December 9, 2023

There are hundreds of stories of people who “cut the cord,” meaning that they eliminated cable and went to slimmer services or none at all. Some go to things like DirecTV Now, like I did, while others use Roku or some combination of antenna + Netflix + Hulu.

Originally, I went from Cox Communications to DirecTV.

And then I scaled back to DirecTV Now.

What I discovered in going with a digital-only service such as DirecTV Now was that my dependence on strong WiFi was pretty intolerable because I only had an average connection. It doesn’t feel that way when I surf the web or upload videos to YouTube. However, any time I wanted to watch, let’s say, “Big Brother,” it took DirecTV Now forever to open and get through an hour’s program.

And I could be sitting right next to my modem.

Not that I watch that much TV at all. You know my love for “Big Brother,” but aside from that, I watch “Amazing Race,” and a variety of other reality programs. I also watch the news, especially local news since I work in TV news.

I watch a lot of sports, especially baseball. Spring training just started this past week, I should mention.

And I have no patience for buffering.

Besides, I’d like to write more about television, and I have to look for any efficiency I can get. Financially, it’s a hit: $53 more per month than DirecTV Now. But if I actually watch it, then it’s worth it — and having a DVR is damned near worth the extra $53 because I want to watch things when I want to watch things. If I missed an episode of “Big Brother,” for example, I had to wait until the next day to watch it on the CBS app.

No bueno.

So, the reasons for re-attaching the cord were simple:

  1. Digital is still slow. There are things I like to watch, but even my home internet connection couldn’t keep me from spending minutes upon minutes buffering through basic programs.
  2. The DVR is convenient. I can watch when I want to, from the time the program starts to any time afterward. I don’t have to wait until the next day, like one does with these network apps.

And Cox’s Contour system setup could not possibly be more simple as well. Check out how their system box was set up:


The cords are numbered. It’s beautiful. One goes from the wall to the Cisco box (the cable box). Another goes from that box to the TV, and one goes from the system’s outlet to the wall. Plus, there is a Cox Communications remote control.

This took me all of 5 minutes to put together.


It’s as simple as following these instructions.


And this is the screen you get. However, in my case, eventually, I got a message along with Error Code IA09 that said my system would not work at this time. What that error means is that you had another system established in your house before Cox, which requires their technicians to come out and re-install your cable.

That’s what I had to do.

So, two weeks ago, I scheduled Cox to come out to my house this past Saturday. The technician’s name was Rodney, I believe, and it was pouring rain outside. Cats and dogs and pigs, oh my! So much precipitation. Rodney stayed in the Cox vehicle until the rain let up a bit, at which time he entered my house and fixed all the cords while I made him a cup of coffee.

It was still 8 a.m. on a Saturday. Coffee, required.

Rodney was awesome and got everything set up, but he got rain all over my house, and so he graciously offered to waive the installation fee, which I gladly accepted. Truth be told, I’ve always been a fan of Cox’s cable system; just didn’t care for their Internet.

And now I have their cable system with AT&T Internet, the best of both home-tech worlds in suburban Oklahoma City as of March 2018.

So, now that I have cable back, what should I be watching? 

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