Provider Breakdown: Cox Cable TV

COX Cable logo

When it comes to Cable TV, Cox Cable ranks as the third-largest service provider in the United States. Though it is not readily available in all areas, there are many places where Cox Cable is one of your only TV choices, which leads to these questions: Just how good is it? Should you choose it?

Cox Cable Packages

Cox offers six different packages for their cable services, ranging from the very basic Cox TV Starter package, for around $25 for the first three months, up to the Cox Advanced TV Premier, which comes in at $69.99 for the first three months. They even have a set of Hispanic TV Packages, ranging in price from about $30 for their basic package to their elite package, which comes in at around $50 for the first three months.

When it comes to picking the right package, price isn’t the only thing you should consider. After all, each package offers a different selection of channels and a few other perks thrown in. The channels can range from the low hundreds all the way up to over 340 channels, while the perks can be anything from free HD programming to adding on premium channels, such as HBO and Cinemax.

The premium channels naturally have their own packages, too. Cox offers a total of four premium channels, which include HBO, Showtime, Cinemax and Starz. The price for these all depend on how many you want. Just one? It’s $10 a month for the first six months. Interested in all four? That will set you back $42 a month, which seems a bit off to me, since 4×10 is 40.

Additional Services

There are, of course, a ton of additions you can stack onto your chosen cable pack. For instance, Cox Cable offers what is known as TV Paks. Would you like a variety of premium channels? They offer it, along with Sports and Information, Movies and the Latino Pak. These are additional services to your chosen cable package, so it’s just $7-10 a month added to your bill.

There is also their Contour Service, which looks pretty neat. It declares itself to be a personalized way to view television and allows you to set up to eight different user profiles. Each profile will get show and movie recommendations based upon their interests, along with the ability to DVR either two or six shows at once (depending on which Contour Package you choose) with up to 1,000 hours of storage. If that’s not enough for you, this service will not only allow you to watch your programs on your tablet or smartphone, but it will also allow you to move that program over to your television with just a simple touch.

Two of the services that Cox Cable offers are pretty standard for any cable company: DVR service and On Demand. The DVR service generally runs you about $10 a month, while On Demand is generally free with your Cable TV package. The DVR allows you to set up shows to record when you won’t be available, so that you can watch them later, while On Demand gives you access to a ton of movies and TV shows to stream instantly, either for free or for a small fee.

On Demand is a great way to catch up on a missed episode of something if you forgot to DVR it. On Demand is pretty good about putting new episodes of your favorite shows up for grabs within a day or two.

Equipment and Fees

It’s inevitable that cable companies are going to charge you for their equipment and Cox Cable is no different. The only thing they’ll give to you for free is the digital receiver — everything else comes with a price. The DVR device itself will run you about $8.50 a month. If you want a CableCARD, which is a small device that you hook up to your television to skip the hassle of having a normal receiver box, it will cost you $1.99 a month. The only fee that I’m not impressed with is the HD Receiver fee. While many other cable companies will not charge you for HD services, Cox does, asking for $8.50 a month for this service.

The last fees that you need to be aware of are the installation fees. You have two options when it comes to having your system set up: do it yourself or have a professional come in. If you want to handle it on your own, they will charge you a one-time fee of $30 and mail the supplies needed to your house. If you’d rather have someone come out and do it for you, it’s going to run you $60.

If you look through the reviews for Cox Cable, their rankings are mixed. Some people like using them and would recommend them to anyone, and of course, some people have nothing but trouble and are looking for another service provider to use. I, personally, have not used Cox Cable in many years, but when I was using it, I never had any problems with it. It can be a little pricey and have numerous fees, but that could be said of any cable company. If you can find a package or bundle that is within your price range, I think they’re definitely worth giving a shot.