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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The AT&T U-Verse box: Nothing that a sledgehammer couldn’t cure

Posted By on Wed, May 14, 2008 at 5:21 AM

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The mark of the devil.
Unsightly accoutrements have long been a part of TV viewing. The satellite dish. The cable box. Rabbit ears. But as technology has progressed, the eyesores have only gotten bigger. Enter the fourth-generation of cable TV’s aesthetic nightmare: the AT&T U-Verse box. “It’s like having an outhouse on your tree lawn,” says Lakewood City Councilman Kevin Butler of the refrigerator-sized hazards that are springing up in front of homes... When Lakewood and AT&T first partnered in 2006, the city agreed to allow the telecom giant to install 43 U-Verse boxes, which allow for clearer pictures and faster internet speed. But last November, the state legislature – believing that everyone wants an uglier home – voted to supersede local authority. Instead of having to say pretty-please, AT&T now gets to run roughshod over cities, installing the unsightly beasts where it pleases. “There are three or four boxes on the same concrete slab,” says Butler. “They look terrible.” AT&T has applied for six more permits in Lakewood. And the boxes, in Soviet Bloc shades of beige and grey, are springing up throughout Cleveland’s burbs. The only bright side – besides faster porn downloads – is that they’re fed by a low voltage, providing a slight jolt on touch. So when you grab your sledgehammer from the garage, make sure you remember your rubber gloves. – Caleb Hannan
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