“It didn’t seem like much as far as news about the TV business goes: On Wednesday, Comcast said that it is launching a new feature for its Xfinity service that will allow users to watch their cable through Roku streaming boxes and Samsung smart TVs,” Mathew Ingram reports for Fortune. “Behind that small announcement, however, lies a world of tension between the cable giant and the Federal Communications Commission over the future of the connected TV.”

“To understand why, you have to go back to an announcement the FCC made in February about a campaign it calls ‘Unlock the Box.’ In a nutshell, the campaign is designed to free consumers from the need to pay huge sums to rent a set-top box in order to get their cable,” Ingram reports. “The FCC’s proposal is aimed at forcing cable operators to open up the set-top box market and allow others like Google or Apple to provide devices that do the same thing.”

“So is the FCC prepared to admit that Comcast is moving forward on opening up all by itself, and doesn’t need the regulator’s help? Not even close,” Ingram reports. “In a statement, the commission said that the Comcast plan ‘appears to offer only a proprietary, Comcast-controlled user interface and seems to allow only Comcast content on different devices, rather than allowing those devices to integrate or search across Comcast content as well as other content consumers subscribe to.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Comcast et al. deserve to lose this battle. The “cable box” is one of the most horrid devices to use in the world of electronics; from underpowered hardware to braindead user interfaces, it’s a truly abysmal experience that’s ripe for Apple to fix.

This is how Apple TV really gets to Input 1.

Obama urges agency to open competition in cable TV boxes – April 15, 2016
FCC proceeds with proposal aiming to make subscription TV available via any set-top box – February 18, 2016
Why Apple investors should pay close attention to this FCC decision – February 9, 2016
U.S. FCC wants more companies making cable boxes – January 28, 2016
How to watch free live HDTV on your Apple TV – January 19, 2016
Apple TV review: Channels are dead. The future of TV is apps – October 29, 2015
Mossberg reviews the new Apple TV: ‘This is the one I’d buy’ – October 28, 2015