Live From NCTC: Do STBs Have A Future?
When you think about the home gateway, what does it look like? Is it a set-top box (STB), several OTT boxes, a Smart TV or all of the above? And how long will STBs be around? At this week’s NCTC Winter Educational Conference (WEC) in Las Vegas, at least half of the attendees admitted to having at least one Roku box in their homes, and others have boxes of other flavors. There were oohs and ahhhs regarding Comcast’s Xfinity X1 platform and its capabilities (not to mention that all of the MSO’s available UI resources are focused on developing the X2 cloud-based guide), but headless gateways – like those available from Pace – will address the up-and-coming Smart TV market. Tom Williams of ARRIS believes video over Wi-Fi will be the end game. In five years, though, expect to see operators continuing to sell STBs, with Pace’s Tim O’Laughlin saying STB development moves faster than Smart TV incarnations. 

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