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Here’s Why You’re Paying $200 to Rent a Clunky Set-Top Box

  • U.S. FCC wants to let homeowners buy their own boxes
  • Cable and allies say competing boxes would slow innovation
Under Tom Wheeler’s plan, pay-TV companies would have to provide online applications that grant access to their programming to independent device makers, such as Google, Amazon, TiVo and Roku.

Under Tom Wheeler’s plan, pay-TV companies would have to provide online applications that grant access to their programming to independent device makers, such as Google, Amazon, TiVo and Roku.

Photographer: Albert Mollon/Getty Images
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Imagine watching TV without paying the cable company for the blinking set-top box, using a gadget of your choice that makes it easy to switch between cable channels, streaming programs and online shows.

The idea, simple in concept, is proving difficult in execution.