Best Cox TV packages
Cox’s basic Contour TV Starter package is a good budget plan because it gives you access to the essentials and local channels for a low price. However, up to 50 of its 75+ channels can be music channels, depending on your location. So unless you’re really into TV music, that’s not what you want to pay for.
Cox Contour TV Preferred has 140+ channels, including all the ones from the Contour TV Starter plan. You can add on premium channels or channel packages—like the Sports & Info Pak or the Movie Pak—to expand your options. The setup lets you customize your channel lineup more than other TV companies, which often have multiple TV tiers in addition to premium add-on channels. But on the downside, adding a lot of extra channels and packages gets expensive quickly.
Check out our top picks.
Best TV-only package
How good is Cox TV service?
It’s a solid option. Contour TV gets a little pricey, especially when you have to add Paks to get the channel variety you want. But it does let you customize your channel lineup and doesn’t require a contract like DIRECTV and DISH do. Contour TV starts out at a slightly lower monthly rate for the first year, but the price jump after the introductory period isn’t much more expensive.
- Limited price bumps after intro period
- Customizable channel lineup
- No contracts
- Up to 50 music-only channels
- Compounding price increases for add-ons
Cox TV packages
Cox has two TV packages: the basic TV Starter and Cox Contour TV. The TV Starter is bare-bones basic cable. Contour TV is the main event. It starts with a base of 140+ channels (the specific number depends on where you are), and you can build up more channel variety by adding premium channels or themed channel Paks.
If you want to add a lot of channels, your Contour bill gets expensive fast. Each premium channel costs $10–$16 per month, and each Pak costs $10–$12 per month. At the time of writing, we added all the premium channel options and Paks as well as one HD receiver to our cart for a random address in Las Vegas, and the monthly amount shot up to $185.99 per month. That’s with a promotional discount. Unless you’re made of money, that’s a lot to pay for TV every month.
Beyond watching prime-time programming on your actual TV set, both TV packages work with the Contour app, so you can watch your soaps on the go. The Contour app also lets you watch on-demand content and recorded shows and movies from your DVR on your phone.
|Plan||Price*||Channel count||Best for|
|Contour TV Starter||$50.00/mo.||75+||Local channels|
Contour TV Preferred
|$90.00/mo. **||140+||Channel curation|
*Data as of 5/26/20. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
**For 12 months.
Cox TV tech
Is Cox keeping up with the times? Pretty much. The cable company gives you all the tools you need to watch TV however you want. You can go the traditional route and plop on the couch to watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine, record the latest episode to watch later, or stream it from wherever you are using a mobile app.
Cox also gives you the option of using your own set-top box (like TiVo). Usually, you have to rent equipment from your TV company because the signals are coded to stop non-subscribers from using them, but not with Cox. If you want to use your own set-top box, Cox lets you rent CableCARDs for $2.99 per month so your devices can unscramble everything.
Cox’s channel lineup includes a good mix of standard-definition (SD) and high-definition (HD) channels. Most stations have both SD and HD versions. In Tucson, for example, you can watch Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network in SD on channel 38 or channel 1038 for HD (to better appreciate those frosted tips).
Cox cable TV doesn’t have any 4K programming yet, but the Cox Contour 2 receivers support 4K streaming content from apps like Netflix and YouTube.
Cox has two HD DVR options: the Contour Record 2 and the Contour Record 6. The main differences between the Record 6 and Record 2 are the number of simultaneous recording options, storage, and price. As the names suggest, they can record up to two or six shows at the same time.
The 6 costs about $7 more per month and can also hold up to 1,000 hours of recordings compared to the 2’s 200 hours. Both DVR devices can handle the normal DVR tricks: pausing, rewinding, and fast-forwarding (up to five minutes) live TV, as well as giving recommendations based on shows and movies you’ve already watched.
You can schedule recordings on your TV, online, or through the Cox Connect mobile app.
Cox Connect is a general account management app with a few useful features. You can set DVR recordings and view your TV listings with it, as well as contact support and pay your bills.
Contour is Cox’s TV-focused mobile app. You can use it to watch live TV and on-demand shows both at home and away, but the away selection is much more limited.
This isn’t Cox-specific, but your cable subscription gives you access to TV networks’ mobile apps too. So if your favorite channel isn’t available on the Contour app, it might have its own streaming app (like HBO does with HBO GO) that you can access with your Cox subscription.
Contour 2 Voice Remote
Of several widely used Cox remotes, the Contour 2 Voice Remote is the most noteworthy. Its voice-control feature makes it easy to search for specific channels, shows, or recordings without spending seven years typing out search terms with a remote.
Cox TV installation
With any Cox TV service, you have the option between Cox’s Easy Connect self-installation or scheduling a professional installation from a Cox technician. If you are just getting Cox TV services, Easy Connect self-installation costs you $20, while the scheduled professional install is $75. However, if you order Cox’s Double Play package, the self-installation option is free. And if you order Cox’s Triple Play package, both the self-installation and the professional installation options are free.
With any Cox TV service, your first set-top box is included in your price.
Cox TV service vs. the competition
If you’re not a fan of contracts, want to customize your channel lineup, or just need inexpensive basic cable, Cox TV is a good pick. Overall, Contour TV is fine by itself, but it’s much improved by bundling with internet. The cable company’s discounts on combined internet and TV service make it worth the two-year service agreement.Pick your plan and start watching now.