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COX Cable TV Review—Is It Worth the Price?

Only if you’re bundling with internet

Our Rating
User Experience
3/5
Value
2/5
DVR
3/5
Monthly Cost
Starting at $64.99

Our Rating

Package Name ChannelsDVRPrice Website
Contour TV140+ channels250 hours$64.99/mo.*View Package
Package Name
Contour TV
ChannelsDVRPrice Website
140+ channels250 hours$64.99/mo.*View Package

Eye IconCox Review

COX is a cable service that may or may not be an option for you depending on where you live. Spoiler alert: it’s a little on the pricey side.

Pros

  • No-contract options (but they cost an extra $10)
  • Reasonable channel add-on packages

Cons

  • More expensive than comparable channel packages
  • Channel packages locked behind internet bundles
  • Pricey tech support

Just found out that COX is the cable provider in your area? Congratulations! Well, sort of. COX gets you the TV you want, but it comes at a price.

Still, if COX is the only cable game in your area, it’s got some perks—especially if you want to bundle your internet with your COX cable package.

COX availability varies by region

Before you read another word, double check that you can get COX cable in your area. Enter your ZIP code below to make sure.

Search Cox Availability in Your Area
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COX TV package and pricing

Here’s the low-down on your only COX cable package option that doesn’t include any internet bundling.

Channels*Price w/ 2-yr contractPrice w/o contractOn-demand channels
Countour TV140+$64.99/mo.$74.99/mo.120+ See Plans
*Actual channel count varies by area
All pricing valid as of August 27, 2018.

If the table above looks a little on the small side, it’s because it is. Variety is not COX’s strong suit when it comes to cable TV without internet.

There is, however, a “secret menu” of COX channel packages, but those channel packages are only accessible if you bundle TV with internet. For the record, Contour TV is the only COX channel package that you can get without bundling internet.

Thankfully, COX offers up a healthy selection of channel add-on packages that make things much more interesting. More on that later.

For now, let’s talk contract options. Going with the no-contract option means you can get out of your cable subscription without incurring any annoying fees. Unfortunately, your month-to-month costs end up being $10 more than you would pay with a contract. That’s $120 extra each year.

That said,  with or without a contract, you’re paying a few bucks more with COX compared to other cable services. Take Xfinity, for example. It offers a similar package with over 140 channels and costs $49.99 a month ($15 less than COX). Hopefully, COX will feel some peer pressure and lower its prices eventually, but in the meantime, extra expense is what you’re left with.

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There’s always satellite TV as an option

Cable TV options may be sparse, but you can always go with a satellite option. The two heavyweights of satellite are DISH and DIRECTV , and you can compare them here .

COX TV and internet bundles

Internet speedChannelsPrice*Contract
Contour Flex Double Play30 Mbps70+$59.99/mo.2 yrs.
Bronze Double Play100 Mbps140+$89.99/mo.2 yrs.
Silver Double Play300 Mbps140+$109.99/mo.2 yrs.
Gold Double Play300 Mbps250+$129.99/mo.2 yrs.
*Price increases after the first year

Bundling internet with your TV service means you can save a few bucks every month and get access to more channels. So it’s usually a good move, just as long as you like the company.

With Cox, there are four TV and internet bundling options and only one strictly TV option, which makes COX feel like more of an internet provider than a TV provider. Honestly, if you want COX TV, you’d be wise to bite the bullet and bundle with internet. You’ll get more for your money that way.

If you decide to bundle, COX’s internet speeds compare decently well with other cable and internet providers. For example, Frontier (another cable TV and internet provider), offers a base package that gets you over 130 channels for $65 a month, with speeds up to 24 Mbps. You’re paying $5 less with COX for faster internet speeds but fewer channels.

Overall, this is how COX compares with other providers: higher internet speeds with slightly lower channel counts. So if you’re a part-time YouTuber or Twitch streamer, COX can make you happy. But if you’re a channel-count fiend, you might want to check out another service available in your area.

COX Channels

Contour TV is the only stand-alone COX TV package to choose from, so you’ll want to make sure it has the channels you need. You can check the full COX Contour TV channel list here.

Here are a few of the most popular channels in the Contour TV package:

  • ABC
  • AMC
  • CBS
  • Disney Channel
  • ESPN
  • ESPN 2
  • Food Network
  • FOX
  • NBC
  • Nickelodeon
  • TNT

There’s got to be more channel package options, right?

Yes. There are two other channel packages to choose from, but you need to bundle your internet to get them—remember that “secret menu” we mentioned earlier? Honestly, COX is pretty desperate to have you bundle internet and TV, and that’s kind of annoying. It would be nice to have a little more freedom to choose one or the other.

Let’s walk through the two other COX channel packages you can get with an internet bundle.

TV Starter

ChannelsPriceBundleContract
50+$59.99/mo.Contour Flex Double Play2 yrs. See Plans
*Price lasts for the first year of your contract

The starter package is as bare-bones as channel packages get. It  comes with only local channels and a few Spanish-language channels. Take a look at all the TV Starter channels here.

Viewers looking for the absolute minimum in TV packages, look no further. This one’s got you.

Contour TV Ultimate

ChannelsPriceBundleContract
250+$129.99/mo.*Gold Double Play2-yrs. See Plans
*Price lasts for the first year of your contract

It costs a pretty penny every month, but the Contour TV Ultimate package gets you just about every channel you can think of.

For sports fans, you get the two ESPN channels missing on the Contour TV package (ESPNU, ESPNews). For Game of Thrones fans, this package even comes with HBO included. Check out the full Contour TV Ultimate channel package here.

With so many channel options, good luck leaving the couch with Contour TV Ultimate.

On-demand channels

The general rule with on-demand content and TV providers is that if you get the channel, you can watch all of its on-demand shows. So if you have NBC in your channel package, you can watch The Good Place on demand. Just search for the show you want to watch on your guide, and you should be able to select on-demand content if it’s available.

Likewise, if you don’t have HBO in your channel package, you can’t watch Westworld on demand. On-demand libraries are a gift that keeps on giving, and the more channels you have, the more on-demand shows you can watch.

COX also has a massive movie selection, but before you get too excited, know that it’s a rental situation. It’s essentially an alternative to renting movies on iTunes or Redbox. Free movies would be much cooler, but COX doesn’t seem to think so. Shrug.

Channel add-ons

The COX TV packages are pretty light on channel count, so this is where you can grab any extra channels you can’t live without. Channel add-ons do add up on your monthly bill, so keep that in mind before you throw a bunch in your cart.

  • Sports & Information Pak ($10 per month)
    • CBS Sports Network
    • ESPN Bases Loaded
    • ESPN Goal Line
    • ESPNews
    • ESPNU
    • FCS
    • Fusion
    • NBA TV
    • NFL Network
    • NHL Network
    • Tennis Channel
    • Viceland

Thank goodness for the home run that is the Sports & Information Pak add-on. This add-on is how the modern sports fan makes the Contour TV package work. At $10 a month, it’s a pretty cheap price for the amount of sporty channels.

  • Sports Pak 2 ($20 per month)
    • CST
    • ESPN Bases Loaded
    • ESPN Goal Line
    • Gol TV
    • MLB Strike Zone
    • NBA TV (HD)
    • NFL Network
    • Outside Television
    • Sportsman Channel
    • Fishing Network

The Sports Pak 2 covers both niche and major sports. The downside is that it costs $20 a month. But if you love fishing and outdoors, it might be worth it.

  • Movie Pak ($12 per month)
    • EPIX
    • EPIX 2
    • EPIX Drive-in
    • EPIX Hits
    • IFC
    • Indie Plex
    • Retro Plex
    • STARZ ENCORE
    • STARZ ENCORE Action
    • STARZ ENCORE Black
    • STARZ ENCORE Classic
    • STARZ ENCORE HD
    • STARZ ENCORE Suspense
    • STARZ ENCORE Westerns
    • Sundance TV

This add-on gives you tons of movie channels for $12 a month. Good luck finding something you don’t want to watch with all of these channels at your fingertips.

  • Variety Pak ($12 per month)
    • BBC America
    • Boomerang
    • Chiller
    • Cooking Channel
    • Disney Junior
    • Disney XD
    • Fuse
    • MTV 2
    • MTV Classic
    • Nicktoons
    • TeenNick
    • Up

Parents and British TV fans pay attention to this add-on. Do your kids love Sofia the First? Are you a Doctor Who fan? If so, the Variety Pak could be worth the extra $12 a month.

  • Latino Pak ($10 per month)
    • BeIn Sports
    • Boomerang
    • SONY
    • CNN
    • Discovery
    • ESPN Deportes
    • Foro TV
    • FOX Deportes
    • Gol TV
    • NBC Universo
    • Novelas
    • Tr3

For Spanish speakers, these channels cover sports, news, and kids shows. A little bit of everything broadcasted in Spanish.

  • HBO ($15.99 per month)

Hey, we’re friends, right? Okay, here’s a pro tip: don’t get HBO with your COX subscription. Just go with HBO NOW and pay $15 a month instead. You’ll save yourself a dollar every month.

  • SHOWTIME ($15.99 per month)

Seriously, just don’t worry about getting premium channels on COX. You can get the SHOWTIME app for $11 a month and save yourself $5 every month.

  • CINEMAX ($15.99 per month) 

For some reason, COX is really married to the idea of charging $15.99 a month for premium channels. Considering you can get Cinemax for $9.99 a month with Amazon Prime, you’re definitely overpaying with COX. We wouldn’t get this if we were you.

  • STARZ ($15.99 per month)

Same story here as the other premium channels. You can get a stand-alone STARZ app that costs $8.99 a month and gets you all the shows you want. Just forget that you ever saw premium channels on COX’s add-on list—they’re far too expensive.

Local channels available with COX

You should get your local ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC stations with any COX TV package. If for whatever reason you don’t get those local stations, you should complain ruthlessly and switch to a different service.

COX equipment and features

Now let’s get into the remote, DVR, Contour app, and other technical stuff. Long story short—everything is fairly easy to use, but the DVR is a little too expensive for the amount of storage you get. Dig in for more details.

XR11 voice remote

The XR11 voice remote is super straightforward. The buttons are pronounced and easy to navigate. You can also just hit the blue microphone button in the middle and say whatever you want to do.

All the most important buttons are on the top half of the remote, so you should have no problem finding everything you need.

Playback features and commercial skipping with COX

LiveDVR
PausingY
Unlimited
Y
RewindingYY
Fast-forwardingYY

There’s nothing too out of the ordinary here.You can pause and rewind live TV, and if you get behind real time, you can fast-forward TV as well. You have complete control over all your DVR recordings—rewind, pause, and fast-forward to your heart’s delight.

COX Contour DVR

Hours (HD)Simultaneous recordingsPrice
Contour 2 DVR1002$12.99/mo.
Contour 6 DVR2506$19.99/mo.

There are two different DVRs to choose between, and you’d be better off ignoring any penny-pincher impulses creeping up on you. Out of the two, the more advanced Contour 6 DVR gets you so much more firepower for $7 more a month.

Think of all the things you can record with that extra 150 hours. That’s whole seasons of The Good Doctor, The Walking Dead, and Grey’s Anatomy that you can keep forever and ever.

Still, if you only have one or two people at home, you can make the Contour 2 DVR work. Just remember to delete your stuff after you watch it.

As is the pattern with COX, you pay a little more for a DVR than you would with a comparable cable service. For example, Xfinity’s X1 DVR costs $9.95 a month for the same storage and simultaneous recordings.

Connecting multiple TVs

Price
Mini box$2.99/mo.
HD box$8.50/mo.

What’s the point of having another TV in your house if it can’t connect to your cable service? Nothing, that’s what.

COX offers supplementary cable boxes that let you connect your cable to other TV in your house. Your first option is the Mini box, which is super cheap at $2.99 a month but only gets you basic channels, like ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC (channels you would pick up with an antenna).

If you want all your beloved cable channels, you need to opt for the HD box that will add another $8.50 to your monthly bill.

This is one of those cases where COX bucks the trend of being more expensive. Other cable services cost at least $9.95 a month for additional receivers. Good for you, COX.

Contour app

COX keeps up with the rest of the cable services with its companion app. You can watch live TV and stream literally thousands of shows.

Overall, the app does occasionally freeze up or glitch out, and you’ll need to reset, but what app doesn’t do that from time to time? Either way, it’s super cool that you can just pull up the app and start watching TV on the go.

You can download the Contour app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. And don’t worry—the app is free to download. Just make sure you have a COX account if you want to use it.

COX customer service

FYI: According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, COX received a 60 out of 100 rating for customer satisfaction.

We’re going to reject these stats outright. We can’t help it— every encounter we’ve experienced with COX (online chat and phone support) has been nothing but helpful. Seriously, we’re as surprised as you are.

The customer representatives will most likely treat you right. For example, let’s say you have a question about the difference between the Mini Box and the HD Box (like we did). Expect a straightforward answer.

Sure, if you chat with them long enough, they will inevitably try to sell you on something. But if you just bounce once you get an answer, you should have a pleasant experience.

Installation

Let’s talk about the cheaper, DIY option first. You can get the COX self-installation kit for $20, which includes directions and everything you need to set up your cable. We tried it out ourselves, and it was like setting up IKEA furniture—mostly easy, momentarily frustrating, and satisfying when you finished.

All in all, it’s certainly worth the effort to save yourself some money.

If DIY isn’t your thing, you can always pay $75 to have COX come and set everything up for you.

Extra fees

Hidden fees are a part of life, which sucks. But at least you can feel a little more prepared for them.

As with buying anything, Uncle Sam (does anybody say that anymore?) will want a cut. Taxes and fees depend on where you live. When you get your receipt every month, you can take a look at all those regional fees.

We can’t pinpoint an exact number you’ll pay every month in extra fees, but between the taxes and local broadcast fees, expect somewhere around $15 a month.

COX Promotions

Every once in a while, COX offers up some deals that sweeten the deal. Usually, these promotions revolve around bundling, but sometimes you can get free premium channels for a few months.

You can find all the COX deals going on here.

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When are the deals happening?

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COX review summary

There were some pleasant surprises with COX (positive customer service, cheaper additional receivers, on-the-go app), but it’s not quite enough for balance out the overall price.

Compared to other cable services, you generally pay more than you should (by a few extra dollars) with Cox. On top of that, you need to bundle your internet with TV to get the most out of the service. What if you don’t want to do that? Yeah, exactly.

If you decide to go with COX, the service works well and is relatively simple to use, so it’s not as if it’s a bad choice. Just make sure it works with your budget.

COX review FAQs

What makes COX different from Xfinity?

The main difference between the two cable services is regional restrictions. You either live in an Xfinity town or a COX town. There are also a few differences in pricing, with COX being a little more expensive than Xfinity.

How much is COX per month?

If you want to get only cable TV without bundling, it will cost you $64.99 a month if you opt into a 12-month contract. You can also avoid the contract and pay $74.99 a month.

Can you use COX credentials to authenticate TV Everywhere apps?

You certainly can. Use your COX account to stream content from other supported apps.

Here are the TV Everywhere apps that accept login credentials from COX:

  • WATCH ABC
  • AMC
  • Bravo Now
  • BTN2GO
  • CNBC TV
  • DisneyNOW (includes Disney Junior, and Disney XD)
  • E! Now
  • WATCH ESPN
  • FOX NOW
  • FOX Sports GO
  • Freeform GO
  • FX Now (includes FX, FXX, FXM - Fox Movies)
  • IFC
  • NAT GEO TV
  • NBC
  • NBCSN (includes Golf Channel and the Olympic Channel)
  • NCAA March Madness
  • Oxygen Now
  • Showtime Anytime
  • Sundance TV
  • SYFY
  • Telemundo NOW
  • USA Network
  • WETV

Does COX offer a DVR?

Yes, it does. You have your pick between the Contour 2 DVR or the Contour 6 DVR. Check out our DVR section above for more details.

Can you bundle your internet with COX?

In fact, you’ll be better off bundling COX TV with internet. You’ll get access to more channel packages and you’ll save a few bucks every month.

Can I watch TV on multiple devices simultaneously with COX?

Yes. You can choose between the Mini Box and get your local channels, or the HD Box and get all your cable channels. Read more about it in the “Connecting Multiple TVs” section above.

How do I sign up for COX?

You can sign up for COX here.

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