Cox is Launching a Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW, PlayStation Vue… Competitor (EXCLUSIVE)


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Male hand holding TV remote control.Well, it looks like Cox plans to jump into the live TV streaming race in an effort to take on existing services like Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, and a long list of others.

This week Cord Cutters News received a copy of a survey Cox is sending out to a small group of internet-only subscribers. From that email, it looks like Cox’s plans for their live TV streaming service is very similar to Comcast and Charters plans. Yet they have a slightly different take on it.

Here is what we know:

According to the survey, the service will be called Smart Stream. “Smart Stream is all you need to watch the streaming movies and TV shows you love. No more switching inputs on your TV, fumbling with multiple remotes and searching through apps to find what you want.” Cox said in their survey. “Smart Stream gets you right to the good stuff, so there’s less searching and more watching.”

From the survey, it looks like Cox is planning to sell their own streaming player and manage your subscriptions to any other streaming service you subscribe to through that box. According to the survey, the device is “small enough to attach to the back of any TV.”

There are a few catches though if you want the service. Not only do you have to be a Cox internet customer you also have to be renting a modem from Cox. According to the survey, the service is “available to Cox High-Speed Internet Customers with monthly modem rental for a one-time purchase price of $49.99.”

Now the $49.99 price is not for the Smart Stream service. That is the price of this new device that from the looks of it will likely be some type of Android player. This new device will let you manage subscriptions to multiple services including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. According to the survey “any new streaming services purchased through the device to be billed separately by Cox.”

The survey went on to talk about the ability to add an antenna to your Cox streaming player. From the sounds of it, the device will work very similar to the Sling TV AirTV player. Cox also describe a possible cloud DVR option for their new streaming player.

Here is what we don’t know:

We still have many questions about Smart Stream. Channel lineup and price being two the biggest questions. We also don’t know the release date but from the looks of the survey, we are still likely months away from launch.

Cox sent Cord Cutters News the following statement:

We continue to evolve our video product to meet the needs of customers and offer them more choices. While we offer a version of Cox’s Contour video product without a set top box today to broadband customers (Contour Flex), we regularly test new concepts of how we might connect them to the content they love in other ways. Smart Stream is simply the sample name of one of these concepts surveyed. If concepts get a positive response and make business sense then we consider next steps on how they might influence our future products.

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