The DISH vs Cox Comparison Guide

NOTICE: Due to pricing changes, this page is considered *under construction*

Pay less with DISH and get more features than you would with Cox.
DISH Network versus Directv. Who has a better deal?

The above compares the regular, non-promotional pricing for DISH and Cox.

What you get with DISH that you don't with Cox:

  • More channels and more movies on demand
  • Free Hopper HD-DVR upgrade
  • The ability to watch live or recorded TV anywhere on all your favorite channels.

DISH and Cox are both well-known TV services. This guide will show you the differences between the services. As a DISH retailer, we are somewhat biased towards DISH network but in this guide we will do our best to give you objective facts to help you make your decision. And of course, we have live reps available to talk with you.

We believe DISH is the better choice for you with all the great features and superior technology they offer. Read more to find out why.


DISH wins versus Cox in many categories. As you can see (pictured right), Cox's is very simlilar in pricing their packages. DISH's most popular package, America's Top 200 is $69.99 per month. Cox's Advanced TV, a popular package is $72.99 per month with a similar channel lineup.

But, does Cox offer more? How much are you really getting for that price?

Cox claims they are a leader in providing TV service. There are several aspects in determining how good a TV provider is, and that will be depend upon the person. A good point of reference is: number of channels per package, and cost per month. Let's look at some examples.

Example (1): Two popular packages. Every day prices--no promotions.

Example (2): Same packages as above, but this time with a two-room HD-DVR system. Everyday prices--no promotions.

The examples like this hold true for virtually every side-by-side comparison. DISH offers you more channels for less money per month, especially when you factor in equipment.


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How does DISH HD and HD-DVR receiver upgrades compare to Cox's?

Above we talked about package pricing. DISH and Cox have very similar package pricing. But when you start comparing the HD receiver upgrades, HD service, and the different HD-DVR offers, like the Hopper or the Cox HD-DVR, then the argument is becomes very one-sided. In this section we will show you how superior the Hopper is and let you determine which offer is best for you.

Both DISH and Cox have several HD, HD-DVR, and equipment upgrades:

HD Service: DISH's offer versus Cox's offer.
DISH's offer: HD service is free for 24 months. Agree to the contract, and AutoPay billing, and that's it. Any HD receiver will work and most of the most popular programming packages qualify for this.

Cox's offer: HD service is available for a monthly fee. To get HD, it's $8.50 per month from day one. If you wish to have both HD service and DVR capabilities, it will be $15.00 extra per month.

HD service is not free with Cox. Plus, there's an additional fee to add DVR functionality.

FREE HD Receiver upgrades (non DVRs): DISH versus Cox
DISH offers
up to three non-DVR, HD receiver upgrades free (more on DVR offers below). The HD free for 24 months promotion with DISH does not require that you order an HD-DVR.

Cox offers a non-DVR, HD receiver upgrade for a monthly fee. HD service is not free with Cox when ordering non-DVR HD equipment. If you order an HD-DVR as one of your receivers, you will pay the $15.00 per month charge and if you just want a standard HD receiver, that will run you $8.50 extra per month.

DVR and HD-DVR Receiver upgrades (this deserves its own section).

... Cox charges $15 per month for HD-DVR service.

... DISH charges $12 per month for a Hopper HD-DVR.

Introduction to DVR offers
DISH has two types of Digital Video Recorder (a.k.a., DVR) receivers: a regular HD-DVR, and Whole-Home HD-DVR. Cox only offers one HD-DVR receiver model. The difference is exactly what it sounds like. The regular DVRs are designed to deliver DVR to a limited number of TVs in the home while the Whole-Home DVRs are designed to deliver DVR to all of the TVs in the home. Only DISH gives you offers for each type of DVR.

Regular HD-DVR Receivers and Upgrades: DISH vs Cox
DISH offers one free HD-DVR receiver upgrade. The DVR service is $7 per month and the HD service is free for 24 months. DISH has two different HD-DVR receivers. One is the ViP 722k, which is a two-room HD-DVR, the other is the ViP 612, which is a single-room HD-DVR. You can use this receiver upgrade and still get two additional non-DVR HD receiver upgrades for free.

Cox charges a hidden upfront fee when ordering the regular HD-DVR. This receiver only operates one TV so you will need to purchase an additional box which carries an extra monthly fee to watch TV in another room. Also, they charge a monthly fee for the DVR service on this type of receiver.

Whole home HD-DVR promotions. DISH's Hopper and Joey vs. Cox's Standard HD-DVR
This comparison probably deserves its own webpage, but for now, we will describe the two offers for you briefly and cut right to the chase.

DISH offers one Hopper and three Joey's as free receiver upgrades. Hopper DVR service is $12 per month. HD service is free for 24 months. The Hopper receiver fee is included in your channel package price, and each Joey is $7 per month and has full HD-DVR access via the Hopper. This free upgrade will service up to four TVs and can record up to six HD channels simultaneously. If you want service on six TVs you will need one additional Hopper ($49) and one additional Joey ($99), totalling an upgrade fee of $148. With two Hoppers you can record up to nine HD channels simultaneously. All six TVs can watch separate channels at the same time.

Cox offers only one type of HD-DVR which does not have "Whole Home" capabilities. The DVR service fee is $15 per month. That fee includes the HD service itself. If you want service on six TV's you will need one multi-room DVR, and add compatible boxes in every other room which carry additional fees and can quickly raise your monthly bill.

DVR service fees and promotions
DISH charges $7 per month for regular HD-DVR service, or $12 per month for the Hopper HD-DVR service. In both cases, HD service is free for 24 months. It's as simple as that.

Cox combines their DVR fee with their HD fee and they charge $15 per month per receiver. You cannot experience the Whole Home DVR functions that the Hopper gives with these standard DVR's and will pay lots of money extra per month to get service 6 rooms of your home.

Promotions that you could consider "exclusive."

Both DISH and Cox offer a lot of promotions for new customers. If monthly price, or the equipment promotions aren't enough to decide one way or another, sometimes the exclusive promotions can. That's what we'll discuss here.

DISH offers a few exclusives that Cox cannot offer. One is DISH's TV Anywhere features, which use Sling functionality. Sling--built into the Hopper for free--allows you to watch recorded or live TV content anywhere you want with devices such as: mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. Cox's streaming of live TV is extremely limited, covering only 50 channels; of which the local networks--like ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX--are not included. Another is Dish Movie Pack. Dish Movie Pack includes streaming video to your TV or PC, and adds 20+ premium HD channels to your programming package.

Cox, like many others, only offers you more discounts when you bundle your services. They offer you a gift card when you sign up for multiple services. They offer very little for customers looking for just TV services.

Promotions both DISH and Cox do well

As we stated in the beginning of this guide: Both DISH and Cox are very popular TV services. They both deliver a high quality product. Some of the differences are stark, like the monthly price being lower with DISH, and the superior technology you get with DISH. Other differences are more nuanced. But both companies have similarities in their offers that they both do well.

Both companies will offer free promotions and gift cards to provide incentives for signing up. Both also offer tons of HD programming and On Demand content.

We hope you enjoyed our DISH versus Cox guide! If you still have questions, or would like to order, please call1-800-970-9509, , or customize your package.


All Cox pricing and policy information sourced from and/or live Cox associates.