I dropped by my friend Carrie’s apartment to do some cable tv wiring. When we unpacked the settop boxes (brand new, with the protective film still over their displays), we were perplexed - Comcast gave her a pair of Cisco RNG100 boxes that only have composite and s/video (remember that?) outputs. No HDMI, no component.

Especially here in the future I understand no component. For a moment I thought the boxes might be brand new because of the film, but the copyright on the manual says 2008.

Still puzzling though, since even DTAs (which started to be a thing in the same timeframe) have HDMI output (and modulator output, no s/video, component, or composite) and I would have thought that any STB made in that timeframe would likewise have HDMI as a standard.

Carrie says it’s no big deal since she isn’t subscribed to any HD tier channels. I’m channeling Uncle Owen from Star Wars and wondering what kind of junk they’re trying to push on us.

Back when I was at the-company-formerly-known-as-TWC, we had a do-not-deploy list - a collection of settop boxes that were too old, didn’t play well with the plant, didn’t handle H.264 (which everyone wants to move to on QAM because it requires less bandwidth for a similar quality picture), etc. I realize that we had a lot of boxes that weren’t on the list but probably should have been solely on the basis that they were crummy, but it’s a little hard for me to imagine a box with that complement of video outputs that doesn’t ring the bell for some other bad, old, or deprecated attribute that would get it on a do-not-deploy list. Odd.