It takes an average of $231 annually to rent a set-top box, but with alternatives few and far between, where else can consumers turn to watch the cable selections of their choice?

There have been efforts on this front in the past. CableCard was one. This technology allowed consumers to buy a TiVo DVR at Best Buy, for example, and then pay for and view the cable line-up of their choice, be it Comcast, AT&T, etc. Another is DSTAC (Downloadable Security Technical Advisory Committee), which is attempting to change the game by proposing new security APIs to placate the cable operators. In the end, though, it may Apple’s Tim Cook who hit the nail on the head: the future of TV is apps.

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