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RCN vs Directv cable tv comparison

RCN Vs DirecTV Cable TV Comparison Review

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The TV landscape is getting saturated every day, no thanks to the launch of new TV service providers. Today, it is almost a herculean task to find the perfect provider that ticks all your boxes. But with the likes of DirecTV and RCN doing an impressive job of delivering impeccable TV service to their customers, you can narrow down your list and pick between these big shots.

Right from the get-go, RCN and DirecTV go head to head as both providers offer access to some of the best TV channels you’ll see in the TV industry. Buoyed by impressive DVR services, excellent customer service, reasonable pricing, and mouthwatering bundle deals, both RCN and DirecTV are on top of their game as they strive to outdo each other in a highly competitive industry.

Looking at what both of these providers have to offer, it will be a tough one deciding which of them comes top. But because we love challenges, we want to show you how RCN and DirecTV stack up and why both providers are not a walkover.

Let’s get started, shall we?

RCN Cable TV

RCN isn’t your regular TV provider. Oh yes, through wit, hard work, consistency, and sheer determination, the company has built a solid reputation for itself. Today, RCN has become a huge favorite in the TV industry as they offer customers access to some of the best TV channels, including premium channels like HBO, Starz, Showtime, Cinemax, and more.

While most TV service providers try to cajole you into long time contracts with the promise of offering you mouthwatering deals you cannot resist, RCN keeps things pretty transparent. With RCN you can pay your TV subscription on a month to month basis, and don’t have to ever worry about signing a contract. And guess what, they offer one of the most competitive prices this industry has seen.

Although RCN delivers a remarkable cable experience, especially in NY and PA, its HD channel offerings don’t come close to what DirecTV offers. More so, their services are only available in a few Metropolitan cities like Chicago, New York, and DC. And the fact that they only offer their customers one plan to choose from puts them behind big players like DirecTV that offer a variety of plans customers can explore.

Besides their impressive TV services, RCN also offers a very decent internet connection speed, along with other customer-oriented perks. For people who would love to bundle quality internet services with TV, you’ll be hard picked to find anything better than what RCN offers.

Pros and cons

Without a doubt, RCN has lived up to its reputation. However, it’s not always a rollercoaster ride as they fall short in some areas. Here are some pros and cons of RCN you should know;


  • RCN has a no-contract policy
  • Affordable TV prices and bundles
  • Brilliant internet services


  • Limited coverage (only six states)
  • Fewer TV plans than the competition
  • Extra charges for DVR and other equipment

is rcn tv good

DirecTV Cable

DirecTV has earned its place at the top, and that’s all thanks to its remarkable TV services. Featuring tons of channels, quality on-demand content, excellent DVR services, and reasonable pricing, DirecTV will give other TV services on the block a run for their money.

One thing we have come to love about DirecTV is its varied TV plans and excellent sports options. While the company doesn’t offer its own independent phone and internet services, they partner with big brands to deliver these services to their customers. And unlike RCN, DirecTV has a wider reach as you can enjoy their services in almost 50 states.

We should also add that since AT&T bought DirecTV in 2015, you can now bundle DirecTV services with phone and internet services from AT&T and enjoy a $10 discount every month.

While DirecTV stands out on all fronts, we are not very impressed with their contract options. With DirecTV, customers are locked into a two-year contract, which can be quite annoying, especially if their services don’t meet your expectations.

By agreeing to their contract, it will be an uphill task to cancel your subscription with them, especially if your contract is still running. And should you decide you want out, you’ll have to pay an early termination fee. So if you think you can’t deal with the hassles that come with contracts, we suggest you explore other options like RCN.

Despite the two year contract and imminent second-year price hike that has trailed DirecTV’s services, there is no denying the fact that DirecTV offers one of the best TV services you’ll ever experience. Plus, you are guaranteed an impressive channel variety for family, movie lovers, and sports enthusiasts.

Pros and cons

DirecTV has consistently delivered beyond its customers’ expectations, but you know what, they have a couple of not so cool things you should know. Read on as we explore some of their pros and cons;


  • Loads of brilliant channels to stream
  • NFL Sunday Ticket for sports lovers
  • Varied TV plans


  • Two-year contract policy
  • Second-year price hikes
  • Fewer bundle deals to explore

RCN VS. DirecTV: Installation and TV bundles

RCN offers one of the best installation services you’ll ever see in this industry. Plus, there is a huge chance you won’t pay anything for installation. Oh yes, you heard us right, absolutely free. Although the company technically charges for installation, we are happy to announce to you that the company rolls out free installation coupons now and then. Just make sure you look for a coupon code when signing up

When you subscribe to any DirecTV package, you are guaranteed to enjoy top-notch entertainment, equipment and services. The best part is that all their packages come with professional installation at no extra cost. So the moment you place your order with the company, a DirecTV professional will follow up and help set everything up so that you can start enjoying your favorite TV shows in no time.

The only issue you’ll probably experience is poor signal quality, and this is very common during bad weather conditions. Again, you may find yourself in an apartment where the landlord has a written policy that doesn’t allow you to install satellite equipment. Besides these few glitches, DirecTV stands tall and outperforms tons of TV providers in this industry.

Bundled services

Bundling is the very heartbeat of the TV industry, and a lot of TV providers today are exploring this option to deliver impeccable services to their customers. With RCN and DirecTV, it isn’t any different as these big shots offer some of the most enticing bundle deals you’ll come across.

While RCN only offers its customers one unique TV package, they have tons of bundle deals you’ll love. With RCN, you can bundle internet connections, TV, and phone services. The cool thing about this is that it not only helps you manage your monthly billing, it also helps you save more. Imagine saving $35 per month on your TV bills? Well, that’s what RCN offers and we are sure you wouldn’t want to pass on these awesome deals.

When it comes to bundling, DirecTV is playing catchup as they don’t offer a lot of bundled packages, as you’ll find on RCN. And even though you can bundle TV and internet with DirecTV, you have limited options.

For TV lovers looking to save big on their monthly TV subscriptions, DirecTV has you covered as they offer fantastic bundle plans you can explore. With DirecTV, you can save up to $30 per month when you bundle. So we suggest you explore this amazing option if you’re looking to keep things low.


Channel comparison

In terms of channel comparison, DirecTV trumps RCN, and that’s because RCN offers only a standalone TV package you can jump on. Although RCN’s channel selections are top-notch and grants you access to some of the popular channels out there, you don’t have the luxury of exploring different packages or selecting the number of channels you want to watch. That’s because RCN only offers a standalone TV package it calls Signature TV. With this TV package from RCN, you’ll unlock access to over 300 channels. And guess what, it only costs $82.12 per month to get hooked.

Some of the popular channels you’ll find on RCN include big names like Univision, TNT, The CW, MSNBC, USA, ESPN, and National Geographic.

For TV lovers who aren’t impressed with RCN channel selections and want to spice things up a bit, you can explore RCN’s premium channel options. While this will cost you more, but then you’ll enjoy access to some of the best premium channels including HBO, Starz, Cinemax, The Movie Channel and Showtime.

If you’re looking for more, you can decide to bundle with RCN. This not only provides you with a variety of plans to choose from but also loads of brilliant channels you can start watching right away.

Although DirecTV and RCN come a bit close in terms of channel count, DirecTV is miles ahead of RCN in terms of available packages to choose from. With DirecTV, you can explore five amazing packages, each with its unique offering. So if you’re tired of subscribing to a standalone TV package and want to spice things up a bit, DirecTV provides you with tons of brilliant packages you can explore. Read on as we break things down for you.

DirecTV packages

Like we mentioned earlier, DirecTV boast of loads of impressive packages you can explore. Read on as we run you through all of DirecTV packages;

  • SELECT: This package is perfect for TV lovers who are on a budget but still want a variety of channels that will keep them glued to their TV screens. Thankfully, this package is reasonably priced and sells for $59.99 per month. With over 155 channels up for grab, including big names like CNN, HGTV, and Disney Channel, this package has everything you’re looking for and more.
  • ENTERTAINMENT: Although this package is missing some channels you’ll find on DirecTV’s Select package, it boasts of tons of brilliant channels, you’ll not get with the basic package offered by DirecTV. With access to over 160 channels, including top channels like TeenNick, Lifetime Movie Network, ESPN, and TV land, you and your friends can relax and enjoy an awesome experience. Amazingly, this package is not overtly pricey and costs just $64.99 to subscribe.
  • CHOICE package: For sports enthusiasts, this is the package you have been looking for. With this incredible package to the rescue, you can finally keep up with your favorite sporting events. Besides granting you access to popular sports channels including NFL Network, MLB Network and others, this awesome package also comes with loads of bonuses you cannot refuse. To crown it all; this package unlocks access to the famous NFL Sunday Ticket. Thanks to this, you can now watch all your favorite NFL games right from the comfort of your home. On top of that, this package features over 185 channels and costs only $69.99 to get started.
  • XTRA: Just like its name, this package delivers a unique experience you’ll not get with other packages from DirecTV. With this amazing package from DirecTV, you can watch thousands of programming right from your comfort zone. From news to lifestyle to entertainment to sports and more, DirecTV’s Extra package offers access to over 235 channels at $79.99. With this package, you’ll enjoy access to top channels like NBA TV, MLB Network, Fox Business News, BBC Wolrd New, and Oxygen.
  • ULTIMATE: The Ultimate package from DirecTV delivers an experience you’ll always relish. And you know what, this package is perfect for movie lovers who want to keep up with their favorite titles. Featuring over 250 unique channels, including top channels like Encore Drama and Encore Action, this package has everything you want. Plus, it is super affordable and costs only $84.99 per month to get hooked.

If you’re a big fan of tennis, you’ll love this package as it features the Tennis Channel. Also, your kids aren’t left out of the fun as they can now watch kids channels like Boomerang and PBS Kids.

  • PREMIER: For movie buffs, the Premier package from DirecTV will deliver a remarkable experience, and that’s all thanks to its amazing movie content. Thanks to this package, you can now stream over 45 premium channels, including Showtime, Cinemax, and HBO. Besides that, this package also unlocks access to over 330 channels for only $134.99 per month. And if you’re a fan of international sports content, rest assured that DirecTV’s Premier package has you covered as this package offers access to Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Deportes.

What tv packages does RCN have

RCN vs. DirecTV: Pricing comparison

Pricing is one important factor you should put into consideration before deciding which of these providers is perfect for you. Amazingly, both of these providers offer some of the most competitive pricing you’ll come across in the TV industry. From the cost of TV service to equipment fees to activations fees and more, there is a whole lot you should consider before opting for a TV service provider. Stay with us as we dive into the intricacies of pricing offered by these TV providers.

Cost of TV services

When it comes to the cost of TV service, RCN is a more affordable option, and that’s because they offer a standalone TV package that costs only $82.12 per month. However, if you choose to bundle with RCN, there are a lot of plans to choose from, each with their unique pricing. Here, take a look at RCN’s standalone TV package and what it offers.

RCN TV packages

  • Signature TV package: Offers access to 300+ channels and sells for $82.12.

On the flip side, DirecTV can be a bit pricey, especially when you pair it with the competition. And depending on which of their packages you’re interested in, you’ll be paying around $59.99 to $134.99 per month. Here, check out all the packages offered by DirecTV along with their unique pricing.

DirecTV packages

  • Select package: Features over 155 brilliant channels and costs only $59.99 per month
  • Entertainment package: Offers access to over 160 top channels and sells for $64.99 per month
  • Choice Package: This amazing package features over 185 channels and costs only $69.99 per month.
  • Xtra Package: With access to over 235 channels, this package has everything you are looking for and more. Plus, it only costs $79.99 per month.
  • Ultimate Package: This powerful package from DirecTV features over 250 unique channels and starts at $84.99 per month.
  • Premier Package: This is DirecTV’s best package yet. And it offers access to more than 330 channels for $134.99 per month.

Cost of Equipment and DVR

Besides the cost of TV service, another thing you should always keep in mind while shopping for the perfect TV provider is the cost of equipment. Thankfully, the likes of RCN spells this out in fine print. So you’ll know for sure what you’re paying for. With RCN, you’ll not be paying too much for equipment. As a matter of fact, you’ll only be paying around $2-6 for a digital or HD converter box.

Compared to RCN, DirecTV charges a little bit more for equipment. While the company includes the cost of their main receiver as part of the initial service fee you paid when signing up, you’ll be charged an additional $7 per month if you want to add an extra receiver.

In terms of DVR, RCN ushers you into a world of mindblowing entertainment as they pair their digital TV services with the power of the Tivo DVR. With RCN, you can choose from different Tivo DVR models, from the two Tuner DVR to the four Turner DVR to the six Turner DVR, RCN + Tivo provides you with a powerful DVR experience you’ll always relish.

DirecTV isn’t doing too badly when it comes to DVR, and their flagship Genie DVR has everything you have always wanted and more. The best part is that you don’t have to pay additional fees for DVR as DirecTV offers this service to its customers for free. The Genie DVR from DirecTV puts the power right in your hands as it allows you to record five shows simultaneously.

But while the Genie DVR from DirecTV is pretty solid, RCN offers more powerful equipment. Without mincing words, their Tivo DVR will give the Genie DVR a run for its money. So if recording is your thing, your best bet is to opt for RCN.

Activation and installation

RCN charges its customers a one-time activation fee of $9.99. Plus, you may likely not pay anything for installation as the company rolls out free installation coupons now and then. So before you sign up for their services, we suggest you explore their free installation coupons if you’re looking to keep things low.

Like RCN, DirecTV also charges its customers a one-time activation fee of $19.95. That said, they charge nothing for installation.

Contracts and cancellations

With RCN, you don’t have to worry about the hassles of agreeing to a contract as the company offers its services on a month to month basis. To this end, you’ll not incur an early termination fee if you decide you’re no longer interested in their services.

DirecTV, on the other hand, requires their customers to sign a 2-year contract. The not so cool thing about this is that you’ll pay an early termination fee if you are no longer impressed with their services and want out.

RCN and directv tv plans

Frequently asked questions

Will RCN charge extra if I cancel my subscription?

Unlike other TV service providers, RCN doesn’t charge you if you decide to cancel your subscription with them. More so, they do not tie you down to any form of contract.

Does RCN offer on-demand content?

RCN not only grants you access to some of the finest channels out there; they also provide users with tons of on-demand content they can stream all day long.

Can I stream DirecTV without Contract?

Unfortunately, this isn’t possible as DirecTV requires its customers to sign a two years contract before they can start enjoying their services.

How much does DirecTV cost?

The exact amount you pay for DirecTV greatly depends on the package you choose.


Like we mentioned earlier, deciding which of these providers come top can be pretty tough as both providers offer amazing perks you cannot ignore. That said, DirecTV offers a better channel selection as well as sports content. And In terms of on-demand content, DirecTV stands out.

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Jill Burns
Jill Burns
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My internet and cable provider that shall not be named was raising my monthly bill. I later found out that there were were better discounts with no contracts. Now I'm only paying a fixed $92 dollars a month for cable and internet
John Hollaway
John Hollaway
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Without warning from the provider, I get a bill thats $30 more expensive than the last month. I had a word with the customer service about the constant drop outs My friend told me about your website Theme Scene and now im getting wifi for $29 per month
Marie Williams
Marie Williams
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If I called you earlier I would have saved myself 10 months of grief with my previous provider. Thank you

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