That's right, you need a cable box and you also need that box to have a DVR to pause. Otherwise...no TV pausing for you. (In case you're curious, they work on Spectrum (Motorola, Moxi, Scientific Atlanta, Pace, Humax), DirectTV (Genie, HD DVR, DVR, Genie Lite), XFinity (Motorola, Pace, Scientific Atlanta, Cisco), Dish (Dish Hardware) and Fios (Arris, Motorola)
...all because of these absurd limited-run shoes that are basically like an Amazon Dash button for your feet. Be prepared: odds are, there will be more shoe tech like this in the future. And probably just as stunty.