Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Why Set-Top boxes are things of the past

..because they are really old technology.

A log time on the past I used to work in the cable TV industry. One of the product that the company that I worked for manufactured and installed set-top boxes. These were mainly for premium pay-tv programming (porn mostly) for the North American hotel industry. This was a long time ago and before digital.

My job was working on TV satellite receivers and the programming was protected by digital encryption of what was essentially analog TV signals. Again, old technology. The subscriber model for this required viewers to have a set-top terminal with a "smart card" that would allow them access to the premium programming, HBO, Showtime and of course the Playboy Channel. The was a big indsutry that sprang up with those that provided means to circumvent these restrictions. A lot of this was Canadians wanting to access US TV programming as Canada was way behind in providing this.

Today, 2012, a lot of the program material is capable of being transmitted over IP. TV's going forward will have computers built into them. Many already have. This could be disguised as something else and the TVs may be called "Smart TVs" the main characteristic of these devices is a "10 foot GUI" (or in other words a method of controlling them from your armchair - a big clunky Graphical User Interface - this is mainly because TV viewers have no concept of files and directories)

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