A cable TV box is a type of set top box that unscrambles encrypted cable TV channels and transmits them to a television set. The receiver is required for customers who subscribe to cable TV, as they cannot view cable channels without one.
Although cable boxes are provided to subscribers free of charge, their usage is not free. Customers must pay a monthly rental free in order to use them. Until recently, only subscribers to premium cable stations were required to rent cable boxes. However, a decision passed by the Federal Communications Commission in October 2012 allowed companies to encrypt all their stations, forcing basic cable customers to either rent or purchase a cable box.