Cable Companies Are Requiring Set-Top Boxes

Does your Facility Have a Set Top Box on Each TV? If Not, Watch Out!
 By John Wegener, The Satellite Center, Inc.
Did you know that the great transition from analog to digital TV isn’t over yet? It’s going to go on through 2012 with cable companies all across America. This one is different than the high-def digital transition of 2009. We’re seeing this one happen fairly quietly here in the Cincinnati tri-state area (Time Warner and Insight Cable), with the cable companies touting the benefits but not telling their customers of all the problems and costs they may soon face. Some of those problems have already struck my multi-room commercial and bulk customers, who are calling me about channels being removed from their current cable programming packages.

This past week alone I’ve gotten calls from facility managers,  gyms, and health clubs telling me that their customers are complaining that some of their favorite channels have “disappeared.”

How could this affect my business? If the cable in your building goes directly into your TVs and they don’t go through a set-top box (which acts as a digital converter), then you may be vulnerable to these problems, and soon! In an effort to free-up all their analog bandwidth, cable companies are requiring everyone to get a set-top box on every TV. Manufacturers are reffering to these changes as "analog sunset."

Locally here in Kentucky, Insight Cable calls their set-top converter the mini-box, and it is required that subscribers rent it or a STB for each TV.  Yet they try to position the extra expenses to your business as an upgrade, as noted in this article.

This allows the cable company to better market their pay-per-view offerings and other up-selling products and services. This also gives them more control over the channels you get. For example, many cable companies are moving channels like your local PBS stations to programming tiers that will cost you more money. Sometimes they are dropping channels like that altogether. Customers are mad, and their anger is justified—programming like your local affiliates and Public Television should be free!

This ongoing digital transition is letting cable companies charge more and offer less. If you are a multi-room business with many TVs, then you should act now. The good news is that the alternatives that you do have will likely SAVE YOU MONEY! The Satellite Center can offer your business (with 20 or more TVs) numerous programming packages. You’ll get more channels for less money. We can even integrate all your local TV stations so that you get those for FREE! 

Contact me for more information. 

As a follow-up, I’m finding more and more articles like this one if you want to learn more about the 2012 Cable Company Digital Transition. Consumer resentment of the cable companies are evidenced in articles like this one from The ConsumeristCongratulations Comcast; You're the Worst Company in America! 









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