As much as we would love all our devices to work without extra boxes on top, the added features and benefits that a cable boc can bring might just offset working directly from a smart TV. Of course, that depends on the frequency in which devices automatically upgrade and improve their features and benefits.
For now, my TV viewing requires a cable box to watch cable programming, a DVD to watch certain videos, and a Google Chromecast to stream Netflix and other videos. I have yet to add the Apple TV, waiting either for a better price or some wow feature to make me want to buy it.
I did upgrade my Comcast cable DVR box to the new X1. I like the added memory by storing DVR content in the cloud and I like the ease of recording and search. And mostly, I like the voice control on the remote to access and switch channels. Just press the button and say NBC and the box switches the channel. Say the name of a show and it will find it for recording. Overall, I am happy with the upgrade.
But there is still work to be done to improve the X1 more. There is still a long latency switching channels and certain features are cumbersome to access. I wouldn't mind a quicker way to delete a watched show and an undo button if you accidentally erased something (although it may be possible to recover a deleted program). The TV Guide is not as clean as it could be nor easy to navigate smoothly. And the remote still has too many buttons that can make finding the right one to hit a chore. Still, the voice feature is a real winner and one that makes me glad to have upgraded.