Is the Set Top Cable Box Going the Way of the 8 Track?

Is the Set Top Cable Box Going the Way of the 8 Track?

Postby Coolcat » Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:28 pm

It will be interesting to see how the CRTC reacts to the new technology challenging Cable Cos. in the US. ... story.html
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Re: Is the Set Top Cable Box Going the Way of the 8 Track?

Postby jon » Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:13 pm

What caught my eye was this quote from the article:
99% of the nation's 100 million pay TV subscribers lease a set-top box

Every Shaw customer that I know purchased their box a long time ago. Not sure if they still do, but Shaw was offering free replacements whenever a purchased box would no longer work because of changes in Shaw technology.

Did the article author got things wrong or do U.S. cable companies force customers to "lease" set-top boxes?

Point being that cable customers are much more likely to get rid of their set-top box if they rent it, rather than own it.

On a related note, I remember how "Internet-connected" TVs were being pushed so hard 3-4 years ago, at a lot of extra money for equivalent TVs with and without. It was not long after that every BluRay DVD player came with everything you needed to get Internet content on to your non-Internet TV.
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Re: Is the Set Top Cable Box Going the Way of the 8 Track?

Postby drmusic » Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:26 pm

I think there are some companies even in Canada that make you rent, i.e. smaller companies like Access.

To me, the whole system's backwards, yet it's too late now to fix it -- by the time they figured anything out the TV model as we know it will have ended. With rare exception, nearly every Canadian hotel room I've stayed in had a flat panel TV with a zoomed in SD channel package. Boxes are cumbersome and impractical in many cases. Once it became clear digital and HDTV were the future they should have figured out a way to incorporate the STB technology into the sets, or even the US CableCard system. Then people could add their own PVR hardware/software. This idea that first you have to subscribe to a bunch of SD channels you never watch, then pay extra for HDTV as an add-on is kind of a joke.

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Re: Is the Set Top Cable Box Going the Way of the 8 Track?

Postby kal » Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:16 pm

re: Shaw and its PVR/set top box lineup... free replacements seem to have been eliminated years ago. I battled them over the mpeg4 channels I couldn't watch. It went on for years. Threatening a move to the competition wasn't of any interest to Shaw. And then one day, out of the blue, after another barrage of emails or tweets the company relented. A new box was made available.

However the days of the box appear to be numbered. In my own household we use a Chromecast on one TV and a Roku on another. They aren't outdoing the Shaw boxes yet but it's not far off.
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