Cox Communications and AT&T are two behemoths in the world of cable TV and internet service. Both have millions of customers, and bring in billions of dollars in revenue each year. While AT&T has focused on wireless services over the past decade, they have also been busy in rolling out U-verse – an IPTV product that brings hundreds of cable TV channels into the subscribers’ home. How does Uverse compare with what Cox cable has to offer? Which provider is better for you if you are looking for a reliable high speed internet connection? In this article we will compare the deals and services offered by each provider.
AT&T U-verse vs Cox Cable
Cox cable and AT&T compete in several large markets including San Diego, New Orleans, and Pensacola. Midwestern markets like Tulsa and Oklahoma City are also battlegrounds for these two companies. If you live in one of these communities, you no doubt already know of the ongoing claims being made by each company over the airwaves. If you are considering a switch from one company to the other, or if you are brand new to both companies, there are several things to consider.
The monthly cost of service is the top priority for many, and this makes sense with the US economy still struggling on all fronts. Before you jump into a package, the first thing to evaluate is what kind of service is needed. Many want the fastest internet connection possible, but just a basic cable TV package. Others want a premium cable package with hundreds of channels, and just a basic high speed internet connection. What about a home phone line – is that something you need or do you rely on your cell phone to keep in touch with friends and family? Once you know what you want, you can easily push past all of the hype offered by each provider, and get the exact services that you require.
Many are interested in a triple play package of voice, video and internet service. The middle of the road Cox triple play package offered in San Diego is currently priced at $91.97 a month for six months, and then it goes up to $128.97 each month. Free installation is included, and the Cox Advanced TV package with 280 channels is part of the deal. Cox internet with speeds up to 15 Mbps is also included along with a phone line with unlimited local calling and several calling features. How does U-verse match up with a package like this?
The U-verse bundle that compares to Cox cable in San Diego is priced at $118.00 a month for one year, and then goes up to $146 per month. This Uverse triple play package includes the U200 package, with around 270 channels as well as the U-verse Max internet plan, with speeds up to 120 Mbps. It also includes a landline option with several calling features and 250 minutes of long distance calling each month. Current U-verse promotions offer new customers a $200 cash back card on this package. As you can see, Cox beats AT&T when comparing prices monthly after any promotions end, so that of course will be an important factor in making a smart decision. You will of course want to price each service in your area, as they do vary a bit in different markets.
Now if you are looking what is offered through video on demand, you may want to consider Cox over Uverse based on current reviews. Both companies offer VOD systems which are superior to the on-demand options offered by DIRECTV, but Uverse still seems to be a bit limited in what they have to offer. Cox offered On-demand through their Advanced TV system, and customers simply tune to channel 1 to access thousands of programs through their remote control. Movies are also available on Demand, with pricing from $1.99 to $5.99 for new releases (higher prices apply to adult programming on Cox cable). With AT&T Uverse, you have access to On demand content, but many reviews are critical in what AT&T offers as far a free on demand content. If you subscribe to premium channels like HBO, Showtime, and Starz you will have a wider selection, but otherwise you may have limited video on demand viewing options with U-verse.
Now if HD channels are of importance to you, you will want to consider Uverse over Cox cable. Right now, AT&T offers up to 142 high definition channels if you subscribe to their top U450 package. This bundle includes all of the premium channels, as well as quite a few 24 hour a day music stations. Even better, all of these channels are in wide distribution, meaning as long as AT&T U-verse is available in your neighborhood, you can get the full HD channel lineup. Cox cable only offers 115 HD channels currently, with 43 of them in limited distribution. That means in certain areas served by Cox you will only get 72 HD channels. So if high definition is important to you then take a hard look at the U-verse option.
The U-verse DVR is also an advanced receiver that beats the current Cox DVR. AT&T offers a Total Home DVR, which allows the subscriber to record up to four shows at one time, and also allows you to watch recorded content from any other U-verse receiver in the home as long as it is connected into the main device. New Uverse DVR models also have a large recording capacity, saving up to 233 hours of SD or 65 hours of HD content. You do pay $7 per additional receiver with AT&T at this time. The disadvantage of the Cox DVR is first capacity, as models hold far less than what U-verse offers, and price as well. With Cox you pay $9.99 a month for DVR service in addition to around $7 for each receiver. So if you wanted three different TVs with DVR capability, you would pay $17 each with Cox communications. AT&T easily beats this with their Total home DVR, along with the shared capability of the device.
Now if you are primarily concerned with a reliable and fast high speed internet connection, it pays to compare Cox and Uverse closely before committing to one or the other. AT&T offers fiber to the node, which is a box placed strategically in the neighborhood that serves hundreds of customers. From their, the existing copper telephone line is used and then connected at your home. AT&T can offer internet speeds up to 24 Mbps downstream, but this may not always be available. It all depends on how far away you are from the fiber node serving your area. The Uverse Max Turbo product is regularly priced at $63 a month. Cox offers internet speeds up to 30 Mbps, and these are generally available without a geographic restriction. The Premier Internet product from Cox has speeds up to 30 Mbps with a price of $61.99 a month. New customers can get a reduced rate of $51.99 a month for the first six months of service. Cox is now deploying even faster internet service in some markets under the name of Ulitmate internet. Priced at $99.99 a month, this product will offer downloads up to 50 Mbps and PowerBoost speeds up to 55 Mbps.
Finally, if you are a sport fan you will find things are pretty even when comparing AT&T vs Cox. Both companies have the major networks like ESPN, ESPN2, and the regional sports networks found in most areas. Cox does have an advantage in that they are partners with several cable operators in the iNDEMAN consortium, which carries out of market sports packages. If you are a big fan of the NBA, NHL or MLB and want to watch out of market games, you will be better of with a Cox cable subscription at this time.