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NTS's avatar
New Contributor

New User Confused About On-Demand

Good morning. I've been a Cox customer for about seven years, but am new to Cox cable TV. Before I begin, let me preface by saying I've done hard resets on my boxes, checked signal levels, and used the online troubleshooting tools already, but would be willing to do those things again if needed.

This question, or set of questions, is about on-demand. I've had a few other issues since getting set up, but the on-demand interface has so completely baffled me that I thought I should just ask. I'll bold the actual questions to make reading this a bit easier.

My son wants to watch a show called Puppy Dog Pals, typically available on the Disney Jr. Network. He's little, and a busy kid, so he can only watch TV a few times per day. On-demand seems ideal. In this example, all episodes are available.

When I go into on-demand, I am able to find the show like this: I browse to TV -> TV Networks -> Networks D-G -> Disney Jr.

At this point I see a list of shows that seem to be in alphabetical order, but are not. I scroll down to "Tigger and Pooh, then the listing goes to what seems like a random order, "Imagination Movers", "P. King Duckling", etc.. Puppy Dog Pals comes up eventually. Is there a reason the listing on my screen isn't in alphabetical order? Is there something I can do to get this in order? How would I ever know whether a show exists without scrolling through every show?

I finally find Puppy Dog Pals, then, yet again out of order, a few listings down, I see Puppy Dog Pals HD. Does this mean that any show not listed with an HD at the end is not going to be in HD? Why is this particular show separated like this?

So I go to the HD version and the episodes themselves are now in alphabetical order rather than in the order which they would air. This initially doesn't seem like a big problem, especially for a show like this, but when a new episode comes out, it appears randomly in the middle of the list rather than at the end. So knowing I have a new one to watch involved basically looking through a Wikipedia episode list regularly. Why wouldn't these be in episode order?

Next comes the biggest problem, to find out if they had Puppy Dog Pals, I was forced to figure out which network it was on first, from Google, then browse through a bunch of non-alphabetical show listings to see if it was on there. This is because the search doesn't seem to work at all. I've verified this with other shows as well. When I go to the search function and browse by title, nothing comes up. I did a little bit of experimenting and figured out that the search is searching by episode titles. Who searches for TV by episode titles? I attempted to use the keyword search, but even after typing in the complete show name, I get a bunch of matches that are not this show. How would I ever find this show using search?

Ok, let's go back to browse then and browse by show title, that should be simpler than guessing the network for a show I've never seen before but just heard of. Nope, again the shows are grouped by starting letter, yet not in alphabetical order, so now I have to scroll through even more shows all the way to the end just to see if a show exists? Is it possible that this could be more poorly designed?

So let's take another example, a Disney show (Disney XD?), Gravity Falls that I've always wanted to check out but didn't want to pay for cable for. Now I know there is no way to search for it so I obviously google the network first, then browse there by network. There it is, and I'm really lucky here because it says it has seasons 1-5. Unfortunately on looking in there, I see two episodes listed by episode number, and four more without episode numbers. I'll have the courtesy to list them in chronological order even though the on-demand interface couldn't: S1E1 S1E2 S1E3 S1E4 S1E12 S2E6. So I've already heard this before, the networks determine what episodes get released to on-demand, but why is it always such a random set of episodes?

Anyway, I brought up Gravity Galls as an example for another reason. After becoming totally frustrated with the interface and googling a lot, I found this: This would be great, and pretty much let me skip searching for a show using the terrible on-demand interface. Unfortunately, it doesn't list either Puppy Dog Pals or Gravity Falls. Why does Cox's own web site also not work for on-demand shows? Is there anywhere where I can look to actually find out what is available on On-Demand?

So at this point I'm just confused. I'd like to find out that I've just been using this incorrectly, or that my box isn't working right, or something along those lines, but I've done many resets and it doesn't seem to be changing. Can you help me figure out how to get this working? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I honestly would have just given up on it but my little one was so excited about being able to see some of these cable shows that he's never seen before, I figured it was worth a little effort. I can't be spending 30 minutes dinking around with my box every time we want to find out if we can watch a show. Can you give me some advice?

Thanks in advance for your time.

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  • Andrew_Wees's avatar
    Contributor III

    as far as I know you need ro use the box and not the website to view ondemand cox does not control the content some are HD and some aren't, but as long as they play you should be fine

  • NTS's avatar
    New Contributor

    Sorry if I wasn't clear. I wasn't trying to view the on-demand video on a site, just trying to get listings of what was available. I'm guessing that is the intent of the site I listed. It says: "Can't decide what to watch? Pick a genre and browse through hit shows available anytime On Demand."

    And as far as the content, I noted that I understood that was the case, but after googling the problem, I notice that similar questions have been asked many times in the past. Why have only a single random episode from Season 2 available? What would Disney's motivation be for only including this particular episode? Someone at Cox would have to have a theory about this.

    Finally, by "content" I assume you mean what shows are available. Very little of my post is about that. I have no problem with the fact that a show itself may or may not be available, My issue is with the extraordinarily difficult processes of finding what is available. I can't imagine the sort order and search functionality on the box is determined by the networks, though maybe I am wrong.

  • Hello NTS,

    Our Contour 2 platform has made searching the program you're looking for a little easier and less time consuming and have the TV networks listed in order with the latest episode on the top of the list. If you don' have Contour 2, our Cox Contour 1 and the Rovi search by title through the guide or On Demand can take time, and doesn't have the option to organize the titles by alphabetical order.

    Is your current equipment utilizing Rovi, or Contour 1? The way you've been searching it sounds like you could be using Rovi or Contour 1.

  • NTS's avatar
    New Contributor

    Thanks! I have a Cisco Explorer 4742HDC. The menu's say Contour at the bottom. None of the diagnostic screens seem to say anything about Contour or Contour 2, so I'm not 100% sure. I just picked up a month ago at a Cox store, so I just assumed I was getting a newer model, but I didn't ask that. Is there any easy way for me to tell for sure?

    Thanks for your response!

  • MarkM1's avatar
    Former Moderator


    The Cisco Explorer 4742HDC is a Contour box not the Contour 2 box. You can go to the following link to see the features that the Contour 2 service will provide to you.

  • NTS's avatar
    New Contributor

    Thanks Mark! Sorry for the late reply. Not sure how they got me an old box. I'll call the Cox store and see if I can swap it with something newer. Thanks for all your help!

  • DeeJ1's avatar
    Former Moderator

    Hi NTS,

    No problem, let us know if we can be of anymore assistance.