my tv still works with cable wire plugged directly into the back. so why do I need a HD cable box?
It still works...for now. Soon all channels will be encrypted and you won't get anything without a box. My area has already gone 100% encrypted.
NEoh has around 100 channels if your set does NTSC and clear qam but a lot are duplicates with maybe around 60-65 between the 2 systems. However, they're slowly dropping the analog channels but are a year behind in the total elimination threatened last year.
One of the issues is that Spectrum will not be supplying the useless DTA's and want's to rent out real 2 way cable boxes and at $8-10 a month instead of the $3.75 DTA's The boxes are relatively small and seem to work well, don't take 45 minutes to reboot either.