Cox Cable Review: Internet, Television, and Home Phone Services
Cox Communications offers three general types of services to consumers: television, Internet, and digital telephone services. As with most cable providers that have expanded their offerings to include data and voice services, it is possible to save a great deal of money buy bundling. Cox Communications offers interesting bundling choices that tend to emphasize common sets of features that might appeal to consumers with different levels of disposable incomes. For example, the lowest tier bundle is called the Cox Essential Bundle and it comes with the fewest channels, slowest data rates, and has a phone package that some might consider to be stripped. The Cox Preferred bundle offers the most popular phone features, television channels, and increases the data rate while the Cox Premium Bundle leaves only a few premium channels to choose from that are more of a preference issue than anything else.
Cox Digital Cable
Cox Digital cable has an extensive channel selection, with even the basic Cox television packages offering nearly 100 channels. Cox has approximately 300 channels on tap including PPV (Pay Per View), on demand, premium channels, and optional digital music channels. It is worth noting that the majority of the programming on Cox’s lineup is offered in HD and that is even true of the channels that are not part of premium packages.
On the subject of channels, it is worth noting that Cox Communications offers HD-DVR set top boxes that are more than up to the task of pausing and rewinding live television as well as recording shows for later. In fact, the set top boxes used by Cox Communications can even record one show while allowing customers to watch another or to record two shows at once. This can be a great way to save time, especially since Cox provides easy 1-click recording via their intuitive on-screen guide and menu system. The same menu system allows for recording of shows regardless of whether one is home or not, but that is a fairly standard feature these days.
Onscreen Programming Guide
The on-screen guide allows for ordering programs on demand, and Cox has both SD and HD offerings on tap 24/7. HD programs and movies are typically presented in 16:9 and are advertised as offering Dolby Digital 5.1 support for home entertainment systems that have compatible surround sound systems. 5.1 Dolby Digital surround systems are not a requirement, however, as all channels support standard stereo audio mode as well.
Cox High Speed Internet
Cox Communications offers four tiers of cable services: Essential, Preferred, Premier, and Premier Plus. The Essential data package is still very fast, offering 1.5 Mbps downloads and upload speeds up to 256 Kbps but Cox’s sales material claims that this package is ideal for e-mailing and surfing. That certainly is a lot of bandwidth for e-mailing and web surfing, but there is one thing that the Essential package lacks that all other packages have: 5 GBs of online media storage space. All of the data packages offered by Cox Communications come with 10 MBs of web space.
The other packages are all differentiated by their download/upload speeds. The Preferred package offers 13 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speeds, while the two Premier packages offer even greater speed. The Premier package offers 20 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload speeds while the Premier Plus package offers 28 Mbps download and 2.5 Mbps upload speeds, which is probably more than enough to host a reasonably large LAN party. Note that these figures all factor in PowerBoost technology, except for the Essential plan which lacks PowerBoost. The Preferred plan without PowerBoost offers 10 Mbps download and 768 Kbps upload speeds, the Premier increases these figures to 15 Mbps and 1.5 Mbps respectively. The Premier Plus plan offers 20 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload speeds, which is still quite impressive.
Each of Cox Communication’s data packages comes with multiple e-mail accounts, though the number of accounts varies by plan. The two Premier-class accounts come with 10 e-mail accounts and the Preferred and Essential plans both come with 7 e-mail accounts. All e-mail services can be utilized and accessed via a webmail interface from anywhere in the world as well as traditional POP3/SMTP and/or IMAP compliant mail programs.
ESPN360 and Rhapsody
Cox Communications has partnered with ESPN, Nickelodeon, and Rhapsody to blur the lines between media and data offerings. In the case of ESPN360, Cox customers have access to live online coverage as part of their subscription to Cox Communications, and Nickelodeon offers customers of Cox Communications an advertisement free learning environment that they claim is both mind-expanding and safe. Cox Rhapsody offers consumers unlimited access to listen to millions of songs.
Cox Digital Voice
Digital voice plans offered by Cox communications range from the very simple to the advanced. The most basic offerings are no more complex than a simple phone line, while advanced features that might prove useful include distinct rings for incoming long distance calls, three-way calling, call waiting, caller ID, caller ID blocking, call forwarding, automated redialing, call rejection, call acceptance, voice mail, and a handful of long distance offerings. Cox has some very appealing long distance calling plans, especially for those who want unlimited long distance within the United States. Cox Communications also offers attractive rates for those calling outside the United States, but it would be nice to see the integration of unlimited long distance to Canada and U.S. territories.
Contact Cox to establish service or make changes to your existing service by calling one of the following customer service numbers for your are area:
- Arizona: 1-866-867-2629
- Arkansas: 1-888-952-3278
- Central Florida: 1-888-269-9693
- Cleveland Ohio: 1-216-535-3500
- Connecticut: 1-877-206-4210
- Acadiana, Louisiana: 1-888-215-8474
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana: 1-800-457-8974
- Gulf Coast: 1-850-478-0200
- Hampton Roads, Virginia: 1-757-224-1111
- Idaho: 1-208-726-4561
- Kansas: 1-888-952-3278
- Las Vegas: 1-702-383-4000
- Mid Georgia: 1-478-784-8000
- New Orleans: 1-504-304-8444
- Northern Virginia: 1-703-378-8422
- Fredericksburg, Virginia: 1-540-373-6343
- Oklahoma City: 1-405-600-8282
- Omaha, Nebraska: 1-402-933-3000
- Orange County and Palos Verdes California: 1-800-234-3993
- Rhode Island: 1-877-206-4210
- Roanoke, Virginia: 1-540-776-3848
- San Diego: 1-619-266-5474
- Santa Barbara: 1-805-683-6651
- Tulsa: 1-918-806-6000
See our company contact information for a comprehensive list of customer service telephone numbers.