The set-top box (STB) has long been the cornerstone of video decoding TV services for the service provider. However, now it is being recognized and marketed as a device that does a great deal more. This paper explores the value of the device that is in multiple rooms, is the gateway to the pixels on the screens, and offers the scope to be leveraged as an Internet of Things (IoT) Hub and a smart assistant – 4for 1 (or more) functionality in a single box.
This paper offers readers options and challenges for leveraging the STB for video, IoT, natural language based voice services and more. The paper discusses the technologies of voice detection in a noisy environment, out of phase surround sound, and the challenge of making the smart STB support IoT, microphone, and speaker technology from lower end devices all the way up to high end offerings with high quality speaker solutions. How will service providers maintain control of the pixels and continue to provide value to their subscribers?