If you're like me, the interface with which you interact with your cable box isn't exactly elegant. Like your PC running Windows 95 inelegant. And despite the snazzier UIs that are popping up on streaming video devices and TiVos, there isn't a big incentive for cable companies to push back on their set-top box providers to deliver more on-screen eye candy, given their monopolies or near monopolies in many regions of the country.
But Motorola, the 800-pound gorilla of cable boxes, is looking to bring its new UI (dubbed Motoblur) for its Android-based phones like the Backflip (pictured) and Cliq XT to its new set-top boxes, according to the Wall Street Journal. The two divisions are being combined as a spin-off company, so the interface merger seems a natural, though it's unclear if boxes will sport the new interface this year or next. Further down the line, the company's set-top boxes could run using Google's Android platform, which Motorola's latest phones run.
As much as cable providers are trying to jump online to cater to subscribers watching more video on the Web, they could also help themselves by using TVs to bring more Web content to viewers via set-top boxes and the high-speed Internet they're bundling with TV programming. Verizon FiOS has been advertising its ability to stream Facebook and Twitter to its customers' sets; how long will it be before cable companies can boast the same (fairly basic) capabilities?