Unless you watch specific channels that you can't stream over the internet or want to pay for overpriced service, all you need is a $20 HD Tuner + Windows Media PC + Netflix/Hulu and you have almost the same exact experience as having cable for a fraction of the cost.
If it weren't for TiVO's patents, companies would be able to sell pre-built devices that can stream OTA content, record shows DVR style and have a channel guide just like the cable set top boxes. Cable companies are a racket and they know it. Services like Netflix came along and made them actually have to be competitive. Many channels are now offering internet streaming subscriptions like ESPN. It's only a matter of time before the wiley cable company goes extinct unless of course the AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner super lobby group gets their way with net neutrality.
Capitalism is about producing better quality goods at a cheaper price by being driven to innovate in order compete. These types of businesses are trying to control market space to fix prices. They're all in collusion with each other. They should be be broken up and regulated like the phone companies. Better yet, make the internet a public utility because it's critical to so many every day business and consumer needs.