Originally Posted by foxeng
You also have some people who just don't want the boxes. They are happy with just having the cable plug into the TV. The last thing cable needs to do is p*ss off subs right now. If a cable sub is REQUIRED to get a cable box, then you take away one of the reasons for that sub to stay with cable and not go to sat or FIOS which has to have a box. There are more people without boxes than you think.
Sorry to say but this is already happening in some areas. Cable comapnies are having to use SDV to fit all of the channels they carry, and SDV will only work with a cable box. Most cable card equipment won't even work right with SDV (although I believe TIVO has come out with a little add on device to make their cable card boxes work). Also some cable comanies are going to start using Tru-2Way, which will require either a cable box or a TV with a Tru-2Way tuner built in.
After Feb you are going to see a lot of cable companies start to drop the analog SD stations to free up room for more HD/digital stations. The only stations they have to continue to carry in analog are your local OTA stations (and they only have to carry them for 3 years). After 2012 I don't think there will be any NTSC channels available anywhere.