Had analog cable, fed a few tv sets.
Cable goes digital. Clear QAM - only premium channels are scrambled. The golden era.
One day, all channels become scrambled, but you get a free box for a year.
One year later, the box is $8 per month per TV. Boxes go back.
There was no reason in my very suburban area to scramble everything....except to force me to rent a box to view a signal I *already paid for*.
Double Dip ?
I fought this off with cablecard devices until the cable co put a $6 per month charge for "sports programming".
I'm not a fan, they would not remove the charge. Turns out I had to pay for ESPN, like it or not.
Invested in a better router and repeater. Happily streaming from a variety of sources. Antenna on the roof like Gramps had gets me plenty to feed the DVRs.
I still have to pay for the broadband, and the company increased the internet price $10 per month because I don't have "tv'. I have the least evil of the group, Cablevision, and they were pretty good with cable cards when I had the unicorn of the American electronics market, a Free Cable Ready DVR, the obsolete Sony HDD 250. It worked until Rovi killed the listing service a few years back.
The "industry" has allowed Tivo to survive, as Tivo has a few key patents which have stifled anyone else, (even Sony!)
It is beyond over due that there be privately owned DVR and cable card type devices. You can do this if you are computer savvy, but where are the set top boxes for everyone else at best buy ?