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Cox vs. DISH

Cox prices are good when you bundle TV with internet, but DISH’s prices are better overall and are locked in for two years. Our expert review has all the details.

Best overall

Price: $84.99–$114.99/mo.

Channels: 190–290+

DVR storage: Up to 16

Price: $84.99–$114.99/mo.

Channels: 190–290+

DVR storage: Up to 16

Best for bundles

Price: $53.00–$138.00/mo.

Channels: 75–250+

DVR storage: Up to 24

Price: $53.00–$138.00/mo.

Channels: 75–250+

DVR storage: Up to 24

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Is Cox or DISH better?

Cox offers quality service, but it costs you. If you can’t live without its channel lineups, you’re best off bundling it with internet and phone, if the latter is still your thing, because the bundle prices are the best bet for your budget.

If you want more channels for a lower price, DISH is the way to go. Its three-year price guarantee means no need to worry about what the price change might be after the first year, and you can just continue to enjoy their top-notch service.

Cox vs. DISH pros and cons


Excellent internet service
Great prices on bundles
High prices
12–24-month service contracts depending on plan


Hopper 3 DVR
Inexpensive packages
3-yr. price guarantee
Limited bundling options
No NFL Sunday Ticket

Like we said, Cox has great internet with fast speeds available if you decide to go with a bundle plan. If you go with just one of its TV plans, that price lock for one or two years could cause you some monetary frustration.

DISH’s Hopper 3 DVR is one of the best out there. It’s an additional $10 per month, but if you want to load up a library of shows, this will keep you in hours of ready-to-watch content. Sports fans might not be so happy about the provider not having NFL SUNDAY TICKET, but the heavy channel lineups do offer plenty of sports channels.

Cox vs. DISH deals and promotions

Before you make your final decision on a TV provider, see if there are any promotions offered. We want you to take advantage of savings at every turn.

Cox deals and promotions

Cox doesn’t often have deals or promotions to take advantage of, but our Cox Deals and Promotions page keeps you up to date on offers as they arise. We’ve highlighted one offer below.

  • Currently, Peacock Premium is free with Contour Essential TV and higher level plans. Cox internet customers with a subscription to Contour Stream Player or Contour TV Starter can enjoy a free preview of the channel for a limited time.

DISH deals and promotions

Just like we do with Cox, we have a DISH Deals and Promotions page to keep you up on offers that can help you save. Here are deals we see as current options.

  • Free installation for new customers—the $199 installation fee is waived for you.
  • Members of the military, teachers, and healthcare professionals receive free movie rentals and free upgrades.
  • DISH 55+ offers customers 55 and older free service visits for six months, free identity theft protection for six months, and free On Demand rentals.

Compare Cox and DISH head to head

Data effective as of post date. Not all offers available in all areas.

Cox’s plans are priced similarly to the DISH packages, but they don’t match the sizable channel lineups DISH has to offer. And don’t forget that if you want to record programs, Cox’s DVR will cost you $10–$30 a month.

DISH has the Hopper 3 DVR, which has you covered for 500 recording hours and 16 simultaneous recordings—that’s worth the price, especially when the two-year agreement guarantees your subscription price for three years.

Check out which provider is in your area—Cox or DISH—using our handy tool.

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Cox vs. DISH plans and prices

Cox pricing and plans

Plan Price Channels Details
Contour TV Starter $53.00/mo. 75+
Contour TV Preferred $98.00/mo. 170+
Contour TV Preferred Plus $146.00/mo. 170+
Contour TV Ultimate $138.00/mo. 250+

‡ 1-year term agreement

Data effective as of post date
Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change

If you like watching TV and want more than local stations and music channels, Cox’s Contour TV Preferred plan is a better choice over its TV Starter option. You’ll get a nice mix of channels like ESPN and ESPN 2 for sports fans and Disney Channel, which seems to make most kids—and plenty of adults—happy.

DISH pricing and plans

Plan Price Channels Details
America's Top 120 $92.99/mo. 190 View plans
America's Top 200 $107.99/mo. 240+ View plans
America's Top 250 $117.99/mo. 290+ View plans

DISH’s basic package America’s Top 120 is a bit of a higher price than Cox’s TV Starter and, well, it should be. It has way more to offer for an introductory price, like FS1, FS2, and four ESPN channels, for starters. FX and FXX are also among the lineup.

Across the board, DISH packages have more value due to their higher channel counts than Cox’s. With the prices of both providers being pretty comparable, it’s DISH that gives you more content.

Cox vs. DISH channels

When you rival them at the nearest price points, Cox and DISH channel lineups are fairly similar, offering a mix of channels from Bravo to Nickelodeon, FX, USA, and ESPN. But DISH’s America’s Top 250 takes it next-level with its channel count numbering near 300.

To see Cox’s channel lineup, click the button below.

With lineups that have similar flavors, the add-on packages could be decision-makers. DISH’s lower prices make add-on packages worth the price.

Click the button below to see how DISH’s channel lineups stack up against Cox’s channel packages.

Cox vs. DISH DVRs

Cox and DISH both have one of our top five DVRs. Cox offers its Contour Record 24. DISH’s outstanding option is the Hopper 3. Both are going to cost you a monthly fee, but they allow for massive amounts of storage and simultaneous recordings.

Cox Contour Record 24 DVR

Price Storage Tuners
$30.00/mo. 1,000 hrs. 24

If the $30 is too much for you, we’d recommend the Cox Contour Record 6 as your next-best option. It has 250 hours of storage and 6 tuners. That one costs $10 a month.

Screenshot of DISH’s Hopper 3 DVR
The DISH Hopper 3

DISH Hopper 3 DVR

Price Storage Tuners
$10.00/mo. 500 hrs. 16

DISH keeps it simple. For $10 a month, you get 500 whopping hours of storage and can record 16 programs at once.

DISH’s storage hours and simultaneous streams may be slightly lower than Cox’s, but being able to have 16 streams running at the same time and recording 500 hours can accommodate a large household.

Cox vs. DISH installation

Cox Installation

Cox offers two installation options. We’ll break it down here, but for a more in-depth look, our Cox Installation Guide is helpful.

Cox Easy Connect is a self-installation plan, and it doesn’t cost you anything. They’re not kidding when they call it easy—I can attest firsthand. When you become a subscriber, you’ll receive a kit with all the needed materials and a step-by-step guide that walks you through the process.

Pro Connect is Cox’s professional installation option, where a technician comes to your home to set up your services. Cox doesn’t advertise a rate with this service. When you sign up, make sure to talk to your representative about the exact fees you’ll be charged for this type of installation.

DISH Installation

DISH does send a technician to install your equipment, which includes a satellite dish. There is no charge for this—it’s included in the cost of your service.

Once you become a DISH user, you can sign up for a MyDISH account and access the support site for DISH customers. There, you can see a pic of the technician who is doing your install and keep track of your installation time.

Cox vs. DISH apps

If you like watching TV on the go, there’s no reason to not get your provider’s app. They’re free to download for iOS and Android phones and tablets, and as long as you have a login and password from your provider’s account, you can jog down the street watching Yellowjackets recordings on your phone. But don’t ‘cause, you know, it’s dangerous.

Let’s take a look here at the pros and cons of each provider’s app.

Cox Contour app

Screenshot of the Cox Contour app.
The Cox Contour app.

The Contour app is a good one. It has a very easy-to-use menu, so you can get from one point to another with ease. Parental security controls let you feel safe when your younger users are watching on the go, and its content filtering is great for finding just what you want.

Read our Cox Contour app review to learn more.

DISH Anywhere app

Screenshot of the DISH Anywhere app
The DISH Anywhere app

You can manage your DVR recordings with the Anywhere app. It can also serve as a remote control if your DISH remote somehow finds itself in that vortex known as the sofa world. Five household users are able to stream content all at once, so everyone can retreat to their favorite viewing spot and watch only what they want.

Read our DISH Anywhere review to learn more.

Cox vs. DISH internet bundles

Cox has plenty of internet bundles available. You can bundle the internet with TV, phone, or both. Download speeds range from 150–1000 Mbps, and aside from the occasional outage, its internet is fast and reliable.

If you’re interested in Cox’s TV plans and need internet service, bundles are the way to save. Its combo packages range from $162.99 to $212.99 a month. With Cox’s internet packages ranging from $49.99 a month to $99.99 a month, you have opportunities to save $20 or more each month.

If you don’t want to bundle, you can take a look at our Five Best Internet Providers to help select a standalone internet provider.

If you’re not sure which providers service your area, enter your zip below to find out your options.

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Final take: Is Cox or DISH better?

Cox and DISH are both solid TV providers. In this battle, though, DISH takes the title because of its lower price points and bigger channel lineups.

If a ton of channels isn’t what you need, and you want one of Cox’s TV packages, make sure to check out their bundles, to see where you can save money, as that’s where their value shines.

Cox vs. DISH FAQ

Are Cox and DISH available everywhere?

DISH is available across almost all the US, and Cox is available in 18 states.

Enter your zip code below to find out if Cox is in your area.

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Our experts spent over 100 hours completing hands-on testing of Cox and DISH services to determine the functionality of each provider and help you decide on the TV plan that’s best for your needs. We compared their packages and pricing, channel line-ups, fees, and equipment in order to determine our rankings. To learn more about our methods, check out our How We Rank page.

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