At a Glance
Type of Service
Starts at $64.99 per month
Contour HD Receiver included; DVR up to $19.99 per month
$20.00 self-installation; $75.00 professional installation fee
*250+ channels available when you purchase additional TV Paks or bundle with internet.
Data effective 2/27/2018. Pricing and speeds are subject to change. Not all offers available in all areas.
Get Cox for a well-rounded TV provider that also offers good internet speeds.
Cox gets the job done without any special bells or whistles. It has a good DVR, but it’s a pricey add-on. It has affordable installation, but you’ll need to do it yourself. You can get over 250 channels, but you’ll need to sign up with a Gold-tier bundle or buy genre-themed add-on packs, called TV Paks, to get them all. It’s good, but not great.
For more details on Cox, read the full article—Cox still has benefits that may make it the right choice for you even though it doesn’t hold its own against AT&T U-verse overall.
Get AT&T U-verse for high customer satisfaction, large channel selection, and an included DVR.
In our 2018 TV Provider Customer Satisfaction Survey, AT&T U-verse ranked number one in every category. It has a lot going for it, from small packages at an affordable price to massive packages with the most channels on the market. You’ll also get a DVR included in your pricing. The equipment isn’t particularly special, but at least you don’t have to pay anything more for it.
If you haven’t had AT&T U-verse before, we highly recommend it as your new TV provider. What we’ve heard about it is too good not to give it a try.
Customer Satisfaction Ratings
All the specs in the world will do you only so much good if you don’t know how other customers feel about the service. Our 2018 TV Provider Customer Satisfaction Survey fills that gap. You can see how people rated Cox Contour and AT&T U-verse in each of the sections below.
Installation & Setup
Cox(4.06 / 5)
Cox Contour scored fifth for installation and setup in our survey this year. With an affordable self-installation fee, it starts customers off on the right financial foot. Even the $75.00 professional fee isn’t too bad compared to most competitors, but it’s certainly not as low as the $35.00 activation fee from AT&T U-verse.
AT&T U-verse(4.26 / 5)
AT&T U-verse scored first for installation and setup in this year’s survey. In lieu of an installation fee, AT&T charges a $35.00 activation fee.
If you want to avoid the activation fee when you’re signing up, try asking your customer service representative if they can waive it. You might be pleasantly surprised that AT&T usually wants your business more than it wants that $35.00.
Cox Installation: $20.00 self-installation; $75.00 professional installation fee
AT&T U-verse Installation: $35.00 activation fee
Cox Contour(3.95 / 5)
Cox Contour’s stand-alone TV package doesn’t come with many channels—just over 140. But it also offers bundles and add-ons that can adjust your channel count.
If you want some more channels, you can add on themed channel packs, which Cox calls “TV Paks,” for $10.00 or $12.00 per month each. TV Paks include the Variety Pak, Movie Pak, Sports and Information Pak, Sports Pak 2, and Latino Pak.
Should you want to bundle, you can get Cox’s full channel lineup of 250+ channels with a Gold bundle.
And people with a tight budget can get the streaming package Contour Flex Double Play with over 70 channels and 15 Mbps of internet for only $49.99 per month.
AT&T U-verse(4.22 / 5)
AT&T tops our survey for channel selection satisfaction, which makes sense—it offers the most channels on the market.
While there are over 550 channels available, many of those are music channels, which are like radio stations for your TV.
But AT&T U-verse offers all the HD channels available on the market, so although the channel count is a little padded, it still has high value.
Cox Channels: 140+ channels, up to 250+ with additional purchases
AT&T U-verse Channels: 550+ channels
Cox Contour(4.04 / 5)
Cox Contour ranked right in the middle for signal reliability. Because it’s a cable provider, the signal may run into trouble if the coaxial cables are damaged, which is rare, but the signal usually won’t suffer because of bad weather.
AT&T U-verse(4.18 / 5)
It’s been a good year for AT&T U-verse—it ranked highest in signal reliability too. With its fiber cables, it has similar resilience to Cox’s coaxial cables but may load channels even faster thanks to its advanced technology.
Cox Type of Service: Cable
AT&T U-verse Type of Service: Fiber
Cox Contour(3.45 / 5)
Cox Contour can be quite pricy should you choose to go with a TV stand-alone option. If you want all the extra TV Paks, they add up quickly but still aren’t much more than AT&T U-verse’s largest stand-alone plan.
You’ll get the most value with a Gold bundle, since the other bundles still don’t include more channels without TV Paks.
Adding a DVR makes it even more pricey, since the Record 6 is $19.99 per month. AT&T U-verse, on the other hand, includes its DVR in its pricing.
AT&T U-verse(3.83 / 5)
AT&T also ranks highest in monthly bill satisfaction. With packages starting as low as $35.00 per month, its stand-alone packages cost less than Cox’s plans with its TV Paks.
Another perk is that AT&T includes its DVR in its monthly pricing, so you won’t have to worry about affording extra equipment.
Cox Price: $64.99 per month
Contract: 1 year
AT&T U-verse Price: $35.00–$110.00 per month
Contract: 1 year
Tech Support & Customer Service
Contour Record 6
Up to 6
Up to 2 TB
Up to 250 HD hours
• Fast-forward live TV
• Manage recordings from mobile app
• Find TV show and movie recommendations
Total Home DVR
Included in package
Up to 4
Up to 1 TB
Up to 165 HD hours
• Fast-forward live TV
• Pay no extra equipment fees
• Continue watching from any room in the house
The Contour Record 6 and the U-verse Total Home DVR are both basic DVRs. While the Record 6 has more storage and simultaneous recordings, the U-verse Total Home DVR service fee is already included in the pricing for U-verse plans.
If you’re a real DVR junkie, you can pass on the Contour Record 6 and get the superior TiVo BOLT VOX instead. Cox offers a CableCARD for $2.99 per month to hook up third-party DVRs.
AT&T U-verse doesn’t offer a CableCARD, so don’t plan on advanced TiVo features if you go with U-verse.
Mobile Viewing Apps
Data effective 3/1/2018. Pricing and speeds are subject to change. Not all offers available in all areas.
Looking to save on your TV service? Bundling TV service with internet from the same provider will save you money on both, and it often comes with great perks.
Cox offers its highest channel count without add-on TV Paks through Gold bundles. If you’re in the market for something a bit cheaper, it also has the Contour Flex Double Play, which is a streaming package that comes with 70+ channels and 15 Mbps internet download speed and costs only $49.99 per month.
On the other hand, bundling TV and internet with AT&T removes internet data caps. Access to unlimited data can be helpful if you stream a lot of your favorite shows.
More About the Providers
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Cox Contour is the third-largest TV provider in the United States. It delivers cable TV, internet, phone, and home security service to over 6.2 million customers in twenty-one states.
AT&T is a multi-national telecommunications giant based in Texas. It serves over 365 million customers in North America alone. In addition to TV, internet, and home security services, AT&T is the largest provider of phone service and the second-largest provider of mobile phone service in the United States.
AT&T U-verse ranked highest in our customer satisfaction survey this year, but Cox isn’t a bad option overall. Of course, comparing the two is most helpful if both are available in your area. Enter your zip code below to find all the providers available to you.