As of right now, at home we have the following:
- HD DVR Cable Box
- Cable modem
- Wireless Router
- VoIP box
All tolled, that’s 4 power connections, a cable splitter, 2 RG6 cables, and 2 ethernet cables before anything else is hooked up. Did my cable company provide a cable management solution, or even a power strip? Of course not!
So why don’t cable companies do this… ?
Imagine a “triple-play” box, that took the inbound coax, and was:
* HD Receiver
* HD DVR
* Cable Modem
* VoIP Telephone
* Wireless router
The cable companies would only need one box, and they could remotely, instantly, turn on services the user doesn’t already have when desired. Joe Schmoe cable subscriber could call up Customer Service and ask for Internet to be Installed. Bam! Done. So fast it could give cable companies a positive customer service rep for once.
No splitters, power adapters, ethernet cables and the resulting stronger cable signal would be side benefits.
Sure, the box itself would cost a bit more, but I’d bet that increase wouldn’t be as much in quantity as the labor and other support issues cost having multiple different boxes for each service.
It’s my understanding that the HD DVR box costs something in the $300-400 range. The cable modem is probably $30 these days (the one I bought 5 years ago was $100), and similar for the VoIP router. Wireless router should be $40 in bulk. Add those 3 boxes to the HD DVR box would add 1/3 – 1/4 of it’s total cost, while reducing service calls (to add or remove service) and increasing customer service and customer satisfaction. I realize these might be foreign concepts the typical cable company, but why not give it a try?
Edit: Additional (specific) features this box should also have:
- 4+ Ethernet ports, 100 megabit full duplex minimum. 8 ports @ gigabit preferred.
- The standard features of a NAT firewall
- VLan for wireless configurable to be separate from wired ports
- E-SATA port for adding additional storage for DVR purposes
- Wireless IEEE802.11b/g minimum, with ‘n’ also preferred.
- HDMI output