You'll Take The Cable Box Comcast Gives You And You'll Like It

Nancy wants to put a small TV in her kitchen, but there isn’t room for a full ginormous cable box. That’s okay, though: her cable provider, Comcast, makes a special mini box for tiny televisions in tight spaces. The problem is that if you want one, you have to just cross your fingers and hope that the installer happens to have one in their truck that day. You can’t order it, and you can’t even show up at a local Kabletown outpost to pick one up: there’s no guarantee they’ll have one. No, you have to use what your installer shows up with. And you’ll have to like it.

We wish to place a small (as in about an 11-inch) flat-screen TV on our kitchen island. Because of limited space, we need to use a particular decoder box that Comcast supplies that’s about one-third the size of the regular ones.

However, it turns out that there is no way you can order this specific box as my husband has spent several hours confirming with customer service. When you order a box, you must take whatever the installer shows up with.

You can, apparently, go stand in line at the local Comcast store and, if they have a small box, they’ll give it to you. But they don’t always have one, and naturally Comcast will not give you a phone number so you can call ahead and check.

You know how it goes. If you give one customer a tiny but functional cable box, everyone else will want one too. Best to make sure they remain rare and elusive, like Golden Tickets or unicorns.

Update: Nancy’s husband let us know that an e-mail to higher-ups at Comcast had the desired effect: a technician is coming by with the special tiny box, and they’ll even waive the house call fee. Yay!