Why does the software in cable boxes suck so?

John Siracusa marvels at how conspicuously awful the software was in stuff like cable boxes and televisions at this year's CES: "All of this software is terrible in the same handful of ways. It’s buggy, unresponsive, and difficult to use. I actually think the second sin is the worst one, especially when it comes to appliances and consumer electronics. Dials and knobs respond to your touch right now."

I wonder if the continued poor quality of cable boxes, in particular, comes from an assumption of network non-neutrality in the near future. No reason to waste money competing on a level playing field if you expect to fence it off for good. [via Daring Fireball]