The new Cox cable guide — the good, the bad and the ugly

DriveThruRPG.com

If you’re a Cox Communications digital cable customer and you haven’t already, you soon will be visited by the upgrade fairy. This means that the display on your unit will suddenly and totally freak out and the whole thing will be unusable for about a half-hour, if it happens to you the way it did at my house. But when it clears up, you’ll be getting the new interactive guide, a new On Demand setup and improved performance. Settings menus have been simplified and there are nifty new search and customization options.

While some of the features are good, others left me scratching my head. The On Demand system definitely loads much faster and runs a lot more smoothly than it used to. Content is arranged within the appropriate categories by sub-categories such as “new,” “last chance” and by program name. But with the update and reorganization comes the nagging feeling that a lot of the content in the Free Zone has been scaled back greatly — there just isn’t as much of it as there used to be. And as in-demand services increasingly compete against DVD rental services like Netflix, I can understand that. But I sure don’t like it.

Whereas the old guide had a menu for selecting the day of the week you wanted to scope out, the new setup requires you to punch in a number representing the number of days in the past or future you want to go, then hit the appropriate directional button. Not only is this not very intuitive, it is hopelessly flawed because it requires people to do math. Alternatively, you can just hold the D-pad left or right and scroll quickly through time — but not quickly enough.

The old setup was also better because it limited you to the days for which the guide had data, six days away. In the new system, you seem to be able to scroll into the future endlessly — but you still hit the wall of “No Data” six days out. It feels like they’re giving you more, but you know they’re not.

A minor annoyance: Whereas once you would access information about upcoming programs with the D-pad, a barrier to this has been introduced by requiring you to hit the “Info” button first — a pointless change, in my opinion.

The DVR functions have been revamped as well. It takes a little getting used to, but for the most part the learning curve is worth it. The entire system behaves more like TiVo, letting you easily manage entire series rather than treating them as individual episodes. This was one of the more frustrating aspects of the old DVR setup.

Data management is easier than ever with the DVR upgrade, allowing you to specify which individual programs will be deleted as space on your hard drive fills up.

One of the things I really like about the new DVR is a feature called “fast-forward forgiveness,” which helps you out by rewinding 5 seconds after you stop speeding through commercials. It takes a little practice to get it right, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a huge time-saver that keeps you from missing anything.

The bottom line: The upgraded Cox interface isn’t bad — not at all. But it’s not as user-friendly as it should be. With time, however, all of it will become second nature. Plus, everything is pretty well documented online and with help videos on a dedicated section of On Demand, and the people at Cox have been very helpful and responsive — even on Twitter.

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Subscribe for free updates!

Newsletters

View previous campaigns.

Powered by MailChimp

Nerdvana Media will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at news@nerdvanamedia.com. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

About the author

Avatar

Jayson Peters

Digital, social and print media pro. Nerdvana's founder, curator and editor.

Add Comment

Post a comment...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • I can get used to whatever Cox does – except the constant and sneaky raising of monthly rates and the “bundling” B.S., PRETENDING that “bundling” is saving subscribers money.

  • I can get used to whatever Cox does – except the constant and sneaky raising of monthly rates and the “bundling” B.S., PRETENDING that “bundling” is saving subscribers money.

  • Cable prices are outrageous!!! What I think is hilarious is they advertise that “HD is free, no strings attached”. Guess what??? Strings are attached because you have to pay $8.50 for each HD receiver in order to get HD… What a joke!!!

  • Cable prices are outrageous!!! What I think is hilarious is they advertise that “HD is free, no strings attached”. Guess what??? Strings are attached because you have to pay $8.50 for each HD receiver in order to get HD… What a joke!!!

  • This new guide is soo upsetting! It doesnt show who in the movies or discribes what its about . Guide wad fine the way it was not its complicated/confusing!! It also looks cheap!

  • This new guide is soo upsetting! It doesnt show who in the movies or discribes what its about . Guide wad fine the way it was not its complicated/confusing!! It also looks cheap!

Samurai Comics