FCC wants to help you ditch the cable set-top boxRenting a set-top box for TV service may soon be a thing of the past. The US regulatory group will vote on wether pay-TV services should be accessible as apps.
Renting a set-top box from your TV service provider may soon be a thing of the past. And Federal Communications Commission is preparing to vote whether to require paid TV services to be accessible through apps. That means consumers can ditch their rented set-top box and instead access all of their television services from a device on their choosing As chairman Tom Wheeler describes it, it means you can watch Comcast through an Apple TV or a Roku or access Direct TV through and XBox or Verizon can be streamed right to your smart TV. The proposal requires these apps to also let customers search through programming and record shows. According to a Congressional study, 99% of paid TV subscribers are renting set top boxes and are spending $231 a year on these devices. Critics of the proposal including cable companies argue that an FCC mandate could add cost, threaten consumer privacy, and hurt smaller content producers There will be a final vote on the proposal on September 29th. And if it passes, large cable and satellite television providers would have two years to create these apps. That's it for this Tech News update, I'm Bridgette Carey. Stay on top of the biggest stories at cnet.com/update.