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You know you most likely need a cable box to run cable television into your home. The exception is when you have a cable-ready television and then you may not need a box. For most people, it's simply a given that a cable box is necessary to get cable TV. Have you ever really thought about what that cable box does or exactly what its purpose is?
A cable box actually serves two purposes. One is to allow television sets that aren't cable ready to recognize that cable is being sent to it and allows the television to expand to a wider selection of channels.
Cable TV boxes also allows the cable subscriber to view channels that are considered premium or optional, like Pay-Per-View, HBO or Showtime. Without a cable box, you would not be able to view these channels.
Now that you know exactly what purpose your cable box is serving, you can rest easy knowing that you do indeed need that box if you want the best cable viewing experience available.