Is there an app for everything?:FCC debates whether making TV set top boxes an app will help consumers.


HK Cable TV Set top Box taken by "WiNG" 10 January 2008

In this day and age it seems like everything is evolving, the new generation is skyrocketing in technological advances. And we are just getting started.

The Federal Communications commission (FCC) has decided to “ditch the box”, which means getting rid of TV set top boxes and finding a more evolved way of watching television. The average for set top boxes is over $200 a year, and 84 percent of those customers argue is too high. So why do we do it? Well most consumers feel like there is no other meaningful alternative. But that soon can change on September 29th when the FCC makes their final plans.

Currently they are debating two proposals, originally the FCC wanted to have TV providers like Comcast, Verizon Communications and others to make their content to third party devices and apps to use as they wish.

TV providers don’t like this idea as it strips away a huge amount of profit from them. So Comcast released a strongly worded argument to chairman Tom Wheeler (original proposer of “ditch the box”), and a second proposal.

“Chairmen’s approach would likely meet the same fate; while causing real damage to the thriving apps marketplace and real harm to consumers”

Comcast befuddlement is for individual providers to provide their own free app that users can download instead of the box, and while the FCC is open to this suggestion, they want to make some major changes that still upset providers. While a final decision hasn’t been made, what are our opinions?

I interviewed TV media teacher Brian Bernier, our media TV teacher to find out how someone in media education view this. “Cable is ridiculous”. Like most consumers he favors the FCCs/Tom Wheelers first proposal, third party devices are more modern, today’s kids don’t need a 60 inch TV, they are just as amused using personal devices. And that’s the issue some of the “older guys don’t get” as Bernier puts it. Our student body today has seen technological innovations previous classes didn’t experience in their adolescent years.

“The companies have fought the transition of the digital stuff from being so open………….They (TV providers) put the infrastructure in with all the cabling and stuff which comes with a cost, but they recruit their cost, multiple times over” Bernier explains.

The guys in suits and ties are just worried about money, when they should be catering to our students, being the future generation that could lead our world to innovation beyond imagination.