Are set-top boxes (STBs) becoming a thing of the past? According to Light Reading's Mari Silbey, they aren't going anywhere. While the news of Cisco selling its beloved set-top unit to Technicolor is stirring up rumors about the death of the set-top business as a whole, we know that by giving operators a presence in the home, STBs offer several advantages.
Consumers may not need a STB for video streaming anymore, but having a special cable box in the home gives cable operators the opportunity to provide a hub for IoT devices and home security applications. With a surge of interest in IoT and what it means for the smart home, cable boxes could be the long-term solution everyone is looking for.
As technology continues to advance, consumers need something in the home that is capable of keeping up with the times. Operators, and consumers, can fortify existing cable boxes with inexpensive dongles that provide new functionality and enable new services. This method will not only save money, but it will ensure that consumers are getting the latest and greatest technology.
Silbey says it best: "Speed, latency and offline storage: these are all reasons why there's still a business in set-tops, even if it's one that demands greater vendor scale and delivers lower per-box margins."
To read her article in full, click here.