I could not help but notice my cable box the other day. It sits there collecting a bit of dust, and its only function is to record television shows. What makes the whole cable box unattractive is that regardless if you have a satellite dish or a cable hookup, more than likely you have an old box with cables protruding next to your thin flat screen modern television.
I remember a time when Cablevision was the only method in acquiring cable for the home. Today there are many choices to include Amazon, Apple, and Roku. However, those devices sometimes require a power outlet in addition to cable connectivity to the television. But televisions have become smarter by incorporating many choices typically found in stand-alone product embedded in what is popularly known as Smart-TV’s.
What bothers me the most is cable and satellite providers haven’t caught up with television providers. There was a time when cable operators would sell PC Cards to reduce the footprint in television or eliminating the cable box. A problem PC Cards is they didn’t allow access to premium channels content and perhaps didn’t display a tv list showing. Thus, it wasn’t trendy.
But what is the most frustrating part of cable operators is the ugly oversized cable box that serves no real purpose except as an expensive DVR recorder. To be quite candid I do not see the value of a DVR because television networks repeat a show so many times, which we never really miss an episode. However, consumers continue to shell out hundreds of dollars per year on a DVR that is outdated, oversized, and not very application friendly.
The popularity of Apple TV, Roku, and other devices at least provide those that cut the cable and use the internet to access television a break from being nickeled and dimed to death. The power of ownership of your cable box is perhaps a missed opportunity for cable and satellite providers. If people are willing to shell out nearly a thousand dollars for an iPhone, could you imagine how much people will spend on a smart cable box or the money they spent cutting the cord? Television providers are not very smart in making a cable box sexy, sleek, and affordable? Maybe Sony, Samsung, or Apple can create a new cable box or integrated television to rid of cumbersome and ugly cable wires? Once that occurs cable companies could be pleased they no longer have to circle the roads with expensive trucks installing cable to an apartment or home. Instead, the integration is already in the new smart television ready to connect to the internet for periodic updates.
In the meantime, I think it is time to ditch the cable box. It serves no real value or purpose anymore. Although I am paying to rent a cable box, I still end up paying for electricity to use the box. Doesn’t seem like a win-win situation to me. It is more of an added expense that I no longer value – and cable providers do not value because it has not kept up with thin, sexy, sleek, and intuitive technologies.