What compact discs and cable boxes have in common is that a lot of people think these things all belong in museums and history books. Pay TV companies believe Google is working to reinvent that last one, the cable box, and they don't think that's necessary or good for business.

About two weeks ago, the Federal Communications Commission introduced a proposal to change the rules that run cable boxes in order to give consumers more control over the hardware they choose for their pay TV services.

Well, a collection of pay TV companies, joined together under the banner of the Future of TV Coalition, has derided the proposed changes as being "a solution in search of a problem." With the current set up, consumers already have access to both pay TV content and streaming media, the coalition reasoned.

"This app-driven innovation is already happening – and it doesn’t require a government mandate that would increase consumer costs, strip viewers of privacy protections, and let third party device makers ignore the terms of carriage agreements between programmers and distributors," the coalition stated.

The 47-member-strong coalition, which includes Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Dish and Charter Communications, thinks Google is cooking up something to sway consumers and regulators the wrong way in this fight, according to a statement from the group.

"Amazingly, Google plans to demonstrate its new AllVid-style TV set top box, presumably in order to build support for the new rules being considered by the FCC on video competition announced to much fanfare just this week," the statement read.

The coalition then asked how Google could have a box that complies with the FCC's proposal just two days after the commission proposed the new rules, suggesting that the search engine company was in cahoots with regulators. It's a fair question, but it sells short the ingenuity and opportunist nature of Google.

Milo Medin, vice president of access services at Google, forecast a future in which Android TV and other software TV platforms, would work with smart TVs to replace cable boxes.

"If you can integrate, if you can provide extra functionality and search across these things, and give TV vendors a chance to differentiate from each other and really unlock innovation, I think it's a huge opportunity for those guys," said Medin this week. "Because what's the difference right now between buying a Samsung or a Sony or a Vizio?"

Still, Medin said Google has no plans right now to develop a cable box or something to replace one.

"Google does a lot of things that don't necessarily have a direct commercial benefit for Google," Medin said. "We do it because we believe openness benefits everyone. We and the Internet as a whole all benefit from open systems."

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