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How does Cox TV compare to DISH?

If you’re looking for a reliable TV provider that offers a large selection of channels, you may have come across Cox TV and DISH. Both TV providers allow you to watch your favorite channels, stream your desired content, play games, and much more.

So, how do you choose between the two? Is one better than the other? Both providers offer premium services as well as a wide channel selection, but when it comes to price, Cox TV plans are more expensive than DISH. While price is important, it’s not the only factor you should consider, so to help you make the most informed decision we’ve developed a comprehensive summary of everything you need to know about Cox TV and DISH.

Who Cox TV and DISH are for

Cox TV

With Cox TV, you have the option of plans that range from 70 channels to 220+ channels, depending on the package you choose. You can expect to get better prices when you bundle Cox TV with home phone and/or internet service. However, if you are looking to subscribe to Cox TV services only, the monthly price might be costlier than packages offered by DISH.

For sports lovers, most Cox TV plans provide standard sports channels such as ESPN, Fox Sports, and The Golf Channel. Along with those standard channels, their top-tier package offers specialty channels like SEC Network, NBA TV and NHL Network. You also have the option to choose between two different digital video recorders (DVRs):

  • Record 6 – Allows you to record six channels at once and store 1,000 hours of programming
  • Record 2 – Allows you to record two channels at once and store 200 hours of programming


How does DISH measure up? DISH offers free installation if you are a new customer, and you can also enjoy free upgrades and movie rentals if you are an active military staff member, veteran, teacher, or healthcare professional. Moreover, the provider rewards people aged 55 and above with free service visits, as well as identity theft protection services and on-demand rentals.

With DISH, you get access to more than 190 channels, as well as the high-quality Hopper 3 DVR that provides you with more than 500 hours of recording for as low as $69.99/month.

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Key considerations

Installation fees

Cox TV charges up to $100 for professional installation, but you can save some money by opting for its self-installation kit and a one-time fee of $20. On the other hand, DISH offers free installation.

Set-top box fees

Cox TV’s equipment can be rented for $13/month, but they allow you to use your own modem, router, DVR, and set-top box if you prefer to do so. DISH provides you with affordable equipment, and their set-top box can be rented for anywhere between $5 and $10/month.

Early termination fees

Both Cox TV and DISH charge a fee for ending your contract early. When you decide to end your Cox TV or DISH services, you will be charged $20 for every month remaining in your contract.

Non-return equipment fees

Cox TV equipment must be returned within 10 calendar days after the end of your service contract to avoid unreturned equipment charges. If you fail to return DISH equipment, the fees range from $49 to $350 depending on the type of DVR device that was attached to your TV package.

Prices after 12 months

Cox TV offers promotional pricing for the first 12 months, which increases between $15 and $26 per month after this period. On the other hand, DISH offers a two-year price guarantee for all plans.

Mobile apps

For customers who like watching TV on the go, both providers have free apps that you can download on your iOS and Android devices. All you need is a login and password from your provider’s account to get started watching TV and movies wherever you are.

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What others say about Cox TV and DISH

Cox TV

According to CNET, the entry-level Cox TV Starter plan is a bit pricey for what it has to offer — a few local networks plus an array of home shopping channels. That said, CNET reports that upgrading to the 140-channel Preferred plan is worthwhile, especially if you opt for a TV and internet bundle.


According to the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Residential Television Service Provider Satisfaction Study, DISH comes second in the East region, just behind Verizon. Moreover, it sits at the number one spot in the North Central and West region and is the national leader when it comes to customer satisfaction.

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How do Cox TV and DISH plans compare?

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Compare the top TV providers in your area

*Pricing varies by location and availability. Speeds may vary. All prices subject to change; for current pricing and availability visit our TV service page. Prices as of 3/10/22.

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Disclosure | Updater articles are based on our own data and research, independent from partner relationships. We are not compensated by partners for information and opinions presented here. Our Editorial Terms of Service can be found here.

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