As cable and satellite television providers continue to battle for customers across the country, more deals are being offered to potential subscribers.? Two large players in the pay television field today are Cox Communications and DIRECTV satellite.? Cox has a large presence in the Southwest, the Midwest, and the Southeastern regions of the United States.? DIRECTV is available nationally, that is of course if you have somewhere to place the small satellite dish required to receive signal.? Lets compare these two companies and what they have to offer.
DIRECTV vs Cox Cable
Cox currently has nearly 5 million subscribers, and DIRECTV has over 18 million, so either way you are going to be dealing with a large and successful company.? Cox though is limited in that they provide cable and internet service only in areas where they hold a franchise agreement.? the main areas served by Cox are in the Southwest ? with cities like Las Vegas, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Phoenix being covered.? in the Southeast, Cox provides service to New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Pensacola and Ocala among others.? Several small midwest cities are also in their coverage area including Oklahoma City, Topeka, Wichita, and Omaha.? Finally, Cox has a large customer base in the Northeastern part of the country including Providence, Cleveland, and several communities in Virginia.
One of the big advantages that Cox has over DIRECTV in these markets is the hard line network built out to homes and businesses.? Having a last mile network allows Cox to offer additional services like high speed internet access and voice service as well.? This in turn leads to higher monthly revenues for each subscriber signed up, and can also lead to greater customer loyalty, as it can be a hassle to disconnect multiple services all at once and move them to different providers.
On the other hand, building and maintaining a last mile network like this is more expensive.? DIRECTV has lower overhead costs, and can thus generally offer lower pricing on video services.? but they have to rely on telco partners to round out any triple play package offers that bundle internet and phone service with a DIRECTV package.
Now if you are comparing Cox vs DIRECTV when it comes to video service alone, there are a few things to consider.? one factor of course is pricing, especially any promotional deals offered to new customers.? DIRECTV heavily promotes their $29.99 price point for new customers, which is the Choice package.? Current deals out there also entice customers with the deal, but to get that you have to subscribe to the free NFL Sunday TicketChoice Xtra which is $34.99 a month.? both of these packages are discounted $31 a month for one year, then the regular price kicks in.? also remember that these include just one receiver or DVR, you will pay for each box in addition.
Cox bundles aren?t discounted as heavily as those offered by Xfinity or Time Warner cable.? While these cable companies usually offer deals that last one or even two years, most of the special offers from Cox being offered are for just three or six months, with one year deals available in select markets.? Here is and example of one Cox cable deal being offered in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The Cox Platinum bundle offered in this market includes Advanced TV with 147 channels plus DVR service.? in addition, Cox internet with PowerBoost offers speeds up to 15 Mbps, and the Cox home phone plan includes unlimited local and long distance along with several calling features.? This triple play package is priced at $145.99, which is advertised as having an annual savings of $215 per year, or around $18 a month.? Free professional installation is included, which DIRECTV offers as well to new customers.
So as you can already tell, comparing DIRECTV to Cox cable isn?t easy to do, as oftentimes the services don?t match up.? you may have to price out your internet service separately and add it to what you would pay DIRECTV to get an accurate picture of what you will be paying each month.
Now if you are looking at some of the features offered by DIRECTV and Cox individually, here you will be able to make a few distinctions.? Lets look first at high definition channels, then look at the advanced services like video on demand and digital video recorders.
DIRECTV was at the forefront when it came to deploying high definition channels, but that was three years ago.? Several providers now top DIRECTV when it comes to the number of HD channels offered including AT&T Uverse and Verizon FiOS.? Even their longtime competitor DISH Network now has a few more HD channels when you toss out all of the pay per view options.? but what about Cox HD?? how do they compare.
Cox currently offers around 72 HD channels in wide deployment, and 43 in limited areas according to the AVS HD chart.? DIRECTV offers 102 HD channels, all in wide distribution meaning as long as you are and HD subscriber you can potentially get all of the channels.? so what does this mean?? It all depends on your particular Cox franchise as to whether you are better off with the cable provider.? certain areas may have more HD options than DIRECTV, while other have less.? the best thing to do if HD is of high importance is call your local Cox office to get an updated list of all high definition channels available.
When it comes to the digital video recorders offered by each company, you are probably going to be better off with DIRECTV on this count.?? Cox does sort of a double dip on their customers, as they charge around $7 on each receiver in the house, then an additional $9.99 DVR monthly subscription fee.? if you go with DIRECTV then the DVR is included on the first TV in the house, and you will pay a $7 monthly fee for DVR service.? DIRECTV also offers a whole Home DVR option for $10 a month, and in this case you will pay for each additional receiver in the home, but the main advantage will be the ability to access DVR content throughout your home.? DIRECTV also beats the Cox DVR easily when it comes the the amount of storage capacity available on the recorder.
On the other hand, Cox crushes DIRECTV when it comes to On Demand content and service.? Cox and other cable companies generally offer their video on demand services at no additional cost to digital cable subscribers, giving them access all kinds of programming via their remote control.? the video on demand service offered by Cox is no exception, with thousands of programs available each month.? those who subscribe to premium networks like Showtime and HBO can also access movies on demand through these network at no additional charge.? Only new release pay per view movies will incur a charge, as well as Cox adult pay per view programs.? DIRECTV also offers video on demand, but the setup relies on the customers high speed internet connection.? the systems isn?t really true ?on demand? as content has to be downloaded for a while before it starts playing.
Sports fans will want to look closely at what both Cox cable and DIRECTV have to offer before committing their hard earned dollars.? Cox has been the beneficiary of a couple of sweet sports deals in New Orleans and in San Diego which have kept San Diego Padre and New Orleans Hornet games away from competitors.? but the Cox deal with the Padres has not been renewed, and speculation is that games will be on the Fox Sports Net affiliate starting in 2012.? the net result of these deals has been subscriber retention, as sports fans must stay with Cox and away from DIRECTV or DISH Network if they want to see their hometown team play.
Cox is also part owner of the iNDEMAND platform, which brings out of market sports packages to the customer.? NBA League Pass, NHL Center Ice, and MLB Extra Innings are all available on both Cox cable and DIRECTV, provided you are willing to foot the $200 or so for each season.? DIRECTV has the NFL Sunday Ticket package through the 2014 season, but you can get the NFL version of the RedZone channel in all Cox areas for around $40 a season.
A final consideration when comparing Cox vs DIRECTV is the contract requirement that comes with satellite TV service providers.? both DISH Network and DIRECTV ask that you sign a two year deal for the free installation and discounted rates that you get in return.? Cox, like most other cable companies does not require you to sign a contract when setting up service as a new customer.
DIRECTV vs Cox Cable