The set-top box remains the hub for service providers to ensure they are delivering the quality and services that consumers expect, says William Ho, senior vice-president, Asia-Pacific and Japan, ARRIS.

STB will be killed by changing media consumption behaviours?

While some observers are predicting an unstoppable migration to a media consumption world without set-top boxes, this may not necessarily be the case

In many TV-consuming households in the world, one of the most recognisable, and essential, piece of equipment is the set-top box (STB), which delivers a myriad of channels to the TV screen.

However, as media consumption behaviours continue to be re-shaped by increasingly dominant video service providers such as Netflix, the STB is gradually being pushed towards obsolescence — or is it?

Media consumption continues to evolve globally, especially with mobile device video viewing on the rise, says William Ho, senior vice-president, Asia-Pacific and Japan, ARRIS. “However, consumers still prefer to sit back and relax when it comes to viewing long-form and sports content, especially at home,” he tells APB. “In fact, in the past four years, average daily large-screen viewing has only reduced by four minutes. Additionally, consumers continue to prefer ‘always on’ TV, especially for the latest news.”

The STB thus is designed to address these dynamics of TV consumption at home, and remains the hub for service providers to ensure they are delivering the quality and services that consumers expect. These, Ho says, include live sports and news content, as well as must-watch, live TV shows — particularly those with voting elements — where consumers can get the latest updates first-hand, rather than reading about them on other platforms.

Instead of a decline, ARRIS continues to see “robust growth” for STBs in global markets where operators in both developing and developed countries continue to invest in media distribution in the home.

Read the full story in July edition of APB.

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