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I heard from a friend that a Cox employee mentioned that their new Contour 2 boxes don't work with either IR universal remotes or other control systems. Example, I have all my equipment in a closet in another part of the house and based on this info I'd only be able to use a Cox remote. I'd have to laugh real hard if Cox came out with a new box that works/doesn't work that way.
I called Cox and their tech support doesn't even now IR from RF. Geez.
I was given the same information about "not supporting" third party remotes/control. Don't believe it. The Cox Contour 2 boxes work just fine with IR control (even when you simultaneously control them with the provided RF connected remote). I just had three Contour 2 boxes installed and was easily able to program my Universal Remote Control MX-850 remotes and my MX-980 to control the boxes (via RF base stations hooked to IR emitters). If you need to program a universal remote just look for codes that are meant to support Comcast Xfinity boxes. Don't bother looking for codes for Cox Contour, or even for the specific manufacturer of the box they give you. Cox just licensed the Xfinity technology from Comcast so all of the IR codes meant to control Xfinity boxes work just fine. I was given the Arris XG1 boxes, but I'm pretty sure that all Xfinity / Contour 2 boxes use the same IR code set. The only thing you won't be able to do with a third party remote is utilize the voice control features (since these require a direct RF connection and the mic built into the Cox provided remote). Everything else worked easily and exactly as expected. For any problems you may run into, don't bother Googling about "Cox Contour 2". Just research Comcast Xfinity and you will find all the answers you need.
Does both the IR input on the back AND the IR sensor work with repeaters/blasters?
For one of my boxes I have an IR emitter stuck to the front. The other 2 have IR blasters aimed at the front IR sensor, so I didn't have any reason to try the rear IR input and can't comment on how it works.
I'm not around to check currently. They are the 2nd generation Contour boxes. Smaller, new remote, new UI. You should know right?