Cox Cable TV Review 2021

Average channel selection and customer service make Cox TV a decent, but not amazing, choice.
Cox TV packages
PlanPriceTV channel countDetails
TV Starter$2575+View Plan
Contour TV$69.99140+View Plan
PriceTV channel countDetails
$2575+View Plan
$69.99140+View Plan

Cox offers most of your favorite channels and decent on-demand content. It may not have the same channel count as some of the other providers, but at least Cox’s high rates don’t rise dramatically after promotional offers end.

Plus, with Cox Contour service, you can save personal recommendations, and the Record 6 DVR provides up to 340 hours of HD storage.


  • 2 TB HD-DVR
  • Inexpensive entry-level plan


  • Expensive tech support
  • Limited channel count
Cox Editors Pick

Cox pricing and packages

Cox’s pricing falls into the more expensive end of the spectrum

Cox’s prices are higher than other reviewed brands, but they’re honest and spell it out for you in the checkout process. Cox gives you 140+ channels, but for $5 to $20 more than you’d pay with Xfinity, DISH, and Verizon Fios TV, for similar, if not better packages.

Cox TV compared to other TV providers
ProviderAvailable channelsMonthly priceLearn more
Cox TV140$25$69.99*View Plans
Xfinity TV220$49.99$89.49View Plans
DISH290$64.99$99.99View Plans
Verizon Fios TV425$50$90^View Plans
DIRECTV330$64.99$134.99°View Plans
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months.
For the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1-year contract.
For 24 months with a 2-year agreement and eAutoPay.
^ w/Auto Pay + taxes. Equipment charges may apply.
° For 12 months with a 2-year contract, paperless bill, & autopay. Price increases for months 13-24.

Most additional channel packages add $5–$10 to your monthly bill, so over a year you’d pay an extra $60 to $100 over the Cox TV package price. And as you’ll see below, you also have to worry about some extra fees.

In general, with Cox, we don’t find that the cost matches up with the service provided.

How much does Cox TV really cost?

Since you may be locked into a two-year contract with Cox, you’ll be happy to know that after promotional pricing ends, your price won’t increase by much.

Compare that to DIRECTV, where you’ll see prices more than double after the first year. Cox’s Contour TV package increases about 30% after the first year—which is still a bummer for budgeters.

Additional fees

Both Cox Cable TV plans come with the standard fees:

  • Broadcast Surcharge: up to $10.00 a month
  • Regional Sports Surcharge: up to $9.00 a month

But depending on which standalone live TV package you get from Cox, you’ll face different additional fees.

The Starter plan doesn’t include the option for DVR service. And if you want service to multiple TVs, your monthly fees go up with each receiver—but thankfully not by much.

Cox mini cable box receiver fees:

  • 1 box: $2.99/mo.
  • 2 boxes: $5.98/mo.
  • 3 boxes: $8.97/mo.
  • 4 boxes: $11.96/mo.

Luckily with the Starter plan, Cox does NOT charge $10 per month per cable box like Xfinity or other providers do. That means it’s a better deal for big families or homes with a lot of roomies.

However, if you upgrade to the Contour TV package, you’ll pay that same $10 per month fee—which is just wack.

Cox Contour TV service has a few of the standard fees we’ve come to expect from cable television:

  • Record 6 Whole Home DVR Service: $19.99/mo.
  • Record 2 DVR Service: $12.99/mo.

If you opt for the higher-tier plan, Cox Contour TV, you’ll have to get a Contour HD Receiver, which costs $10 per month. If you want a DVR instead, there’s also a fee for that. You’ll pay $12.99 to $19.99 per month, depending on which DVR you choose.

As is standard for a few providers, your early termination fee is $240 minus $10 for every month of completed service.

Technical costs

If you have bad luck with your gadgets, it might be a good idea to get the Cox Complete Care Plan, which costs about $10 per month.

Cox Complete Care covers hassle-free repair and replacement not only for defective wiring, but also for normal wear and tear, including chewed and frayed wires, wiring updates to faulty fittings, and technician visits at no additional cost.

Money icon
Technically inept? Save that money!
A single service call or technician visit starts at $60, but a year of Cox Complete Care is only $120. That’s only, like, two service calls—so it’s a pretty good deal. On the other hand, if all goes well, you wouldn’t even need to make one service call in a year.

So we’ll take our chances and spend that extra dough on a pizza party and hope we don’t get our wires crossed.

Cox channels

Cox doesn’t provide a ton of variety for live TV packages, but you can still get what you need

Cox TV packages
PlanPriceTV channel countDetails
TV Starter$25*75+View Plan
Contour TV$69.99*140+View Plan
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months.

Cox offers two standalone TV packages. One is very basic and very affordable, and the other is a solid service for a reasonable price. If you want other TV options, you can get a bit few other TV package options if you choose to bundle with a double or triple play package.

Cox Starter TV package

The Starter package is a pretty bare-bones offer, and you may even find it easier to just grab an HD TV antenna to get all your local programming. While this isn’t the best cheap cable TV package we’ve come across, it’ll work for basic viewers.

Notable channels: NBC, CW, FOX, ABC, CBS, PBS and C-SPAN

Contour TV package

Cox’s sole standalone TV plan comes with 140+ channels and lets you set DVR recordings from anywhere.
The Contour package gives you 140+ channels and lets you set DVR recordings from a tablet, no matter where you are. That’s pretty convenient. Plus, you can stream TV shows with Cox On Demand.

Notable channels: ESPN, History Channel, HGTV, FOX Sports 1, Univision

Cox channel selection

Cox covers a wide range of popular channels for a reasonable price.

While Cox might not boast the same high channel counts as DISH or DIRECTV, Cox’s channel selection tends to be right in line with our favorites.

HD channels

Cox has plenty of HD programming to choose from, but we couldn’t find a solid answer on how many HD channels were exactly involved in each package, but it seemed to mirror its SD channel offerings. Best of all, Cox offers up HD versions of its SD channels for free—other providers like Xfinity charge a $10 HD fee.

With Cox, you’ll get the big four premium channels (HBO, STARZ, SHOWTIME, and CINEMAX), comprehensive Latino packages, and supplemental Sports TV packs that include programming like ESPN Classic and Pac-12 college sports.

If you’re a fan of major-league sports, we recommend adding NFL RedZone, NBA League Pass, or NHL® Center Ice®.

Cox cable TV premium channel costs:

  • HBO: $16/mo.
  • CINEMAX: $12/mo.
  • SHOWTIME: $12/mo.
  • STARZ: $12/mo.
  • EPIX: $10/mo.

Additional add-ons:

  • Variety Pak: $12/mo.
  • Movie Pak: $12/mo.
  • Sports and Information Pak: $10/mo.
  • Sports Pak 2: $10/mo.
  • Latino Pak: $10/mo.

Equipment and features

Cox DVRs have decent storage, multiple recording sources, and pricing that’s on par with other companies

Cox equipment details
EquipmentStorage capacityRecording hoursPrice
Record 6 HD-DVR Receiver2 TB250 HD/1,000 SD hours$19.99/mo.
Record 2 HD-DVR500 GB100 HD/200 SD hours$12.99/mo.

Selecting a Cox Contour DVR

Record 6 HD-DVR with Contour

The Record 6 HD-DVR allows you to record up to 6 HD TV shows or movies without restriction, which works for most families. In addition to usual DVR features, the Record 6 includes the Contour service, which recommends programs to you based on what you watch and rate.

Potentially, you could record a recommended show while still watching your favorite one live, then catch up afterward.

While this isn’t the best HD DVR we’ve reviewed, it has a substantial 2 TB of storage and allows offline play for recorded shows downloaded to your devices—you just need a Wi-Fi connection.

Contour Record 2 / Standard HD-DVR

Cox’s standard HD-DVR captures up to two shows at once and offers less storage at 500 GB. The fee for the Record 6 is only $7 more per month, which is a good deal—but if you don’t plan on using your DVR for more than catching a show or two while you’re out, the regular option should suffice.

Watch anywhere

Contour TV lets you stream between your big screen, tablets, and other devices. You can pull up a show on your iPad while everyone’s finishing up their show and then push it to your main television so you don’t miss a beat.

With the Contour App, you can organize your stored library for up to seven users (one less than the service says it allows), set your DVR records, and search and browse TV listings upcoming within a seven-day time frame.

While the app is nice, some features like watching live channels, video on demand, and parental controls are only available if you have Cox essential internet.

Cox customer service

When it comes to quality, Cox lacks in the service department

Like any other cable TV service provider, Cox customer service isn’t impressive.

Online chat support is mediocre at best, and confusing at its (more often) worst. If you’re getting online support, make sure to stay glued to the chat window, which times-out very quickly if you’re not active, even if you haven’t heard back from the agent yet.

You don’t always know exactly what you’re getting with TV providers. If you’re not sure about the price and need a guarantee, make sure to take a screenshot for reference, should the need arise.

Our experience

Honestly, the agents we chatted with online contradicted themselves and didn’t present the information in an easy-to-understand way. If you’re like us and need clear answers, we recommend getting on the phone with customer service to ensure you’re getting the most accurate information. Always double check before committing to a contract.

Recap: Is Cox TV worth it?

You get fewer channels, but you also get direct pricing and minimal price increases. Overall, Cox is pretty average in the industry.

Cox TV packages
PlanPriceTV channel countDetails
TV Starter$25*75+View Plan
Contour TV$69.99*140+View Plan
Data effective 11/19/18. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months.

When comparing their cable subscription service to the other big brands, Cox has candid pricing with minimal increases after promotional prices and comparable programming. Cox’s Contour DVR options aren’t too bad and they have fair pricing in comparison to one our favorite DVRs in the industry (Xfinity’s X1).

It may not be the best deal in the TV industry, but it’s close to it. If you live in one of the 19 Cox service areas, it’s a reasonable option.

Find the best TV providers in your area

  • TeacherMac

    Cox, not content with cramming as many commercials as possible into every program (constant reruns) advertiser’s are able to now block fast forward on your DVD recordings. With the Contour 2 re order being totally anemic when compared to the original Contour why are we paying extra for garbage. Constant reruns crammed with commercials! DoNotIgnoreUs you’ll be sorry.

    • Trevor Wheelwright

      Ah, yes we’ve noticed some providers using this as a way of ensuring that the commercials get watched, thus their clients get the advertising space they paid for. It becomes problematic for users who are using their time tools (rewind/fast forward/restart/etc.) because they’re still subjected to the same commercial they may have seen before (or countless times).

      Thanks for your thoughts!

  • Geoff A

    Wow this new time warner turned spectrum is a BIG JOKE!!! They want to cut my channels, make me go from 200gig to 300gig internet and have my bill go up $30 to $230 a month…they offer no deal to lower my rate unless I cut my services… Go from 200gig Internet to 100, and cut more channels… I originally had showtime, HBO, epix and 300gig plus home phone for $150 a month… Now they cut all my movie channels and premium and my internet speed to 200 and its $187 a month… $37 more a month and no primium channels and lower internet speed! What a joke… Bail on spectrum they suck and way over priced and don’t care about keeping long term customers it’s clear!! I’ll be looking elsewhere what a joke! Do not get spectrum cable internet or home phone!!

  • sojarm

    COX has once again chosen to increase their monthly costs by over 12% from the previous year with the same level of service ..
    COX continues its practice of “SURCHARGES” on the bills of customers that do NOT subscribe to sports channels or other higher end services (THAT is involuntary .. and in effect .. this DEFRAUDS the customer who is just on basic services .. )

    THAT alone (THOSE “Surcharges” Increased over 60% in this month’s billing — surcharges that are basically extortion to supplement those who actually subscribe to the sports programming and other programming )
    let me post here a slice of my trying to resolve and remove the SURCHARGE for services I DO NOT WANT and NEVER Subscribed to ..
    ” Regional Sports Surcharge (RSS) is a separate line item in the TV section on customer’s monthly bills who subscribe to Essential TV or higher, effective during the 2017 Price Adjustment. Sports Pak and Sports Pak 2 subscriptions do not.” (In other words .. if you have the sports packs and want them and pay for them .. you are NOT charged the SURCHARGE!!!)
    YES folks .. those of us who REFUSE to purchase sports programming are being EXTORTED for the sports programming wants of others!)

    Finally .. HIDDEN FEES Are EXTENSIVE .. you have to truly understand what you are paying for to avoid even further increases in billings and hellishly increased costs per month!

    TAXES do NOT Account for the price increase (SINCE All levels of Taxes DECREASED by $1 per month on each month’s bill over last year monthly billing)
    Does COX even care about Customers or Service or even retaining their satisfaction?
    I’d say that answer is a resounding NO … NOT at all ..

    Then there’s the monthly box you have to add (NO DVR Either go figure) that is PER TV (yes, PER TV .. nothing else will do for COX .. increase it for each TV in the house) .. that was forced on ALL CUSTOMERS That increased the bill by $17 (for just two of these! And that’s before taxes) a MONTH! Despite the previous where we just had the cable direct to the TV and there was no problem with that ..

    ENDLESS Attempts of UPSELL .. ENDLESS EXTRA CHARGES .. (DVR on top of those “DUMB BOXES” is an additional (as noted below) now above $25 per MONTH per box on top!

    and then there’s no way we can just purchase the boxes outright and LIMIT our costs either ..

    SO needless to say .. LACK of customer service .. no reasonable explanation for the extortion of the “Surcharges” that are levied on those of us who do not have the extras ..
    and OUTRAGEOUS price increases are the norm …

  • Holly

    Horrible horrible horrible…NEVER JOIN COX, THEY TELL YOU ONE THING AND THEN THEY PRETTY MUCH TELL YOU GO SCREW YOURSELF!! At first they wouldn’t let me sign up bc the previous owner hadn’t shut off their service, mind you they wouldn’t let him so then he brought back his equipment and they still wouldn’t let me! Spent over 1/2 hour on the phone and got everything set up for them to tell me they are sorry but they can’t set me up an account to call back and try again but it could take up to 6 months before I got service!! A manager told me once I got a setup that my account would be credited first months charges for all the hassle I went through! Finally was able to get cable and internet and now I got my bill in and I called the first manager Dwayne hung up on me and then I called back explained everything that happened and she told me well I’m sorry but u didn’t have an account for them to document on when the manager told you that first month would be free so we can’t do anything about it…so go f myself an eat the $120…never pick Cox, horrible customer service and I will make sure everyone knows how horrible they are

  • Chelsea Bonnett

    Cox communications is by far the WORST company I have ever dealt with. I have been a customer with them since 2015, and have only seen one good thing come from them, which was a new technician, and I doubt he will stay with them for long. Cox ALWAYS has its problems: horrible customer service, expensive products and services, and their products and services hardly ever work! What really threw me over the edge was my most recent interaction with them. I only have internet through Cox, and the package I have is $60.00 a month for 100 mbps, which the only cheaper package is something like 5 mbps for $20 less. One day, the internet went down in my area, which wasn’t proposed to come back on till later that night. The next day my internet still wasn’t on, nor the day after that!. On the third day, I called Cox and they said a technician would need to come out as something was also wrong with my router, which I purchased from them back in 2015, and haven’t had any previous problems with it. The technician came out two days later, and informed me that the communication from my router was too high, so he had to place a piece on it that would solve the issue. Like I mentioned, this gentleman is the ONLY good thing to come from Cox. He finished up and left. About two weeks later, my bill came and they were trying to charge me for the technician’s work. I chatted online with someone and they were able to get the technician bill dropped by ADDING FUNDS TO MY ACCOUNT FOR THE FEE instead of waiving it. I thought the problem was solved and I would have my regular bill come out. I planned my bills accordingly, and moved money to a different account for savings that takes days to get money from. The day my Cox bill was to come out, THEY STILL CHARGED ME for the technician’s fee!!! Not only was my account in the negative because I did not plan for the extra money coming out, but now I had an overcharge fee from my bank, and extra money in my Cox account. I contacted Cox that day about the issue, and the guy said that the only way they could refund my money was by a CHECK THAT WOULD TAKE TWO WEEKS TO GET TO ME! I told him no, that it was not acceptable, and that I had done everything to ensure that this wouldn’t happen. He continues to tell me that is the only thing he can do as it was an echeck that the money came from, and could not take the debit card number that is attached to that account to direct route it back. I told him to go talk to his supervisor to straighten things out. A lady came on the line and said she would try to get the check expedited, which still would not solve the problem at hand. Needless to say, I am still waiting on the check from them and I will be looking to find another company, even if it costs me more money in the long run. The ONLY time the supervisor seemed concerned is when I told her I would be reviewing the experience and placing it everywhere I could. I can NO LONGER stand to deal with such an awful company that doesn’t care about their customers, attempts to suck every dollar they can out of their customers, and lacks the communication that is necessary for their inner business. This company is a JOKE. To anyone whom is looking into Cox’s services, do yourself a favor and avoid the headache!!!

  • Heidi Rips Rowland

    We finally gave up with Cox Communication after I really got angry yesterday when 3rd technician came to house yesterday, had totally wrong work order and we still don’t have TV (after being in AZ 4 weeks). When I called then to Cox to want to get to know why they can’t do their job and my call had been transferred to 5 different people (one was for spanish speaking people) and I didn’t got any answer just excuses I told them that Thank you we don’t want Cox anymore and hang up. First technician came already on June 22nd, looked around and told that we need to lay cables first, and that Cox don’t do it. We called Cox again and came out that they will lay cables. We asked them to send technician who knows what he has to do. So second one came, he didn’t know that he needs to lay cables, but went to attic to see what we need, came down and told that we need to reschedule the work and it has to be the first thing in the morning as attic getting hot. Understandable, it’s AZ. We rescheduled for yesterday. 3rd one came yesterday, had totally wrong work order, he didn’t know that he needs to lay cables, that we have 3 TV-s (2 recorders and 1 just a box) and told us ridiculous price what Cox asking to lay cables for 3 TV-s. It was all, I got really mad as we have had 3 different people here, heard 3 different stories why we need to reschedule again and many different prices to finish this job, during 3 weeks Cox couldn’t do their job and we still don’t have TV!!!!!!! We called to different company and they scheduled us for the next day, all installation is free and monthly price much better than Cox has. It shows which company cares about customers and which don’t!!!

  • Matthew Thompson

    This company has the worst “customer service” I’ve ever dealt with. Truly a nightmare. I won’t go into my VERY long story in detail but the one time my house was broken into, their cameras weren’t working or recording and I had no idea so I had nothing to give to the police. I also went without internet for over a month because a problem with the line to my house showed up as an “outage” in their system and because it showed up that way I was told that there was literally nothing they could do and that they would not send a tech out to check the line. AVOID. AVOID. AVOID.