Cox Cable TV Review 2021

Cox TV has a checkout experience made to personalize your service

Cox TV
2.8 out of 5 stars
Monthly price
Available channels
Chantel Buchi
Staff Writer, TV & Streaming
Read More
Published on April 02, 2021
5 min read

Cox is a cable TV provider that offers most of your favorite channels, decent on-demand content, and a decent DVR. And Cox now allows you to bundle four services, making Cox one of the only TV services to do so: TV, internet, home security, and a landline.

At checkout, you’ll have about four steps for each service, which include choosing a plan, choosing your equipment, and add-ons. Cox has really made the checkout process seamless, and we honestly haven’t seen a more customizable experience than what Cox offers.

Let’s get into the details.

  • Solid DVR options for the family
  • Local channels plan (which is rare to find)
  • Expensive TV packages
  • Limited availability in the US
Cox-Editors Pick

How much do Cox TV's packages cost?

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

Although Cox gives you the opportunity for a customized home,  Cox’s plans and pricing have recently changed, and the pricing unfortunately increased.  (And keep in mind, this promotional pricing lasts for 12 months, but it’s unclear as to how much your service will cost afterward).

Cox’s Starter plan with local channels used to be half the price, but $50 for 75+ channels is cheaper than what you’d get with a live TV streaming service.

When you upgrade to Cox’s Preferred plan allows you to add on more channel packs and premium channels (for an extra cost) for a more customizable package. We recommend this plan if you’d like the perfect channel variety for the family.

And lastly, Cox’s Ultimate plan gives you premium channels, like HBO and SHOWTIME, as well as the Sports channel pack.

If you choose to go with a live TV streaming service, you could also opt to not get Cox’s TV service and just get the internet, home security, and phone service for your home.

How much is Cox TV?

Data effective 4/2/2021.

Does Cox TV have a contract?

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.

Does Cox TV have extra fees?

Both Cox Cable TV plans come with the standard fees:

  • Broadcast Surcharge: up to $10.00/mo.
  • Regional Sports Surcharge: up to $9.00/mo.

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

Set-top box fees:

  • Contour HD box: First included, $10.00/mo. for each additional
  • Basic box: $4.00/mo.
  • CableCARD: $4.00/mo.

Not only do you have to pay monthly for renting the set-top box, but you'll also have to pay a monthly price for the DVR service (unfortunately, these charges are normal with most TV providers).

Cox's DVR service fees:

  • Essential DVR service: $10.00/mo. for one year (then increases by $4 per month)
  • Preferred DVR service: $20.00/mo.
  • Ultimate DVR service: $30.00/mo.

You can find more information about the set-top box and DVR services in the equipment section, but this gives you an idea of how much extra you'll need to add to your monthly bill.

Which channels does Cox TV have?

All of Cox's plans have a personality

The Starter package gives you the "local channels", Preferred is the average package with "local channels and basic cable TV channels", and you'll get "local channels with extended cable plus premium channels" with the Ultimate package.

With that said, let's see which personality attracts you the most.

Cox's Contour TV Starter includes the following channels in its lineup:

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • CoziTV
  • C-SPAN
  • CW
  • FOX
  • HSN
  • MeTV
  • NBC
  • PBS
  • PBS Kids
  • QVC
  • Telemundo
  • True Crime Network
  • UniMás
  • Univision

Cox's Contour TV Preferred includes all of the above and the following:

  • Cartoon Network
  • CNN
  • Discovery Channel
  • Disney Channel
  • ESPN
  • Food Network
  • Fox News
  • FS1
  • FX
  • Golf Channel
  • Hallmark Channel
  • HGTV
  • Lifetime
  • NBC Sports Network
  • PAC-12 Network
  • TBS
  • TNT
  • USA Network

Cox's Contour TV Ultimate includes all of the above and the following:

  • Actionmax
  • BBC America
  • Cinemax
  • Cooking Channel
  • Destination America
  • Discovery Family Channel
  • Disney Jr.
  • HBO
  • HBO Comedy
  • HBO Family
  • HBO Latino
  • Lifetime Movie Network
  • Moviemax
  • NFL RedZone Channel
  • OWN
  • Science Channel
  • SHOWTIME Family Zone
  • STARZ Cinema
  • STARZ Encore Family

Which premium channels and add-ons does Cox TV have?

With Cox TV, you'll get the option to add four premium channels and five channel packs.

When you order the Starter plan, you'll get HBO Max for free. When you upgrade to Preferred, you can get all four premium channels for $20/mo. ($5 per channel? Not a bad deal).

How much do Cox's premium channels and add-ons cost?
Premium channel
Monthly price









Sports and Info Pack


Sports Pack 2


Movies Pack


Variety Pack


Bonus Pack


Latino Pack


*Data effective 4/1/2021.

The channel packs are only available if you order the Contour TV Preferred or Ultimate packages, so here's a little break down:

  • Sports and Info Pack: This pack gives you about 23 sports channels, including NFL Network, ESPNU, ACCN, and Big Ten Network.
  • Sports Pack 2: Get about 20 more sports channels, including the NFL RedZone Channel, MLB Strike Zone, NBA TV, and Longhorn Network. (Keep in mind, you can't order this pack unless you order the Sports and Info Pack.)
  • Movie Pack: Spruce up your TV service with 16 movie channels from EPIX and STARZ.
  • Variety Pack: This pack is for everyone in the family. The 35 channels in this pack include Nicktoons, Disney Jr., BBC America, The Cooking Channel, and Boomerang.
  • Bonus Pack: This pack only has seven channels, but it will cost nothing if you order another pack alongside it. You'll get the Science Channel, MLB Network, and Discovery Life.
  • Latino Pack: Good news for you and your abuelita: you'll get 45 Spanish-language with this pack. Enjoy Galavisión, NBC Universo, FOX Deportes, Cine Latino, Univision Telnovelas, and CNN en Español.

Cox's equipment and features

Your set-top box will require two fees: the monthly fee for renting the actual box and a DVR service fee (which, unfortunately, is normal with TV providers).

A Contour HD box is included with every TV plan, and this set-top box gives you access to on-demand content and streaming apps. Not only is it convenient to have everything in one place, but you'll also get a voice remote to make your TV experience smoother.

If you just want a simple setup and don't care for premium channels, on-demand content, or pay-per-view, get the Basic Box and save $6 per month.

How much is Cox's set-top box and DVR service?
Set-top box
Monthly price

Contour HD box

First box included, $10.00/mo. for each additional

Basic box


Essential DVR service

$10.00/mo. (for year one)

Preferred DVR service


Ultimate DVR service


Now, for the DVR service. This is where you'll have to predict how often you and the family will be recording live games, daily or weekly TV shows, and movies.

The Essential and Preferred DVR service gives you 250 hours of DVR storage space. But Essential lets you record two shows at once while Preferred lets you record six.

We're not really sure which household would record 24 shows or movies at once, but Cox makes it possible. The Ultimate DVR service will also give you 1,000 hours of DVR storage.

Cox TV on-the-go

Download the Contour TV app in Google Play or the Apple Store to watch all of your on-demand content! We know we like to use streaming apps to distract our kids while we're busy on the phone, or to distract ourselves when we're waiting in a super long line.

Recap: Is Cox TV worth it?

The personalization this cable TV provider brings is unique in the industry
How much is Cox TV?
Monthly price
Available channels
Learn more

Contour TV Starter



Contour TV Preferred



Contour TV Ultimate



Data effective 4/2/2021.

Cox TV has a checkout experience that gives you a service that's tailored to you. Unlike any other TV provider, you can bundle TV, internet, home security, and a landline.

We recommend Cox TV's Preferred plan because it has a great variety to make everyone in the family happy. You can also get a set-top box for everyone in the family and 1,000 hours of DVR storage space to share.

Although Cox has TV packages to suit everyone, Cox is considered the priciest cable TV provider in the industry. It's worth the price if you live in one of the 19 areas of the US Cox offers its services and if you'd like the simplicity of bundling four services in one.

If you'd like to compare other TV providers, check out Best Cable TV Providers of 2021 or Cheapest Cable TV Providers.

Enter your ZIP code to find which cable TV providers are in your area!
Chantel Buchi
Written by
Chantel Buchi
Chantel is all about finding the best tv or streaming service to watch as many football games as possible to keep her Fantasy Football team in check. Prior to being a TV and Streaming Tech Reporter for, she worked for NFL Network and The Alliance of American Football. Before that, she received a B.A. of Communication at the University of Utah and an M.S. in Sports Journalism at USC. Go Utes and Fight On. Contact her at

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  • 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.