Yep, that day is still far away when you can choose your program like you choose a youtube video and the youtube was unprofitable till now. The STB's still have the looks and performance of a vacuum tube radio in this era of digital age and costs more than it should, so no wonder consumer are pissed off when they can browse internet and watch movies with their handhelds at $150 they think why the hell is this dumb box in the sitting room so expensive.
So any change is welcome, bring it on Steve! Whether I buy it or not is a different matter though.
Ira Bahr at DISH shouldn't get his hopes up -- there is still no reason to hope consumers will pay $99 for a set-top box.
For multi-channel video providers like the cable, satellite and IPTV providers, the STB is a necessary evil -- not a CE product that consumers actually desire. It is the gatekeeper for the walled garden of video content, and that will still be the case even if the industry eventually goes a la carte.
The content owners are more than happy to supplement their revenues with some online streaming, but they are a long way away from replacing the monthly subscription multi-channel delivery model with an internet streaming model.
And when they are ready to make that leap, you can bet there will still be a set-top box gatekeeper required to gain entry to that online feast. And people will still hold that fancy new STB in low regard, just as they do today.
While STB manufacturers are trying to crack this nut and get people to happily pay, the world is changing around them. TV used to be a pretty social activity. It was something that people would gather around and set their schedules around.
Tivo type devices and video on demand helped to change the paradigm of consumers setting their schedule around the TV. The Internet will take care of the rest. Have you ever watched a group of teenagers gathering with their laptops for a LAN party? They alternate between game playing and individually watching "TV" shows that they find in the depths of the Internet. TV isn't a scheduled activity anymore and it's ceasing to be a communal activity as well.
Much of the younger generation has already dispensed with the idea of a stand-alone TV in the same way that they've dispensed with the concept of a tethered land-line phone. As that generation ages and becomes the primary buying demographic, the trend will sweep through the market and the set-top box, perhaps even the "Television" will become as much an anachronism as the public pay phone booth.
For content delivery through satellite, STB will likely need to be provided because it will perform RF down-conversion and DVB decoding. Will DISH network use different technology? Sure it will. It will take times. Yet, will STB be disappeared?
Similarly, for comcast to deliver content, STB will likely need to be there unless it can be integrated into a TV, which will come into a lot of obstacles?
It appears in future STBs will not operate solely in their traditional form via radio frequency broadcast. We shall see more of them supporting IPTV - TV over broadband internet, with possibly such a reciever integrated into the TV set. It is quite easy for a broadcaster to stream their content over the internet and charge for it. Obviously one has to have an Ethernet connection, and just that without a Cable connection. Thats a lower cost for the broadcaster, and hence a lower cost for the viewer.
The comment is true but at the present price being offered by Apple, will attrect thousands of Consumers.
As Apple is not a company like Google, to offer the Best but Cost effective services to consumers.
Apple is a brand that costs high and there are apple lovers who will spend, and apple does not know the power of consumers that google knows.
Well STB is here to stay for techical and commercial reasons. As a consumer we want almost all entertainment to be put in that small box and expect the price to be under 110 dollars. Its very difficult for the companies who make them. Another thing I dont think people are still ready to see webpages on the TVs, I think the resolution is best on the computer screens for website. Also the privacy issues.
The STB being an app to run on the TV is appealing, and that is essentially the idea behind the CableCard (whether 1.0 or 2.0). Also, whether it works great or not depends on a number of other factors of which the principal one is the local cable company (who really don't seem to want to give up the STB business either, regardless of a lot of words to the contrary). And of course, the TV has to be capable of using the CableCard. How often do you want to buy a new TV just to keep from using a relatively inexpensive STB from the media provider?
There are a lot reasons that STB is difficult to get rid of. One of the reasons is to deliver new content to your home TV without making any hardware or software changes on your TV. For DISH network or Comcast, they encrypt the content and they are not going to openly let a lot of people know how they do it. STB becomes inevitable. If we indeed want to totally get rid of STB, maybe, Android powered TV will be the solution. The STB will just become an app to run on the TV instead. What do you say?