Renting Piece-of-Junk Cable Boxes: America’s Needless $19-Billion Industry

photo: Odonata98, Flickr

One of the least glamorous realities of the American cable industry is a relic invented in 1948: the cable box. The box has become a fixture in the American household, not least because it is surprisingly profitable. Earlier this year, a U.S. Senate study found that American households pay $231 a year on average renting cable boxes. Further, the report estimated that 99 percent of cable customers rented their equipment, and, across the country, that added up to a $19.5 billion industry just renting cable boxes. – Bourree Lam, The Atlantic