Some 1500 Vodafone customers are about to experience a couch potato's worst nightmare: their TV screen going dark.
The telco is making what it calls a 'final plea' to some 1500 customers still on its "Tbox" cable TV service, which will be shut off on July 10.
Vodafone is offering a Sky TV MySky box as a free alternative, and including a free visit by a technician to set it up as a sweetener.
There were close to 6000 customers still on Tbox when Vodafone first began to contact customers about the switch-off six months ago, initially offering its own Vodafone TV as a free alternative (the set-top box is free; with Vodafone TV or Sky TV, customers pay for any paid channels they pick up, as per a regular Sky account).
The current Tbox (short for Telstra TV Box) launched 20 years ago in parts of Kapiti, Wellington and Christchurch, running on the cable network inherited by Vodafone when it bought TelstraClear in 2012.
Vodafone Customer Director David Redmore says the DOCSIS 2.0 modems that underpin the Tbox service are now outmoded. It's time for customers to upgrade to a more modern service.
A licence for the technology expires on July 11, so there is no hope for a late-minute extension.
Redmore says a Downer technician will upgrade a customer's set-top box to MySky, and update their modem and cabling at the same time.
If they don't it'll be a case of reaching for a book .... or watching Netflix on their phone.
Why did Vodafone switch from pushing its own Vodafone TV box to a MySky box for the holdout Tbox customers?
"We started offering Vodafone TV as the replacement, but customer feedback was people missed the hard disk recording of 100 per cent of programming that the Tbox offered, and which MySky box has. VodafoneTV features recording to the cloud of around 90% of programmes due to copyright restrictions. So we changed the offering to suit the demographic of the customers, and Sky has been great to work with."
Vodafone is still very much pushing its broadband-over-cable service, HFC Max, incidentally - which was recently given top marks a Commerce Commission benchmarking test that involved multiple 4K Netflix streams.
Tbox is the second casualty of Vodafone's switch-off campaign.
Last month, the telco finally pulled the plug on its dial-up internet service - or internet access over a copper line.
Customers were offered fibre or fixed-wireless as a replacement.