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Time Warner to subsidize subscribers’ TV device

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Time Warner Cable, one of the nation’s top cable and Internet providers, said on Tuesday that it would subsidize some purchases of a set-top box called Slingbox that allows users to watch their home television programming from anywhere, like a vacation home or a mobile phone.

A Slingbox set-top box allows users to watch their home television programming from anywhere, like a vacation home.

Time Warner Cable said it would give subscribers to its $99-a-month Wideband Internet service, which is faster and costlier than traditional broadband, a rebate for the total cost of the $300 device.

As a sales promotion, the rebate offer reflects the fact that Internet connectivity, not television, is becoming the core part of the business for companies like Time Warner Cable. But it doubles as something else: as a shot across the bow to cable programmers who say that distributors should pay them more for the right to such place-shifting.

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