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Customers irked by Spectrum cable box requirement after switch from Bright House

(WFLA) – Now that Bright House is part of Charter Communications, it is taking on the Spectrum brand.

With Bright House out and Spectrum in, customers will no longer be able to plug cables into the backs of their TVs. You’ll need a new cable box to see your favorite programs.

Those new cable boxes will cost you $5 every month – for every TV in your house. The roll out, requiring everyone to have a box on every TV, begins in January. It will be phased in.

Spectrum’s Joe Durkin said it’s all about getting a two-way experience on your TV, with On Demand and a searchable guide. But, if you have multiple TVs in your house, the fees can add up.

The actual switch over to Spectrum happened in May, but the name change happened more recently.

Spectrum customer Dan Labella is no fan of the new cable box requirement. “They are telling us that we have to have boxes on every TV. They are telling me it’s a law now. I’m not sure if that’s a law. I’m not going to look it up,” Labella said.

Labella’s monthly Spectrum bill is jumping from $180 to $210 dollars, with some of that attributed to new boxes so his mother-in-law can watch TV. “She doesn’t need a cable box. She just watches her animal channels, and I feel like I’m being bullied. I don’t need a box on that TV,” Labella said. “They’re trying to tell me that, ya know, ‘Welcome to the Spectrum family. Hey, by the way, your bill is gonna go up. You need more boxes that you didn’t need before.’ And I’m just not happy about it.”

“I’m going to look at alternatives,” he added.

Durkin is quick to point out customers have access to the most HD channels available and tens of thousands of On Demand options.

Minimum internet speeds are boosted to 100 mbps, up from 60, he said. There are no contracts and no fees for home visits.

If you are a Spectrum customer and all is fine with your service, sit tight for now. Wait until you must get the boxes.