3 On Your Side

If you have Cox, you have to get 'the box'

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Cox cable is going all digital, which means you need a special box if you're going to watch cable channels on your television. (Source: 3TV) Cox cable is going all digital, which means you need a special box if you're going to watch cable channels on your television. (Source: 3TV)
"Your TV will not have a signal without this converter box," on Cox customer told 3 On Your Side. (Source: 3TV) "Your TV will not have a signal without this converter box," on Cox customer told 3 On Your Side. (Source: 3TV)
Each TV needs its own mini box. (Source: 3TV) Each TV needs its own mini box. (Source: 3TV)
Cox says every Cox customer will be able to get at least one mini box free for a year and some may be eligible for more. (Source: Cox Communications) Cox says every Cox customer will be able to get at least one mini box free for a year and some may be eligible for more. (Source: Cox Communications)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

Susan Rose says TV is a big source of entertainment in her home.

"I have the television on all day, every day, and I enjoy watching the news and watching just about any broadcast that comes on," she explained. "We have four TVs -- one in every room -- and we're probably going to add one to the office, and we have a small TV out back, as well, for football."

Rose says when she recently turned on one of those TVs, something unexpected happened.

"One day we turned the TV on in the bedroom and it gave a no signal and a message saying, 'We've switched to digital and you need to order the digital box,'" She said.

The screen message that's popping up for some consumers who subscribe to Cox Communications states that customers won't be able to view cable channels until they get new equipment. That equipment is a converter box and of course, that box will cost customers money.

"Your TV will not have a signal without this converter box," Rose said.

Yes, a box has to be connected to every single TV and at a cost of $2.99 a box per month, that can add up. For Rose, that means an extra $12 a month if she wants to put it on all of her TVs.

Cox wouldn't talk to 3 On Your Side on camera but in an email, a spokesman says the digital boxes are required because they're "part of a technology trend transitioning away from analog... ."

The spokesman went on to say "all other Arizona cable providers have gone through this process and Cox is the last."

But Rose and other consumers feel they shouldn't be the ones footing the bill.

"Here's the thing for us, we can afford it," Rose said. "I’m sure there's a lot of people out there that can't so that choice becomes like a monopoly and what are you supposed to do? You can't fight it; you have to have it."

Cox, which announced the transition to all digital earlier this year, claims the digital boxes come with benefits like a better picture and improved sound. Rose acknowledged that the picture quality is better.

But she also says Cox cable is expensive enough. And now it will cost even more.

"Why does it have to cost extra now?" she wondered. "Why, as a loyal customer, should I have to pay more?"

Cox says every Cox customer will be able to get at least one mini box free for a year and some may be eligible for more.

RELATED: Some Cox customers will need to pay extra for new mini boxes (April 22, 2016)

ONLINE: Cox.com

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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