The cable TV industry held a press conference at CES to show off the OpenCable Application Platform (OCAP) and their progress. In case you weren't paying attention, this is what will allow manufacturers of TV's and set-top boxes to make and sell devices directly to consumers that have the same capabilities (or maybe additional capabilities) as the boxes you can lease from your cable operator.
Comcast, Charter and Advance all announced plans for limited rollouts in 2006, with other providers like Cox and Cablevision having similar plans, it will probably be over the next couple years we see this rolled out everywhere, hopefully by which time we'll have some sort of bidirectional support for HDTV tuners on the PC. LG Panasonic and Samsung are all down with OCAP with LG also recently signing a deal to include the new downloadable content protection (DCAS) in their products.
So yeah, more DRM'd through and through devices for your home, but potentially much more choice over how you want to view the content you're paying for from your cable company.