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

GenAI: A New Era in Business Transformation

The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) has ushered in a new frontier of innovation, with Generative AI (GenAI) at the forefront. At the brink of this revolution, it's crucial to understand the current GenAI adoption and its implications for commerce worldwide. A recent poll conducted by Gartner provides valuable insights into this emerging trend and the potential upside opportunities. Generative AI Market Development The poll, which included 1,419 executive leaders, indicates a significant shift in the corporate world's perception and adoption of GenAI. The data reveals that 45 percent of respondents are currently piloting GenAI, while another 10 percent have put it into production. This is a substantial increase from a similar poll conducted in March and April 2023, where only 15 percent were piloting and 4 percent were in production. GenAI is no longer a mere buzzword; it has become a strategic focus for organizations worldwide. As Frances Karamouzis, VP Analyst at Gartne

GenAI Revolution: The Future of B2B Sales Apps

When B2B buyers consider a purchase they spend just 17 percent of that time meeting with vendors. When they are comparing multiple suppliers‚ time spent with any one salesperson is 5 or 6 percent. Self-directed B2B buyer online research has already changed procurement. IT vendors are less likely to be involved in solution assessment. Now, more disruptive changes are on the horizon. By 2028, 60 percent of B2B seller work will be executed through conversational user interfaces via Generative Artificial Intelligence sales technologies -- that's up from less than 5 percent in 2023, according to Gartner. Generative AI Market Development "Sales operations leaders and their technology teams must prepare for the convergence of new forms of artificial intelligence, dynamic process automation, and reinvented deal-planning activities that will transform the sales function," said Adnan Zijadic, director analyst at Gartner . According to the Gartner assessment, Generative AI (GenAI) s

Industrial and Manufacturing Technology Growth

In an evolving era of rapid advancement, market demand for innovative technology in the industrial and manufacturing sectors is skyrocketing. Leaders are recognizing the immense potential of digital transformation and are driving initiatives to integrate technologies into their business operations.  These initiatives aim to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and ultimately drive growth and competitiveness in an increasingly digital business upward trajectory. The industrial and manufacturing sectors have been the backbone of the Global Networked Economy, contributing $16 trillion in value in 2021. Industrial and Manufacturing Tech Market Development   This growth represents a 20 percent increase from 2020, highlighting the resilience and adaptability of these sectors in the face of unprecedented challenges, according to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research . The five largest manufacturing verticals -- automotive, computer and electronic, primary metal, food, and machinery -