Skip to main content

A Quest for the Ultimate Set-Top-Box Device

Most people's relationship with their pay-TV service starts and ends with the remote-control device associated with the box that connects to their television set. Clearly, it's a key part of the overall user experience.

As revenue from traditional television set-top box (STB) sales declines along with demand in the period 2008 to 2012, STB vendors will initially rely on firmer markets for DBS (Digital Broadcast Satellite), IPTV (Internet Protocol Television), and DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) devices.

However, according to a market study from ABI Research, by the end of the decade even those sectors will be under pressure from alternative technologies being introduced to facilitate the connected home, and vendors will have to add new features and functions in order to revive flagging shipment numbers.

"The development of two-way digital cable-ready TVs, residential gateways, media centers, and even video capabilities on gaming systems will put the STB status at risk," says research analyst Paulhwa Lee.

STB manufacturers are responding in several ways. First, they are adding new features -- more hard-disk space, DVD players, DVD burners, home audio solutions, and others. They're also attempting to improve electronic program guides and to incorporate more Web-based services and video gaming.

STB vendors are also moving more aggressively into the hybrid STB market. Hybrid STBs offer a single solution to a number of possible problems caused by the multiplicity of video sources and distribution platforms.

Lee concludes ABI's assessment with a prediction for STB vendors. "No one video or television technology will be a dominant force in the next few years. So as this market flattens towards the end of our forecast period in 2012, STB vendors would be well advised to incorporate as many of those technologies as possible into their products."

I believe that adding features and capabilities could have a detrimental effect on the user experience. Why? More features usually equates to more buttons on the remote control, which in turn results in added user complexity. That would be a step backwards.

Once again, where there are challenges, there are also opportunities for innovation. Vendors would be wise to consider the human factors issues that often arise from poorly designed consumer electronics products.

Therefore, the ultimate set-top box should incorporate simplicity, by design. Usability requirements must guide STB product development.

Popular posts from this blog

Open Banking Usage to Grow by 470 Percent

The Open Banking business model has been advantageous for Third-Party Providers (TPPs), helping them to extend their offerings into other areas of financial services with new capabilities. Open Banking is also advantageous for traditional banking institutions, despite the perceived loss of custodianship over their data, by providing greater accessibility to more bank services. Furthermore, Open Banking can help serve Mobile Internet providers that are able to leverage it to create tailored services according to customers’ preferences and/or economic limitations. Open Banking Market Development Since traditional banking services are made more convenient by TPPs via greater data access, customers can proactively manage their finances and shape the development of new financial offerings. This is particularly noticeable in the realm of Digital Payments, where retail merchants and customers transact through eCommerce, which has the greatest number of use cases for Open Banking. These includ

Global Digital Business and IT Consulting Outlook

Across the globe, CEOs and their leadership teams continue to seek information and guidance about planned Digital Transformation initiatives and the most effective enterprise organization change management practices. Worldwide IT and Business Services revenue will grow from $1.13 trillion in 2022 to $1.2 trillion in 2023 -- that's a 5.7 percent year-over-year growth, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC). The mid-term to long-term outlook for the market has also increased -- the five-year CAGR is forecast at 5.2 percent, compared to the previous 4.9 percent. Digital Sevices & Consulting Market Development IDC has raised the growth projection despite a weak economic outlook, because of vendor performances across 2022, growth indicators from adjacent markets, increased government funding, and inflation impacts. The actual 2022 market growth was 6.7 percent (in constant currency), which was 87 basis points higher than forecast last year, alth

Mobile Device Market Still Awaiting Recovery

The mobile devices market has experienced three years of unpredictable demand. The global pandemic, geopolitical pressures, supply chain issues, and macroeconomic headwinds have hindered the sector's consistent growth potential. This extremely challenging environment has dramatically affected both demand and supply chains. It has led to subsequent inflationary pressures, leading to a worsening global cost of living crisis suppressing growth and confidence in the sector. In tandem, mobile device industry stakeholders have become more cautious triggering market uncertainties. Mobile Device Market Development Operating under such a backdrop, the development of mobile device ecosystems and vendor landscapes have been impacted severely. Many of these market pressures persisted throughout 2022 and now into 2023, borne chiefly by the smartphone market. According to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research, worldwide smartphone shipments in 2022 declined 9.6 percent Year-over-Year