It’s crunch time for old media. This month alone, we’ve seen movie theater owners glancing over their shoulders as Netflix takes a stab at feature-length films, we’ve seen TruTV announce plans to cut down on commercials and now, as the week comes to a close, Time Warner Cable is saying that cable boxes might soon be a thing of the past.
According to CBS News, TWC CEO Rob Marcus told analysts the following: “Where we’re headed is the ability of customers to access the complete video product without having to rent a set-top box from us.”
The key to making this a reality is to ensure that customers will be able to stream every channel they want access to over the Internet using a streaming device such as Roku. If they can manage that, customers will just need to type in a username and password — no more waiting around for a technician to come to your house and install cable.
As CBS News explains, Time Warner Cable currently offers a TWC TV app for iOS, Android, Roku and Xbox One which can be used in place of a second cable box for current subscribers, but the new initiative would eliminate the need for any rented boxes at all. Instead, during the trial for this new system, TWC will throw in a free Roku which customers will use to stream live TV.
Time Warner Cable wasn’t willing to discuss pricing or how Internet TV will affect a user’s Internet speeds, but regardless of the details, it’s yet another sign that new media is having a real impact on the way the cable industry operates.