The TV Nerd's Take:

Charter Spectrum offers data cap-free service that’s great for cord cutters and techies. Comcast Xfinity has stronger budget options, and makes the most sense for customers who want to bundle Internet + TV.

Charter Spectrum offers inexpensive Internet-only service when compared to Xfinity, and offers great bundle deals with no contracts required. They have unlimited streaming for cord cutters but trend on the expensive side for TV packages. (This is once you factor in promotions and fees, not the “advertised price”.)

Xfinity has one of the largest cable networks in the country, and offers fast internet and premium TV service for a more expensive price. They’re a better fit for bundle shoppers who want Internet and traditional cable TV. The good part: budget pricing and the X1 smart TV box is pretty slick in my opinion. The bad: well, it’s still Comcast… say no more.

Core Comparison
 Charter SpectrumXFINITY from Comcast
Pricing$44.99$39.99
Average Download Speed48.9558
Netflix Ranking84
Major Cities Los Angeles, New York, San Antonio, Dallas Houston, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia
States Served 43 States including California, Texas, New York, Ohio and North Carolina 40 States including California, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Michigan

Charter Pros and Cons

Setup Service
Looking to setup Charter Spectrum service? Use this line to speak with a human in less than 60 seconds: (844) 356-4246

Pros

  • Flat Rate DVR service
  • Less expensive
  • No contract

Cons

  • Fewer premium channel options
  • Fewer TV options
  • Slower internet
Charter’s main advantage lies in its low prices and no obligation contracts. The convenience of being able to change your provider at your leisure means that there’s little risk in trying out Charter.

Unfortunately, it does fall behind Xfinity in both TV options and Internet speeds.

Xfinity Pros and Cons

Setup Service
Looking to setup XFINITY from Comcast service? Use this line to speak with a human in less than 60 seconds: (855) 860-3089

Pros

  • Fast Internet
  • Fully-featured DVR
  • Great for sports fans

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Requires a contract
  • Equipment rental fees

In general, Xfinity provides the more comprehensive service out of the two, but it does so at a price. Higher monthly bills combined with equipment rental fees and a required contract can get expensive, and you’ll be stuck with the service even if you find out it doesn’t work for you.

Network and Coverage Comparison

Both Charter and Xfinity have a cable network, meaning that internet service is provided through coaxial cable networks originally implemented for cable TV service. For this reason, both Xfinity and Charter offer extensive cable channel offerings alongside their basic Internet service. . Both Charter and Xfinity use what’s called a “hybrid fiber-coaxial” network, which means that advanced fiber cabling is used for parts of the network, even if the cables in your neighborhood are older less-advanced coaxial cables. Regardless, I found that Xfinity manages to offer higher speeds in most areas using the same technology.

Xfinity’s network coverage is also much more extensive, meaning that more people will be able to take advantage of the service — this is also convenient for renters who will need to transfer service with them when relocating to a new city.

Charter vs Xfinity Internet performance

Charter
PlanDownload (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)Data Cap
Charter Internet (bundle)604Unlimited
Charter Internet Only604Unlimited
Ultra Internet1005Unlimited
Xfinity
PlanDownload (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)Data Cap
Performance Starter1021 TB
Performance 252551 TB
Performance Pro7551 TB
Blast! Pro200101 TB
Gigabit100035Unlimited

Bundled services

Each provider offer bundled services in the form of double and triple play options.

Both options offer amazing deals, but Charter comes out ahead with some pretty insane discounts. In some cases, bundling with Charter actually costs less than just buying one service on its own.

Overall, either service will offer good deals on bundled services, but it’s difficult to compete with what Charter offers so far as pricing. They also offer to “buy out” customer contracts in some markets and cover your early termination fees, making them a good option for switching if you’ve had a bad experience with another provider.

Charter vs Xfinity TV service

Charter

  • More than 200 HD channels
  • Watch content away from home with the Spectrum app
  • Over 10000 on-demand options

Xfinity

  • Extensive on-demand library
  • Xfinity Stream app for mobile viewing
  • X1 Voice Remote
  • Netflix integration
  • Manage your internet connection using your TV
  • Large amount of HD channels
  • Quality DVR service

Both services offer great TV service, but Xfinity just pulls ahead with more features included with a TV subscription. The voice remote is a nice touch, and the fact that you can manage netflix from your cable box is very convenient.

Sports packages

Charter

  • Large amount of sports options with packages featuring ESPN, Fox Sports, NFL Network, NFL RedZone, MLB Network, NBC Golf and more.
  • Additional add-ons are available like NHL Center Ice, NBA League Pass, MLS Direct Kick and MLB Extra Innings are available for an extra fee.

Xfinity

  • Xfinity DVR offers the capability to track sports score across multiple games
  • Sports package options cover your favorite sports like the NFL, MLB, NBA, College Football, Soccer, NASCAR, NHL, Golf, and more
  • Pick and choose which sports you want to watch with great deals on individual add-on services
In general, both providers will serve you well when it comes to sports, but Xfinity offers more utility with their DVR and those extra features push it ahead of the competition.

Equipment

The X1 DVR is available for Xfinity for an additional monthly fee, and is one of the most advanced DVRs on the market. It features 500 GB of storage, preloaded programming, access to your favorite apps like Facebook, and the ability to record up to four shows at once.
Charter, on the other hand, offers a less impressive DVR but covers multiple rooms for a low price. It’s a great option for those of us who want to save money on our monthly bill.

Charter offers an internet gateway for free, while Xfinity charges a monthly fee on top of the regular internet bill.

Charter Spectrum Key Advantage: Budget Pricing and No Contracts

Charter is generally less fully-featured when compared to Xfinity, but it offers a quality service at a much lower price. The fact that most every service is available without a contract and the fact that internet equipment is available for free makes it clear that Charter offers the ultimate in flexibility and affordability.

Xfinity Key Advantage: Faster Internet and Better TV

At the end of the day, Xfinity offers both better internet and better TV. If you’re concerned about maximizing your features and convenience, Xfinity is going to be the best option most every time.

This service and ease of use come at a price, however, and Xfinity is generally more expensive than alternative offerings.

Equipment and Installation Considerations

As mentioned above, Xfinity charges a monthly fee for their gateway, and both services charge for their DVRs.

As far as installation goes, both services are pretty similar. Self-installation kits are more affordable and usable in most situations, but professional installation does come with a fee for both providers.

The TV Nerd Says: Go With Xfinity, for Faster Internet and Cheaper TV

Xfinity ((855) 860-3089) comes out ahead both on internet and TV. Charter is a good cord cutter pick, but if you want smart TV you’ll save money and have a better experience with Xfinity in my opinion.

Keep in mind, however, that this choice is going to be largely personal. I’ve done our best to give you a detailed comparison between Charter and Xfinity. Despite their differences, both providers offer a decent service, albeit with some customer service issues on both sides. The decision is up to you!

Comments

  • Image of david
    david says
    04/13/2018

    Where do you live that you can have a choice? I am an employee of Universal owned by Comcast and cannot get Comcast or Xfinity because Spectrum Charter has the monopoly " I mean service " here in Orlando.

    Reply

    1. Image of Adi Marcovich
      Adi Marcovich says
      06/10/2018

      Usually, the alternative is a slower DSL provider. Some lucky folks in places like Sarasota/Miami will have cable and fiber in the same neighborhood. It really depends and Orlando is certainly one of the less ideal markets for consumers.

      Reply

    2. Image of Kris
      Kris says
      05/17/2018

      Thank you for your insight. For someone that is not a BIG internet user, you helped make up my mind

      Reply

      1. Image of Adi Marcovich
        Adi Marcovich says
        06/10/2018

        Glad it helped! Hard to find fluff-free TV advice on the Internet these days.

        Reply

      2. Image of Wilbur Watson
        Wilbur Watson says
        05/29/2018

        Spectrum is good but their ever creeping small increases is of a concern. My local Time Warner dba Spectrum office is staffed with GAF people. Intentional?
        Their tech service is good but is what is to be expected.
        Its good there are two cable content providers now. In the past it was TWC or dial up/dish.
        In the end, for me, its Spectrum but still a painful necessity for broadband access. Did do satellite
        many years ago and it was good until a hard rain but otherwise OK.
        Considering internet only and a tree-top antenna for the local news.

        Reply

        1. Image of Adi Marcovich
          Adi Marcovich says
          06/10/2018

          Over the air TV is a great choice if cable is expensive in your neighborhood. I don't recommend putting it in a tree though! Some of the window mounted models you can get on Amazon/etc have gotten quite good.

          Reply

        Leave a Comment: