It’s not just TVs that are “smart” these days. LG Electronics unveiled a range of smart set-tops this week, intended to help accelerate the transition to IPTV. These boxes aren’t just smart because of their Internet connectivity—they also meet the Energy Star 3.0 specification and the future Energy Star 4.0 spec.

The energy saving aspect is important with NCTA, CEA and 15 leaving MVPDs and equipment manufacturers announcing a voluntary set-top energy conservation agreement last fall. The hope is that the agreement might stop the Department of Energy from proceeding with regulations for set-top power consumption, but so far, the agency has not suspended its proceeding.

As for LG, this was the first time it exhibited at the Cable Show. Its lineup of boxes includes the Ultra HD set-top, which is designed to deliver ultra HD to STBs, to the low-cost MPEG 4 box with downloadable conditional access security.

“Traditional cable and smart TV capabilities are converging faster than ever, driven by consumer demand,” said Kurt Hoppe, director of Smart TV innovation and new business, LG Electronics USA. “Consumers are seeking ways to get all of their subscription-based services, cable feeds and video-on-demand in one place, and they want options that feel natural to them. With LG’s portfolio of set-top boxes and open Smart TV platforms, cable operators have a comprehensive response that will satisfy subscribers’ entertainment needs now and in the future.” 

A rundown of LG’s set-tops introduced at the Cable Show: 
  • IPTV STB with Google TV based on the latest Android operating system providing cable operators’ live and VOD content, as well as rich content such as the Google Play app store, Google Chrome Internet browser, and YouTube, plus home monitoring and automation capabilities including energy monitoring, lighting, and home security controls. 
  • Android Mini-Box/Dongle media player using the Jelly Bean 4.2.2 operating system, supporting 802.11ac Wi-Fi for viewing HD streaming content on a Full HD screen. 
  • NetCast OTT STB providing access to Live Linear TV, VOD, and DVR recordings as well as OTT content, all in a tiny form factor, leveraging LG’s DLNA-compliant Smart Share technology for accessing protected content over a home network. 
  • Ultra HD STB offering 4K reception and playback capability using a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, HVEC 4K x 2K video compression technology, and supporting the MoCA 2.0 and DOCSIS 3.0 standards. 
  • Next-Generation “OpenTV 5” combining an IP-capable STB with OpenTV 5 middleware supporting progressive download and adaptive streaming, NAGRA conditional access content protection, and wireless connectivity (Wi-Fi 802.11n) for file sharing among devices and connecting to a home gateway. 
  • Low-Cost MPEG 4 Cable STB with downloadable conditional access security, 256 QAM, 64 QAM and 8 VSB modulation. 
  • Wi-Fi Dongle allowing users with Miracast smartphones to easily mirror the phone’s screen directly onto the big-screen TV, using only a simple Wi-Fi connection. 

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