We regularly hear from readers that their cable company — often Comcast — is charging them rental fees for equipment they either never owned or have already returned. A group of six U.S. lawmakers are calling on the FCC to look into this problem of consumers who face fees for phantom modems and other devices. [More]
Earlier this week, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler proposed new rules intended to increase competition in the pay-TV set-top box market. Rather than paying hundreds of dollars a year to your cable company for a device you can’t get anywhere else, the idea is that you would be able to buy your own box and save money in the long run. Amazing, Comcast — which stands to potentially lose billions of dollars if this happens — is crying foul. [More]
While the cable industry hasn’t fessed up to how much it makes leasing set-top boxes to their customers, in July, lawmakers crunched some numbers and found that it could be a $20 billion industry, with consumers paying up to $232 every year on that equipment. Two advocacy groups are now asking the Federal Communications Commission to begin a rulemaking proceeding to reform the video set-top box market, saying cable and pay-TV companies are overcharging consumers by $6 billion to $14 billion annually. [More]
Should you be forced to be required to pay your cable company extra money for a set-top box in order to get cable TV service you’re already paying for? According to a federal jury in Oklahoma, which recently returned a $6.31 million verdict against Cox Communications, the answer is no. [More]
The biggest energy hog in your house is probably sitting right under your TV. That little ol’ set-top box could be using up more electricity in your house than your refrigerator or central air conditioning, according to a new study by the Natural Resources Defense Council. [More]
Aaron couldn’t get the HDMI port of his Time Warner Cable DVR box to work. When he went to customer service with the problem, he says the rep told him TWC provides HDMI as an option to customers but does not support it. [More]
Starting Friday, Xbox 360 owners who watch TV through AT&T U-Verse will be able to consolidate their “set-top boxes” into one, because the Xbox 360 will act as a TV receiver and DVR. [More]
The Motion Picture Association of American wants to rent movies to TV viewers earlier in the release window, but they don’t want anyone potentially streaming that video out to other appliances. That’s why last week they went back to the FCC to once again ask for the power to disable analog ports on consumer television sets.