Set-top box required for basic Comcast cable channels

I remember the days where we could split off the coax into any room in the house and get access to Cable TV. It was how my step dad won me over as a kid when he first entered into our lives. He split off cable to my big-tube TV in my room and I accepted him on the spot.

Before long though each room in the house required a converter to get some of the better channels, but we still had a bunch that were unencrypted in the form of "basic cable."

Following a recent FCC decison to allow the encryption of basic cable channels, Comcast has started rolling out these changes. Now each extra TV requires a single set-top box (STB) to get any cable TV action.

With streaming possibilities and the ease that the content can be put onto almost any medium, and with people "cutting the cord" all the time, it surprises me that cable companies are taking more away, rather than being more in the giving mood. However, I don't pretend to know the politics of pay TV.

More than just an inconvenience at home, what about university and college campuses that provide cable, not to mention hospitals, and gyms? It was highly convenient to go from the wall with a piece of coax direct into the TV. This should create a little frustration in those sectors if the change affects business users as well.

On a positive note, providing a request is made within 4 months of encryption, Comcast is providing up to two adapters at no charge, but just for 2 years. Also, CableCard solutions eliminate the need for an STB.

Perhaps more Boxee's will be sold after this announcement.

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