I Love My Cable Company (Really)

This post is more than 2 years old.

Ok, so cable companies are normally the type of companies people love to hate, and normally with good reason. But yesterday Cox Cable did a lot of things right for me so I thought I'd share.

First, I found out they increased the speed of their network. You had to ask them for it, but it was a free upgrade with four times the download speed.

Secondly, I just picked up the Digital Cable DVR box from Cox, and boy is it a sweet piece of hardware. I can finally tape on another channel while watching something else. And yes, I know it was possible before w/ switches, etc, but I'm a big fan of simplicity. I've got a good 60 hours of storage on board, and the UI is very nice. It does miss a feature that I had when I lived in Virginia. On their digital cable system you could hide channels. This means when I used the guide I wouldn't see all the stupid channels I never plan on watching. Sure you can "Parent Lock" channels, but what I really want is to take them off the grid.

Even more interesting is all the hardware options on the box. It has 3 USB ports, a Smart Card reader, and an Ethernet port. Unfortunately, the documentation they gave me was pretty minimal. I'm most interested in how the Ethernet port works. Maybe I'll just hook it up to my LAN and see if I can find anything. I'd be surprised if the movies from the hard drive were actually unencrypted files. I'm guessing I'll have to Google and find a real documentation manua for the box.

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Archived Comments

Comment 1 by James Edmunds posted on 9/18/2004 at 6:47 PM

Very interesting, as I am on the same system over here in New Iberia. I may just take myself over there and get a DVR box. The ethernet port intrigues me, and I wonder about the USB ports, too. Do you know anything about them? I wonder if you could hook up an external HD through one of them to increase capacity, copy, etc., etc.

I'll be curious to learn more!

Comment 2 by nOah posted on 9/19/2004 at 11:46 PM

Hey, I'm on cox too. I actually moved up recently to their premium internet service and get a whopping 7mg down and like 750 something up speed!! I didn't however know they offered a dvr box. Keep me in the loop if you find anything interesting on the hardware.

Comment 3 by Alex Sherwood posted on 9/20/2004 at 3:37 PM


I've got a similar box w/ BrightHouse networks in Tampa, FL. I'm curious - what make/model box do you have w/ Cox cable?


Comment 4 by Raymond Camden posted on 9/20/2004 at 3:50 PM

James - unfortunately there is -zero- documentation on the ports.

Alex - I'll post the model a bit later.

Comment 5 by Alex Sherwood posted on 9/22/2004 at 2:12 PM

Ray -

Your post got me curious. I have a Scientific Atlanta Exlorer 8000. Several USB ports, firewire, flash and an ethernet.

I found *some* info online, and it seems like people have tried to connect to the USB ports and the ethernet port with no luck.

I did, however, learn that COX is planning (or has started) a roll-out of the Scientific Atlanta 8300HD - A high def and "multi-room" capable DVR and HD box all in one.

Aparently the box can work with "existing home wiring" for sharing recorded shows from room to room - causing me to speculate that they might use the electrical sockets for packet traffic.

I called BrightHouse here in Tampa, and they are nearing the end of their testing of the 8300HD. They told me to go to a local office with my current box and they'd give me a 8300HD at no charge.

Here's the specs for the 8300HD (165 gigs of DVR space!).


Call Cox and see if you can get your hand on one!

Comment 6 by Raymond Camden posted on 9/22/2004 at 3:14 PM

So here is a dumb question - where did you find your model #? All I see is Motorola. I'm also considering just calling tech support. I'm assuming they will be clueless, but you never know.

Comment 7 by Jake posted on 9/26/2004 at 1:46 AM

So how did you get the faster Web access? Just call them and ask?

Comment 8 by Raymond Camden posted on 9/27/2004 at 3:13 PM

Jake: Yes. It was a random accident. I was calling to cancel a few things so I could afford the DVR upgrade.