California is asking for a sales tax increase in November or $5.4 billion automatic spending cuts to K-12 education goes into effect. If the state really has money for iPad's, maybe they really don't need a sales tax increase.
It is not that easy to just replace the cable boxes. Those boxes provide conditional access (security) that goes hand-in-hand with encoder equipment at the headend. This would have to be licensed or there would have to be an separate encryption/decryption solution at each headend.
You can't blame it all on monopoly. Content providers have been raising prices too. ESPN has been paying a lot for NFL and college football. Networks have started to charge to carry the broadcast channel that use to be free. There is a lot of blame to go around to the price increases.
No, I would rather have an HD in my iPhone. So by does the question of wanting an optical drive on my iPhone really apply to whether I want it on my iMac? I mean optical drive won't fit in my pocket protector but I kinda still want it.
Problem is at first I got a 500GB HD for $100, then it ran out of space and I spent another $100 for 1TB HD. Then another $100 for a 2TB HD. Spending a lot just to consolidate movies that I already own.