Review by dlarkin_dc
Good "Internet speed close to rated, free McAfee Suite for 3 PCs."
- Location: Alexandria,Fairfax,VA
- Cost: $60 per month
Bad "Personable but ineffective tech support, poor DTV quality (dropped)"
Overall "Okay for Internet."
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings match consensus)
Been seeing Netflix Super HD on our devices and (after Neflix fixed some glitches)that has been working fine.
Also, about that free McAfee software... I've dropped it for AVG after McAfee let bad virus in and I found four others after rebuilding my OS.
Just received a price hike on the internet, an extra $4 / month. I'm still on Preferred listed as 15/2 (SpeedTest.net usually tests 17-20/3 over the last few years) and I've never had bandwidth issues, even streaming Vudu HDX.
Dropped all television from my plan today and keeping the internet service only.
Why? Two reasons:
(1.) Picture/Sound Quality - I was fed up with the picture and sound quality issues due to compression and distribution problems. Shows from streamed or by antenna have crisp and clear picture and sound quality.
(2.) "57 channels and nothing on" Syndrome. Well, maybe 300 plus channels, but we watch a handful of shows a week. All but two are available OTA, the others are streamed online free or 99c an episode.
So that I guess that takes me to a 3rd reason...
(3) I'll be cutting $82 from my bill, a cost I don't need for my television viewing habits.
No regrets. In fact, I'm excited to be seeing shows clean and clear again, for free.
A month after finally getting a real body (a tech with a face, name and cell#) assigned to the ongoing PQ issues... nothing has been improved. In four weeks only one frequency/channel has been addressed and so far without improvement. All other channels are still experiencing minor but annoying problems.
As I now know how Cox address these issues, on a per channel/frequency basis, I am keeping a log of the channel/frequencies and PQ issues when they appear... six regular offenders and counting. l'll be a lot older and greyer before this is resolved at the rate Cox gets things done. My tech told me he escalated internally and suddenly things happened. That it had to get to that stage is a sad reflection on Cox field service/response in my area.
Simply put, there appears to be a significant distribution problem in my neighborhood for HD DTV services from Cox.
I expect I'll be switching to FiOS, or a combination of OTA/ClearQAM/IPtv in the next couple of months to get better PQ and save money to boot!
The internet has never been to problematic, so I'll probably keep that.
It's been a few weeks since the last tech visit, so far ABC/NBC/Fox and major network stations are always fine but I am seeing infrequent snow/microblocks on every other channel at any time of the day or week. The Wed to Sat picture quality degrading is just as bad but non-network stations, BBC/SyFy/WDC are horrible. The way-out-wacky jitter seems to have gone too, better for my VOIP.
I expect I'm seeing a band-aid solution to local newtork load/congestion. Or maybe the change is the neighbors migrating to fiber
I've shaved my ratings back to reflect the current situation.
On the internet I am seeing the same performance now for months, and it is acceptable, with a few caveats. Occasionally the DNS goes offline, I'm getting outrageous jitter so it's affecting my VOIP.
Worse still my DTV service is prone to breakups and freeze-ups on Wednesday through Saturday, 9am to midnight. The tech support has gotten very poor, a tech came out to my house said everything was perfect, but snipped off and remade every connection and then blamed the model of my STB. He said Cox didn't have any replacements but he'd get one for me when he could. So what... leaving me with unwatchable TV four days out of seven? Tech support on the phone will only reset by STB, and that does no good.
The service I'm paying for has gone from, "Eh, but I can live with it." in December to, "I am so ready to switch to FIOS." in the last three months.
Seems like the spotty performance is gone, and I'm now bonding 3 channels. Whenever I test I'm usually seeing data rates about 11/3 (the plan is up to 12/5) so it's carrying Skype and VOIP without any problems.
Calls to Cox... I still get some great phone staff on the phone, clear talking, helpful, great attitude, but the grouches are taking over 2:1, IME.
Call wait times have been getting longer too.
I have added digital cable TV to my plan 3 months ago. That review is still in progress... oh, so not smooth sailing.
In the new year I upgraded my modem to Surfboard 6120 and I'm seeing two channels bonded. Initially I saw snappier loading of web pages and large downloads are quicker. But,over the few weeks I have been seeing the up/downstream signal levels and SNRs drift about, sometimes close to acceptable limits. Sometimes I get nothing when a page should load and spotty performance. I am keeping an eye on this.
UPDATE December 2009
Having called in to verify the costs, to compare to FiOS, for digital TV Cox offered same cost as I was at gateway, 2 tiers and a HD DVR. I snapped up that deal and took the plunge. So far the picture quality has varied wildly and the DVR performance is barely adequate. I'll post a full digtial television review when I'm done figuring it all out.
Been a COX HSI customer for close to six years... I picked up a modem/service pack (a Motorola Surfboard and 50ft of co-axial cable) at Circuit City. I just hooked it up at home, phoned Cox to activate the service and I've been online almost non-stop since - we've only had two short outages!
FYI - We're on our second Surfboard now, they do have a lifespan.
The COX support people are friendly but the tech support is best when guided by a geek (me, in this case) who knows what needs to be fixed otherwise you'll be chasing down blind alleys, but all tech support has gone that way it seems.
I think, when I started using COX HSI, the speeds were 5/2. COX always upgraded the speeds for consumers as the higher speeds became available. The currently cited speeds are up to 12/5 and that is what we usually see using Speedtest.net
The McAfee VirusScan Suite that you can get free as COX HSI subscriber is worth about $50 in software and $20/yr in virus scan updates.
I get the HSI bundled with the cable analog TV service from COX and the cost of the combination is begining to be be uncompetitive, at $103/mo. For a little more I can get Verizon Extreme HD and 50/20.
member for 4.3 years, 146 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 1 days ago