plus a bunch of regional sports networks, meaning you can catch nearly every game under the sun. We have to say nearly, though, because DIRECTV lost its exclusive contract with NFL Sunday Ticket at the end of 2022. We still think DIRECTV is a stellar choice for sports fans of all kinds, but you’ll have to add the Sunday Ticket channel from YouTube TV if you want every out-of-market game. Pricing starts at $349 per season for YouTube TV subscribers and $449 for just the premium channel.

Family and education: 5/5
When it comes to shows for kids and families, you can’t do better than DIRECTV. You get access to all the heavy hitters, from Disney Jr. to PBS and National Geographic. There’s also PBS, Cartoon Network, and plenty of shows and movies to choose from.

News and politics: 5/5
Like with sports, DIRECTV offers almost all the news and analysis you could hope for. You get local, national, and international coverage plus commentary from both sides of the aisle.

Entertainment and lifestyle: 4.5/5
DIRECTV offers all the movies, reality shows, home improvement series, and true crime channels you can think of. At its top tier, you even get premium channels like HBO, Showtime, and STARZ. When you want everything under the sun with just one package price, DIRECTV is a fantastic option.

Local news, sports, and entertainment channels vary based on your location. Check out
DIRECTV channel offerings
in your area.
View plans
Optimum brand
Content
5.0
Popular channels to suit every taste

Optimum offers a great selection of channels, and pricing at each of its tiers is reasonable. If you’re part of a big family with diverse TV tastes, Optimum is easy to recommend.

Local: 5/5
Optimum offers a fantastic selection of local channels in each of its four package tiers. You get access to the four basic broadcast channels (NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX) plus Univision and Telemundo. That means local news and sports, big national games like the Super Bowl, and primetime favorites.

Sports: 5/5
Not only does Optimum offer a ton of great channels for sports, you can get most of it at either the Basic TV or Core TV packages. In addition to wrestling on USA Network and all that ESPN has to offer, you get TNT, Fox Sports 1, MLB Network, and NBA TV. NFL Network is available on the highest tier, and you can get NFL RedZone as an add-on. Sports aficionados should opt for at least the Select TV plan to get the best selection.

If Optimum's offerings aren't quite right, you're in luck! A lot of games and matches are now available via streaming or over the air. Find out how to watch the MLB, how to watch pro football, and how to watch the NHL.

Family and education: 5/5
Optimum TV truly offers something for everyone, and that includes all kinds of shows for kids and channels focused on education. You can get PBS, Disney, and Nickelodeon at the Core TV price. If you bump up to the next tier, you can get History, Discovery, NationL Geographic, Travel, Animal Planet, and more. There’s no Family Entertainment TV (FETV) or Me TV, but we aren’t too mad about it.

News and politics: 5/5
Optimum TV keeps hitting homers when it comes to news. You get a selection of US political news from both sides of the aisle plus international news, Spanish-language news, business news, and even sports news.

Entertainment and lifestyle: 4.5/5
When it comes to watching great movies, reality TV, and home improvement shows, Optimum TV has you covered. At the highest tier, you get a selection of premium channels including Reelz, HBO, and SHOWTIME, plus both Hallmark and Lifetime. A number of the top 100 channels in the US are missing, including Game Show Network, Grit, INSP and Ion Mystery, but all the most popular content is easy to find. (1)

Local news, sports, and entertainment channels vary based on your location. Check out
Optimum channel offerings
in your area.
View plans
Verizon Fios brand
Content
5.0
Hundreds of channels and easy customization

Great prices meet high channel counts and easy ways to pay for just what you want to watch with Verizon Fios TV. If you live in a coverage area, you’ll benefit from some of the best pay TV on the market.

Local: 5/5
Verizon has you covered when it comes to channels, with all the standard options in both English and Spanish. The exact selection and channel number varies based on where you live, but there’s a good chance you can get broadcast favorites in HD quality. You also get a variety of local public access stations and less-common but still-popular options like Comet, Bounce TV, Antenna TV, and StartTV. (1)

Sports: 5/5
Verizon TV’s premium package has a lot to offer for anyone who loves sports. In addition to your local channels, you can watch pro golf, baseball, football, and basketball, plus a variety of college games. The only downside is no Showtime (unless you buy an add-on).

Family and education: 4/5
When it comes to content for kids and families with Verizon Fios TV, there’s a lot to love. With The Most Fios TV package, you get Nick Toons, Disney XD, Disney Junior, and Boomerang plus Discovery, Nat Geo Wild, Science, Game Show Network, and much more. However, you’ll miss out on Family Entertainment TV (FETV), Me TV, UP, and Cartoon Network.

News and politics: 5/5
Whether you want political talk, international news and analysis, business news, or even sports and local news, Verizon Fios is a great option. It offers every single one of the top 100 channels in the US that offers news, including CNN, Fox News, Newsmax, CNBC, C-SPAN, and even the Weather Channel and Accuweather.

Entertainment and lifestyle: 4.5/5
You can watch all kinds of movies, reality TV favorites, and true crime documentaries with Verizon Fios TV’s premier package. To get HBO and Showtime, though, you’ll have to pay add-on prices. Unfortunately, you can’t get Grit, Ion Mystery, USA Network, Cartoon Network, or Laff with Verizon.

Local news, sports, and entertainment channels vary based on your location. Check out
Verizon Fios channel offerings
in your area.
View plans
DIRECTV
Value
4.5
Phenomenal lineup of channels and games, but watch for hidden fees

DIRECTV’s satellite service is a solid choice for viewers who don’t have access to cable TV or fast internet, and it has all the most popular channels, plus access to more regional sports networks than any other provider. However, its high prices and required two-year contract make it a poor fit for budget-conscious shoppers.

With DIRECTV’S top offering, PREMIER, you get more than 340 channels. That’s more channels than you can get through most other cable or satellite services and more channels per dollar. You might not care about all the channels—specifically the music and advertising ones—but there’s sure to be something for everyone. You’ll pay extra for sports add-ons, but prices for these extras are on par with the competition.

Get the best value by speaking directly with a sales rep at 1-844-343-6362 or check your address at
DIRECTV's website.
Check address
Optimum brand
Value
5.0
You get a lot for the money, but internet is required

Optimum TV offers excellent value, whether you live in an area that gets only cable internet or one wired for fiber-to-the-home. Internet-based TV packages are available for as little as $35 per month (for basic TV), while the higher-tier plans offer high channel counts for the price. There are as many as 420+ channels available—one of the highest channel counts of any provider.

The internet service is also a fantastic value, offering faster speeds for the money than many competitors. It’s worth noting that an internet plan is required, though, at a minimum price of $40 per month. There’s also a few hidden fees, but they’re lower than what we’ve seen from other cable providers.

There's a 2-year price lock on most plans, which is great! Prices go up in the third year of TV service, though, and the company doesn't say by how much. We've heard customers complain about price hikes in the range of $85–$115, though, and that's just for TV. Since you also need internet, your price could balloon by $200 per month by year three.

You may be able to save on your bill by calling in and threatening to switch to a competitor, so we recommend it!

Get the best value by speaking directly with a sales rep at 1-844-719-8066 or check your address at
Optimum's website.
Check address
Verizon Fios brand
Value
5.0
Excellent value, especially with the customizable channel lineup

Verizon isn't the cheapest option for traditional TV—you can get TV service for less elsewhere. It’s also not the best in terms of channels per dollar—although it holds its own. However, the ability to personalize the Your Fios plan means you can get more of the channels you actually want without having to pony up for a more expensive plan. It's a fantastic feature, and relatively uncommon in the cable TV space.

Of course, if you do want all the channels, you can get that, too: the top-tier Most Fios plan comes with well over 400, which is one of the highest channel counts in the business.

Get the best value by speaking directly with a sales rep at 1-833-970-0848 or check your address at
Verizon Fios's website.
Check address
DIRECTV
Equipment and features
4.0
Genie HD DVR can record five shows at once

DIRECTV offers one of the best day-to-day viewing experiences available from any live TV service, and its picture quality is hard to beat.

Ability to watch: Great
Watching DIRECTV is a pleasure, whether you’re watching from your couch or catching up on your DVR shows from bed. The companion app is also easy to use, and it lets you watch from all the top streaming devices, including Apple TV and Roku.

DIRECTV reports 99% signal reliability (virtually the same as DISH), but if you live in an area with a lot of storms or other interference, it’s possible for your signal to drop out. If that happens, you can still access your DVR, find on-demand content, or stream online. You can also stream away from home using the DIRECTV app on your iPhone or Android.

Ability to record: Great
DIRECTV’s Genie HD DVR receiver is everything you’d expect from a premium cable TV or satellite service. We like how easy it is to find shows you’ve saved to your DVR or bookmarked, and the on-demand library is solid. Your Genie can record five channels at once and store up to 200 hours of HD content. That’s not quite as many channels as with the latest DISH Hopper 3 DVR, and you also get less storage capacity than with almost any live TV streaming service we tested. But unless you need to record a ton of content or several channels at once, DIRECTV’s tech should be adequate.

Rental of your first Genie HD DVR receiver is included with your subscription, but you may have to pay up to $25 every month to use the HD DVR. You will also be charged $7 per month (plus activation fees) to rent additional mini receivers or to upgrade to the wireless version of the Genie HD DVR.

Ability to find: Great
DIRECTV has done a stellar job with its channel guide, making it easy to find your shows in a variety of ways. You can sort the channels in a few ways, choose favorites, or browse by category. You can also select favorites for quick access.

The included backlit remote comes with all the controls you expect for finding, recording, and selecting channels. It doesn’t come standard with voice control, but it’s possible to set that up if you have one of Amazon’s Alexa devices. You also won’t be able to watch streaming services like Netflix and Hulu on your Genie, but that comes standard with DISH.

Features and equipment may vary based on package. Visit
DIRECTV's website
or call 1-844-343-6362 for more information.
Optimum brand
Features
4.0
A solid DVR, but fees for storage

Optimum TV is a nice option for channel surfing, watching on-demand, and catching episodes or games you might have missed (whether on a TV set or on your phone or laptop). However, its costly DVR storage may not be worth the money.

Ability to watch: Great
Whether you go with the Optimum cable box, buy an Apple TV from the company, or use your own Apple TV, we think you’ll enjoy watching Optimum TV. Optimum gives you Wi-Fi equipment and the first set-top box for free, but you'll be charged an additional $10 per month for each additional TV box. However, it’s easy to get out of those fees using the sweet Optimum TV mobile app, so that’s what we recommend for most households.

Ability to record: Good
Optimum’s Cloud DVR system offers up to 150 hours of storage for your favorite shows and movies, and you can record up to 15 shows at the same time—perfect for large families or households with lots of roommates. The system comes with all the modern features we expect from a DVR: voice control, an Apple TV app, support for streaming services, and more.

You can also access your DVR and on-demand content from your iPhone, iPad, or Android device with the provider’s app. Our only gripe is that the DVR storage is costly—more than $20 per month for the full 150 hours, in addition to the fee for renting the box. You'll also be charged a DVR service fee for every set-top box you rent, but you can skip the DVR altogether if you want and there’s no charge.

Ability to find: Great
Optimum TV offers thousands of shows and hundreds of channels, and they’re pretty easy to find using the app, the company’s cable box, or an Apple TV. Both the cable box and Apple TV have voice search functionality, and you can enter in credentials for other streaming services like Netflix on either. With the cable box, you can even pause and restart live TV.

Verizon Fios brand
Equipment and features
4.0
A highly rated mobile app lets you save on set-top box rental

The day-to-day experience with Verizon Fios TV is better than with most cable TV competitors, but the company puts less focus on its DVR setup than its competitors in the satellite TV arena.

Ability to watch: Great
Verizon TV comes with your fist set-top box included, and it’s not bad. The signal is delivered over very fast internet, so picture quality is good and reliable. Almost all channels are available in HD. The service also offers a free mobile app for paying customers, so you only really need the one box. If you want more, however, you can lease them for $12 each per month.

Ability to record: Good
Verizon Fios TV comes with all the features you’d expect from a fiber company. On higher packages, it offers multi-room DVR with 100 hours of storage at the base price, and you can record 6 shows at once. For an additional $10 per month, you can double the storage and record up to 12 shows at once. You can record via the remote, the smartphone app, or using a streaming device you already own (like an Apple TV or Fios TV). If you opt for the lowest tier, you’ll have to pay $12 per month for DVR capability and will be limited to just 50 hours of recording space. However, you could also just skip DVR altogether and won’t incur charges.

Ability to find: Excellent
Verizon offers voice remote functionality, easy ways to get to your favorites, and simple parental controls. It also has a mobile app that enables on-the-go streaming of your favorite channels—and it is surprisingly well-rated. (2, 3)

Features and equipment may vary based on package. Visit
Verizon Fios's website
or call 1-833-970-0848 for more information.
DIRECTV
Customer experience
3.0
Nasty hidden fees and so-so support

DIRECTV has some factors that make the customer experience great, but others that we find almost unacceptable. You get free professional installation if you sign a 2-year contract, for example, but there’s a weird $20 activation fee. DISH also includes installation at no extra cost, but traditional cable TV providers can charge $50–$100 or more, even if you do the work yourself.

Included installation is a big benefit, but you’ll pay for it in the long-run over the course of your 2-year commitment. Plus, there are massive cancelation fees of nearly $20 per month remaining on your contract if you want to get out early. There are other fees to watch out for, too. Check the fee schedule from DIRECTV for a complete breakdown.

If you need to contact customer service, your experience will be about average among TV providers we reviewed. You’ll find a lot of complaints in online reviews, but that’s pretty par for the course.

Visit DIRECTV's website
or call 1-844-343-6362 for more information on contracts and money-back guarantees.
Go to provider
Optimum brand
Customer experience
4.0
Premium installation with a premium price

Most Optimum TV customers are happy with the service and self-installation is free if you order online. If you need a pro to come help (and you order online), the charge is $60. If you call in to order, self-install is free, the standard installation costs about $100, and premium installation costs about $150.

Visit Optimum's website
or call 1-844-719-8066 for more information on contracts and money-back guarantees.
Go to provider
Verizon Fios brand
Customer experience
4.0
Installation is a little pricey (unless you order online)

The Verizon Fios TV professional installation fee is $99, and there’s no self-install option. However, online ordering and promotions often waive this fee, so you can save some money on your first TV bill. Apart from that, the other major setup costs are the router and the DVR. You'll need the $18-per-month router if you don't already have Verizon Fios internet, and the company recommends against using your own equipment.

Once installation is handled, most customers are happy with the service. Some wish they could pay less, but complaints about the mobile app and channel lineup are relatively rare.

Visit Verizon Fios's website
or call 1-833-970-0848 for more information on contracts and money-back guarantees.
Go to provider
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Made up your mind?
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DIRECTV
3.9
(81)
5 Star
35%
4 Star
40%
3 Star
16%
2 Star
7%
1 Star
2%
L
Larryfrom Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
DIRECTV Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 7/17/2022
I get what pay for - literally.
R
Richardfrom Nebo, NC
DIRECTV Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 7/12/2022
good service cost is little high
W
Williamfrom Sylvania, GA
DIRECTV Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 7/2/2022
THE SIGNAL DOES NOT HOLD UP DURING BAD WEATHER
I
Isabellafrom Centreville, AL
DIRECTV Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 6/28/2022
cost too much for the value of the programing
Optimum
3.6
(22)
5 Star
27%
4 Star
32%
3 Star
27%
2 Star
9%
1 Star
5%
E
Edwardfrom Manalapan , NJ
Optimum Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 8/15/2022
Service is good but we lost channels in the last change of offers
J
Joann from Fairfield , CT
Optimum Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 7/14/2022
Too expensive. Difficult to contact by phone
D
David from Hackensack, NJ
Optimum Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 7/2/2022
My optimum bill is included in the rent.I use it mostly for the wifi. I like to use the Amazon firestick as it offers first run movies.i don't think that there is any way to improve on that.
K
Katfrom Bronx, NY
Optimum Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 6/29/2022
It's just ok
Verizon Fios
4.4
(32)
5 Star
50%
4 Star
41%
3 Star
9%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
J
Jacobfrom Marshall , IL
Verizon Fios Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 8/16/2022
Love it great service
E
Enricofrom East Lansing, MI
Verizon Fios Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 7/17/2022
i love the deals that verizon has given me through promotion, i've had to switch from xfinity to verizon and they go hand in hand with my phone plan and i pay less than before
R
Richard from Fairfax , VA
Verizon Fios Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 6/25/2022
Selection is good. Prices are too high. Should have different packages to choose from.
E
Edwardfrom Joppa, MD
Verizon Fios Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 6/23/2022
I get NO extra channels just basics and my bill is still to high. $123.88
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Endnotes and sources
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Endnotes and sources
Endnotes and sources
(1) "Most-Watched Television Networks: Ranking 2022’s Winners and Losers," Variety. Accessed 4 April 2023.(2) "Fios TV Mobile," App Store. Accessed 17 October 2022.(3) "Fios TV Mobile," Google Play. Accessed 17 October 2022.