Customers of Cox Communications, who haven’t upgraded to a minibox yet, will lose their channels by the end of September. Notification about the new requirement of the miniboxes was received by the customers around 4 months ago. The box will be free for one or two years and then they will be charged at $2.99 a month.
Several channels including Animal Planet, Freeform, Food Network, TBS, HSN, E!, QCC, TV Land, History Channel, AMC, and FX will be cut off by September 27 for those who haven’t upgraded to a minibox. By November 9, the cutoff will be expanded to cable-only channels, and by December 6, the broadcasts networks will follow the lineup.
The new upgrade will adversely affect those who directly connect their cable to TV without a cable box. Moreover, it will also affect customers with expanded services. If they have an extra TV without a box, that TV will lose the signal.
Juergen Barbusca, Cox spokesman said that the new move is a part of the digitalization of the cable industry. “It will enable us to implement more advanced services down the road. We deployed home automation in the last couple of years and home security. We are trying to get as much bandwidth out of your cable potential as possible and one way to do that is to go completely digital,” Barbusca said.
Cox subscribers with the Starter package at $24.99 a month with over 40 channels will be given two miniboxes free of cost for two years. Customers with the second tier, Essential package that offers over 90 channels at $75.99 a month, will be given two miniboxes free of cost for one year.
Those with additional TV needing more boxes will have to pay $2.99 a month. Digital customers will be given one minibox free of cost for one year. The price is less than the cost of $8.50 per month paid for HD cable set-top box.
The miniboxes can either be ordered online or obtained from a Cox retail store. Barbusca said that all the channels would be available in HD and there will be 100% digital picture quality after the upgrade. Customers will also get parental controls, onscreen Cox channel guide, and commercial-free music on 50 channels.