The Xfinity Digital Preferred/Ultimate cable TV plan gives you over 185 channels and costs $59.99–$78.50 per month. That’s around $0.32–$0.42 per channel. This plan gives you the lowest price per channel and works for households who love having various TV channel choices.
Being a former Xfinity subscriber taught me a lot about the TV and internet plans they offer. I’ve compiled information throughout the internet, along with my knowledge, to teach you about this cable TV plan.
To help you determine whether you should get this package, I’ll cover:
- What this plan is
- Who it’s best for
- Channel lineup
- Cost (plus hidden fees)
- Contract details
- Bundle with Xfinity internet
- How does it compare to other Xfinity plans
- How it compares to competitors
Read on to learn more.
What Is Xfinity Digital Preferred/Ultimate TV?
Xfinity Preferred/Ultimate is a cable television plan that gives you over 185 channels ($0.32–$0.42 per channel). It costs $59.99–$78.50 per month for the first year (or two). And afterward costs $88.50 per month.
Why did I type Preferred/Ultimate TV?
Because they’re both technically the same plan. The difference lies in the name and pricing.
You can only find Preferred in the Western United States. And Ultimate in the Central States. Northeastern states have Premier. But writing Preferred/Ultimate/Premier seems like a bit much.
I want to keep things simple.
Who Is Xfinity Digital Preferred/Ultimate Best For?
The Preferred (Ultimate) plan is best for households who want the best value per channel. And who can’t find the channels you like in other Xfinity cable TV plans.
It’s also a great plan for anyone who wants Xfinity’s music lineup and to potentially get free Premium Channels (depending on when you sign up).
Xfinity Digital Preferred/Ultimate TV Channel Lineup
Here is the Ultimate/Preferred channel lineup :
|American Heroes Channel||INSP|
|BBC America||Magnolia Network|
|BBC World News||Mediaset Italia|
|CB Television||NFL Red Zone|
|CBS Sports Network||Nickelodeon|
|Crime Investigation||Oxygen True Crime|
|Disney Junior||Smithsonian Channel|
|ESPNEWS||Stadium College Sports Atlantic (Bally Sports)|
|Food Network||The Weather Channel|
|Hallmark Movies & Mysteries||VICE|
|HBO Family||World Fishing Network|
This table presents what channels you get with the Xfinity Preferred/Ultimate TV plan.
This list of channels doesn’t include high definition (HD) variations of channels, Premium Channels, many music channels, or numerous sports channels.
Channel availability can change at any time. And whether you’ll find HD channels depends on your location. Check Xfinity’s channel lineup before subscribing to a television plan.
Enter Xfinity.com/learn/channel-lineup-bundles into your browser, and they’ll show current offerings. We will do our best to update this post as much as possible.
Comcast Xfinity doesn’t support 4K ultra high definition (UHD). Except with live sports events .
You can use a couple of “loopholes” to watch Xfinity content in 4K. Use the free Peacock Premium subscription included in some Xfinity plans. Or use the Xfinity Stream app.
If you don’t have a streaming device (like a Roku), you can try a couple of options to watch these apps:
- Cast it from your phone’s app: on either app, tap the Cast icon to play content on your TV
- Connect a computer to your TV: connect a PC or laptop VIA USB-C, HDMI, or DisplayPort
These apps don’t support 4K for all content. But you may find some support. That way, the 4K TV you spent thousands on won’t go to waste.
In addition to the fees you pay for the Preferred/Ultimate TV subscription, you can buy channel add-ons. A few examples include the Xfinity Spanish Channel Package, On Demand, and Premium channels (like EPIX).
You can add or remove these from your subscription through your Xfinity online account or the Xfinity My Account mobile app.
Where Is Xfinity Digital Preferred/Ultimate Available?
You can only get Xfinity the Digital Preferred/Ultimate cable TV plans in Xfinity’s Western and Central Divisions. That means states within the center or the western U.S.
You’ll have to settle for Comcast’s Premiere plan in the Northeastern United States. It also has 185+ channels and the same features.
But it has two differences. The cost and name. It’s $89.99 per month (without taxes and other fees).
Otherwise, Xfinity offers cable TV services to 40 states. However, the counties and cities they support will vary. You’ll need to visit Xfinity’s Deal’s page and enter your address.
How Much Does Xfinity Digital Preferred/Ultimate TV Cost?
Xfinity Digital Preferred/Ultimate costs $59.99–$78.50 per month for the first 12, 24, or 36 months. Once that promotional period passes, you’ll pay around $70 per month.
These prices will vary by region. And they don’t include taxes. Or Comcast Xfinity’s hidden fees.
Here are what fees you don’t see in their pricing chart:
|Regional Sports Fee||Up to $14.45/mo|
|Broadcast TV Fee||Up to $19.45/mo|
|DVR Cloud Storage||150 hours for $10/mo|
|X1 TV Box||$7.50–$8.50/mo|
|Premium Channels||$5.99–14.99/mo (for each channel)|
|Latino Channel Package||$9.99/mo: during the first year of service$18/mo: after the first year|
|On Demand||$3.99–$12.99/mo (for each channel)|
This table shows hidden (and optional) fees when subscribing to Xfinity.
No matter what, you’ll have to add a broadcast TV fee to your plan. Whether you have to pay the regional sports fee depends on where you live. So does the local and state tax you’ll have to pay.
Network providers charge Xfinity a surcharge to use their channels. Then Comcast passes a portion of the fees to you.
So how much will you pay when considering these fees?
You’ll pay more than $80–98 before the contract ends. And over $107.95 once 12, 24, or 36 months pass. It’s difficult to calculate the exact price per channel, since Xfinity sometimes changes its channel lineup.
But the price I mentioned is only for the broadcast TV fee.
I wrote “up to” on the table. So you MAY pay less for the broadcast and regional sports fees.
To prepare your budget, ask yourself ahead of time (or your family) whether they’ll want add-ons. Follow the link I mentioned in the ‘Channel Lineup’ section to see individual prices for Premium Channels.”
Comcast Xfinity Digital Preferred/Ultimate Features
Here are features you’ll get with the Preferred (Ultimate) cable TV plan:
- Over 185 HD and SD channels
- 4K UHD live sporting events: only certain events
- X1 Voice Remote: only if you pay for the X1 television box
- Popular channels like TLC
- Xfinity Stream app
- 20 hours of DVR recording: if you have the X1
- Free Peacock Premium subscription: if you have the X1
The Xfinity Stream app makes it so you can watch all of your channels on multiple devices. It’s ideal if your household fights over different shows to watch on the TV. Now everyone can watch their own thing on smartphones, laptops, and other devices.
It’s free. And you can watch it on five devices at the same time while you’re at home. Or three devices while on the move.
There’s also other free content you’ll get with this app, but you need to follow the link I mentioned earlier to see.
It’s a lot to write.
To access other features like the “free” DVR hours, you’ll need to get an X1 TV box. It’s $7.50 each month per box.
Comcast Xfinity Digital Preferred/Ultimate TV Contract
You can choose a one-, two-, or three-year contract to get discounted rates for Digital Preferred (Ultimate). Contract availability will vary based on your location.
Once your term agreement passes, you’ll pay $88.50 per month. And if you’re reading and are already using this plan, you have 30 days to cancel. After first starting your Xfinity service.
After that grace period, you’ll need to pay $120–$240 as an Early Termination Fee (ETF). This fee lowers by $10 each month you stay with Comcast Xfinity .
So if you cancel seven months into a one-year contract, you’ll only pay $50. However, you can get the ETF refunded as an account credit.
If you fall under the following circumstances:
- Active duty military who must cancel because of relocation
- The primary account holder died
- You’re moving, but your new home doesn’t support Xfinity services
- A natural disaster forced you to cancel your cable TV plan
Think as far ahead as you can before going with a contract plan. It’ll save you money, but it’s expensive to cancel.
Unless you wait until later. Then you could save money.
Should You Bundle Xfinity Digital/Preferred/Ultimate With Internet?
Bundling the Digital, Ultimate, or Preferred TV cable plans with Xfinity Internet, home security, or Voice services can save you up to 20% on your monthly Xfinity bill. In some cases, you can also get free Premium Channels like HBO.
Whether you can bundle depends on your location. So does your eligibility for discounts. Considering you’re using the internet to view this post, I’d recommend bundling Xfinity Internet and TV.
Because you can get some decent perks like:
- Xfinity WiFi hotspots: access to more Wi-Fi hotspots than you can imagine throughout the United States
- * $20 monthly discount on Xfinity Mobile: saves money on the monolith’s mobile carrier service
- ** Xfinity Flex 4K streaming box: a TV box that makes it so you can use various streaming services
* This discount only lasts for a limited time. From what I’ve seen, it lasts two years.
** Xfinity Flex box Free is $5 monthly per device you order.
Toggle the checkboxes beside the ‘TV’ and ‘Internet’ boxes when browsing the Deals page. From there, select the internet speeds you want and keep the number of channels at 185+. Unless you want to try other cable TV plans.
I honestly prefer Xfinity’s internet services over other providers. Despite them cornering the market and not providing equal download and upload speeds. But you can save a lot of money.
Depending on your entertainment needs. For instance, the Flex saves you over $100 you’d spend on a 4K Apple TV device, even though it will cost you more in the long run. And the Wi-Fi hotspots can save you cellphone data.
Only bundle these services if you intend on using them. Otherwise, why bother?
How Does Xfinity Digital Preferred/Ultimate Compare To Other Plans?
Here are what other television packages Xfinity offers:
|TV Plan||Number of Channels||Cost Per Channel||* Price (New Customers)||Price (After Contract)|
This table compares different factors among various Comcast Xfinity television plans.
Digital Preferred (Ultimate) gives you the best value per channel. And sometimes you can get free Premium Channels like SHOWTIME or HBO. If you bundle it with high-speed internet.
That’s perfect for homes with high bandwidth usage yet wanting many channels. And it can save you $27 a month on Premium Channel subscription fees.
Only if you have a generous budget to put toward internet or cable TV.
Extra/Starter only saves you around $18 monthly (after the contract fee). So if you have that much extra to spend for a month, I recommend just getting Preferred/Ultimate TV.
To really save money on your cable TV bill, go for Basic Cable/Choice. It doesn’t have many channels, but it’s a great budget plan. Though, you’re not getting the best value per channel.
Xfinity Digital Preferred/Ultimate TV vs. Competitors
Here is how Digital Preferred/Ultimate cable television compares to similar plans competitors offer:
|TV Plan||Number of Channels||Cost Per Channel||* Price (New Customers)||Price (After Contract)|
|Cox Preferred Plus||170+||$0.69||$118/mo||$145/mo|
|Mediacom (Internet 100 + Variety TV)||170+||$0.47||$79.99/mo||NA|
This table compares prices, cost per channel, and the number of channels popular U.S. cable TV providers offer.
* These prices don’t include state and local taxes (or other fees). Those will vary by person. They do include discounts from enabling Paperless Billing and Automatic Payments.
Digital Preferred/Ultimate TV dominates the competition regarding value. And if you bundle it with high-speed internet, you’ll get even more value with potentially free Premium Channels.
But DIRECTV offers some value as well. You’ll get the first three months free for these channels:
That’s close to $96 in savings.
You’ll also get the NFL SUNDAY TICKET MAX (2022 season). That gives you access to DIRECTV FANTASY ZONE and the RED ZONE CHANNEL.
And you get to deal with satellite TV. Isn’t that exciting? Having television that loses signal because of rain, thick clouds, or heavy snow.
I remember those days. They sucked.
Bundle 100/100 (download/upload) Mbps speed internet with their plan. So it’s not the worst value per channel. You’ll have to reside within one of their 22 supported states to receive service.
And their 100 Mbps internet plans have a 200 gigabyte (GB) data cap. That’s horrendous compared to Comcast Xfinity’s 1.2 terabytes (TB) bandwidth cap.
While I’m making enemies, let’s tackle Cox Preferred Plus. You also get Peacock Premium free, but only for a year. And you get their DVR service ‘free’ for the first year.
It includes HBO Max for free, though. That’s nice. Not $145 a month, nice.
Say what you will about Xfinity. But they offer a decent high-tier cable TV plan. It’s not 250- or 400-channel plans like what other providers offer, but it’s channels you’ll likely actually watch.
Xfinity Digital Preferred/Ultimate TV gives you the most value per channel among other Comcast cable TV plans. And other TV providers offer similar plans.
You’ll also get free goodies (especially if you bundle). And can skip on renting extra TV boxes with the Xfinity Stream App.
If you have the extra money for this plan, or if your family will actually watch the channels, check whether Xfinity supports it in your area.