Cox Communications is one of the largest cable providers in the US (the third, to be precise). Besides their Contour cable TV service, Cox also specializes in telephone and Internet.
Getting a feel for Cox deals can be pretty tricky since the presentation on their website is geared towards selling you the more expensive “smart” plans. I’ve peeled through the layers of fine print to find the plans that are good for those of us who are more concerned with the price than all the bells and whistles.
Overall, the bundled plans offer the best value here:
Cox Bronze Bundle Plan for Internet/TV/Phone
- Price: $89.99/mo
- Internet: 100/10Mbps
- TV: 140+ Channels
- Includes Home Phone
- Setup Service: (833) 861-4185
This plan combines the best mid-range Internet speeds Cox offers with a wide range of cable HD TV channels and essential phone service. (140+ total channel count.) Contour TV is technically a "smart TV" platform, which means you get access to their library of on-demand shows as well as mobile viewing through the Cox app. Bronze Duo makes sense for budget shoppers since the bundled pricing is cheaper than adding on a separate service like DirecTV on the side.
- 140+ channels
- 100 Mbps download/10 Mbps upload speeds
- Mobile viewing
PROTIP: If you are setting up new service, try calling (833) 861-4185 first. As of this writing, this phone number skips the queue and lets you speak directly with an agent.
All current TV bundle plans
|Cox Bronze Bundle with Phone||$89.99||Contour TV||100/10mbps|
All current Internet-only “cord cutter” plans
|Cox Business Internet 10||$135.00||10/2.0mbps|
|Cox Business Internet 25||$95.00||25/5.0mbps|
|Cox Internet Essential 30||$39.99||30/3.0mbps|
|Cox Business Internet - 100||$195.00||100/20mbps|
|Cox Internet Starter 10||$29.99||10/1.0mbps|
|Cox Internet Gigablast||$119.99||1,000mbps|
Installation, Setup, and Usage for Cox Communications TV Plans
When you call to sign up, the rep will ask for your street address, suite/apartment, and zip code. If everything is okay, you can move on with your order and even customize it once more before checking out.
If Cox doesn’t offer services in your area, they’ll just let you know, and depending on which call center you get routed to, might even offer an alternative provider.
You can also give them a call or chat with their reps online. Though, I advise sticking with calling, as many of Cox’s customers have complained about the provider’s online support and help.
Installing Cox and Contour service
A few things to keep in mind about installation:
- Someone who is 18 years or older will have to be present during the installation. They’ll need to make decisions about where the equipment will be placed.
- The technician will most likely spend a lot of time inspecting your residential wiring.
- Make sure that all your TVs and entertainment centers are near reachable outlets and a few feet away from the walls. In case new outlets must be installed, be sure to let the technician know before he/she gets to work.
- If possible, ask the technician to verify that the equipment works after the installation, and demonstrate how to use it.
- It’s best to take the whole day off on the day of the installation appointment.
- HD Receivers
Cox Cable DVRs
Cox DVRs include two options:
- Contour Record 2 HD-DVR – Enjoy HD quality, pause/rewind/record live TV, record two shows simultaneously, take advantage of Contour perks, and get 200 hours of storage. You can get your whole home connected only if you pair it up with Contour Record 6 HD-DVR.
- Contour Record 6 HD-DVR – Enjoy HD quality, pause/rewind/record live TV, record six shows simultaneously, take advantage of Contour perks, get 1,000 hours of storage, and enjoy the fact that your whole home is connected.
Receivers make it possible to receive all your channels alongside their HD versions, including your local programming. Cox offers two options:
- mini box – Enjoy HD, a straightforward self-install, and take advantage of the on-screen guide, parental controls, and HD programming for HDTV. Overall, the mini box is a good option for additional rooms.
- Contour HD Receiver – Enjoy HD, and also get free HD channels with all your TV packages, including local programming. Additionally, you can enjoy Contour perks for an additional monthly cost, and ensure your whole home is connected if you pair the HD receiver up with the Contour Record 6 HD-DVR.
Cox is well-known for providing consumers with two-in-one modems. Basically, they act as both a modem and a router. Cox provides DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1 modems.
If you get the Panoramic WiFi Modem, you can also add the Panoramic Wireless Extender. It enhances your Internet connection, features a dual band, and is ideal if you have multiple Internet users in your home.
If you already have a set-top box, a TV receiver, or a DVR, you can pair them up with a Cox CableCARD.
What is a CableCARD?
While the CableCARD has limited functionality, it can provide you with the cable experience you want.
How to Save on Equipment
If you’re getting Internet services besides TV, you can try using your own cable modem if Cox supports it. This way, you won’t have to deal with renting fees (approximately $9,99/month). If you don’t have a modem, you can actually buy one from Cox. Depending on the model, it can cost you either around $149,99 or $179,99. In the long run, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.
At the same time, I advise you buy your own DVR instead of renting from Cox if you can. That’s because Cox’s DVR fees are very steep (around $21,49/month and $28,51/month), and the DVRs are not really that impressive.
Here are some DVRs that are compatible with Cox.
If you’re not getting a bundle that comes with a free installation, I recommend trying a self-install. Installation fees can start at around $75, and Cox provides numerous self-install guides.
But do keep in mind that Cox’s website claims self-installation has a one-time fee starting at $20. They don’t offer enough details about that, but it’s something worth keeping in mind.
Lastly, if you already have decent TV equipment, I suggest getting a CableCARD. It’s only around $1,99/month, and it’s a good choice if you don’t want to deal with equipment renting fees and don’t have a problem with limited functionality.
Cox Communication Bundles: Good Value, or Over-Hyped?
- Some bundles include a free professional installation, and free HD receiver rental
- Some bundles feature a 30-day money-back guarantee
- Free premium channels with some Triple Play bundles
- Fast Internet connection speeds
- Some Triple Play offers include the TV plan free of charge
- High prices
- Steep post-promotional price increases
- Low channel variety
For starters, some of their Triple Play bundles (the most cost-efficient ones) come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Free HD receiver rental
- A free professional installation
- HBO, Cinemax, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and EPIX included in some offers
Furthermore, the Internet connection speeds you get to enjoy are very appealing. Bundles that are priced over $80 and $90 come with download speeds of up to 100 and 300 Mbps (megabits per second).
Another thing that really pleasantly surprised us was the fact that some Triple Play offers apparently included the TV plan for free. For instance, the Internet Ultimate + Telephone Premiere comes with Contour TV free of charge (the total price is around $109,99/month for everything).
Now, for the downsides.
I didn’t really like the lack of TV channel variety. Even the most expensive Triple Play bundle only boasts around 220+ channels, which is not really convenient considering the pricing.
Speaking of which, Cox bundles feature pretty steep price tags. Most customers usually end up paying over $100/month when they choose a Cox bundle, as the pricier offers are more attractive.
Post-promotional price increase is another problem with Cox bundles. I know most providers have this, but Cox’s fees feature a significant increase.
For example, many of their Triple Play bundles have an attractive promotional price up front, but add on a +$20/month increase for the following 12 months. This isn’t as bad as some providers, but still worth being aware of.
All in all, Cox bundles are decent and they offer a lot of perks. It’s just a shame the base price is expensive in general.
And if the low channel count bothers you, I recommend just sticking with their Cox Contour TV Ultimate stand-alone plan. (This can be cheaper than subscribing to a bunch of “cord cutter” services if you like a variety of programming.)
Cox Communications’ Best Feature: Bundle PerksCox bundles might be expensive, but the features they offer definitely make you feel like you’re getting your money’s worth.
Whether we’re talking about the 30 day money-back guarantee, free premium channels, or free HD receiver rental, there’s no denying that Cox has plenty of good things in store for consumers who purchase bundles.
Cox Communications Deals: Attractive Offerings Despite the High Pricing
If money’s not a big issue, you’ll certainly enjoy everything Cox Communications has to offer. While their DVR choices might not be too outstanding, Cox more than makes up for it through their varied bundles.
Cox Communications Disclaimers
Cox Bronze Bundle with Phone -- Offer expires 3/26/2018 and is available to new residential customers in Cox service areas. Offer is only available for new subscriptions to Cox Contour TV, Internet Preferred 100 service, and Digital Telephone Premier. Bundle rate increases $20/month for months 13-24. Equipment fees extra. After promo period, regular rates apply. See www.cox.com for current pricing. Prices exclude additional equipment charges, inside wiring fees, additional outlets, taxes, surcharges (including $4.00-$7.50/mo. video Broadcast Surcharge and Regional Sports Surcharge $2.60-$8.00/mo. depending on Cox market), and other fees. A Cox-provided CableCARD together with a certified compatible CableCARD retail device may be used in lieu of a digital receiver for video service; prices and feature availability may vary. A DOCSIS 3.0+ modem or higher is required to consistently receive optimal speeds for Essential 30 and higher tiers, and is strongly recommended for all other tiers. Uninterrupted or error-free Internet service, or the speed of your service, is not guaranteed. Actual speeds vary. See www.cox.com/internetdisclosures for complete Cox Internet Disclosures. Cox Extended International Calling Plan includes unlimited international calling to eligible countries listed at www.cox.com/bundle. Plan minutes are limited to direct-dialed residential, non-commercial voice calls and require subscription to Cox for local, toll and state-to-state long distance service. Telephone modem provided; remains Cox property. Backup battery (not included) required for service, including access to e911 service, during power outage. You must monitor and replace the battery as needed (www.cox.com/battery). Not all services and features available everywhere. A credit check and/or deposit may be required. Offer may not be combined with other offers, discounts or promotions. Online orders only. Other restrictions may apply.