Changes to cable rule, how will it affect you - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

FCC rule on set-top boxes can cost you

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The FCC has just passed a new rule that could cause you to pay more on your next cable bill.

The rule comes as cable providers make the switch from analog to digital to make more room for digital and high definition channels.

Right now, most cable subscribers have at least one set-top box in their home. For other secondary TVs, you can plug in your cable to the wall and get basic cable.

But this new rule lays the groundwork for cable companies to have the opportunity to force you to purchase more, possibly one box for every single TV in your home. This would allow for the TVs to be all on one network.

"I don't have any place to put all that stuff," said Steve Smith, who pays for cable service. "Where do you put it they're all flat screens now so you can't put it on top of the TV. So where do you put it? So it looks like you got six little ding dangs hanging all over your house."

WMBF News spoke with the FCC about the rule, and even though industry experts disagree, representative Janice Wise insists that only a small number of subscribers will need to get a new box for second TVs.

Wise says, "The data that we have indicates that this rule change will affect less than 0.1% of cable subscribers. The Commission has set up consumer protection measures for this small number of subscribers."

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