The TV Nerd's Take:
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.
|Charter Spectrum||XFINITY from Comcast|
|Average Download Speed||53.23||67.85|
|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
- Flat Rate DVR service
- Less expensive
- No contract
- Fewer premium channel options
- Fewer TV options
- Slower internet
Unfortunately, it does fall behind Xfinity in both TV options and Internet speeds.
Xfinity Pros and Cons
- Fast Internet
- Fully-featured DVR
- Great for sports fans
- 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
|Plan||Download (Mbps)||Upload (Mbps)||Data Cap|
|Charter Internet (bundle)||60||4||Unlimited|
|Charter Internet Only||60||4||Unlimited|
|Plan||Download (Mbps)||Upload (Mbps)||Data Cap|
|Performance Starter||10||2||1 TB|
|Performance 25||25||5||1 TB|
|Performance Pro||75||5||1 TB|
|Blast! Pro||200||10||1 TB|
Bundled servicesEach 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
- More than 200 HD channels
- Watch content away from home with the Spectrum app
- Over 10000 on-demand options
- 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.
- 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 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
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 ((800) 934-6489) 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!