Time Warner announced at CES that they are making a Roku app that will let you watch live TV. This is big news as its one of the first times a consumer can watch live TV streaming over the Internet on a big screen TV in an approved method.
It means without a cable box you can browse and watch TV. Couple this with the HBO Go app on Roku and we are one step closer to never needing a cable supplied cable box again.
The cable companies boxes are really terrible. With old clunky interfaces, that are buggy and constantly need reboots. They are also only controllable via Infrared control which is an older technology that we try and avoid when we can.
We usually use tivo brand cable boxes which are great. They have a much better interface, with higher quality hardware, and are controllable via IP right over the network.
The Roku box can similarly be controlled via IP control. We don't know much about what the Time Warner app will look like yet - but I'm hoping better then what they currently have on their cable boxes. The app is expected to be released in the next 3 months or so.
This is a step forward for the cable industry. It started with iOS apps and is now finally moving to the big screen in your living room. Freedom from the cable box of old.