Is the set-top box dead?June 26, 2023 8:23 am
By: Jason Power, Senior Director Commercial Partnerships, Dolby
Dusty. Under-appreciated. Is time up for the little box sitting under our TVs?
But hang on. What if that box could solve the problem of making all content available in one place? And what if that box could transform the viewing experience from plain old TV into full immersive home cinema?
Witness the explosion of service super-aggregation, with a new generation of operator set-top boxes powering the way.
“It’s no use having a super-aggregation strategy if users are still tempted back to TV apps”
Of course, it’s no use having an aggregation strategy if users are still tempted back to TV apps. To keep viewers switched to your service, the UI needs to streamline discoverability of content. And the playback experience itself needs to match or exceed what is already available via connected TV apps. That means, for example, the set top box supporting Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision outputs, so services like Netflix, Disney+ and Prime Video can be enjoyed in their full glory, just like on the TV apps.
But there’s another reason why I’m excited for the future of the set-top box. We are starting to see a new device paradigm that we refer to as the Integrated Set-top Box Soundbar. A device that can transform the viewing experience from normal television into full home cinema. A device that reinforces an operator’s commitment to delivering the widest selection of content with the best possible experience. A device that re-establishes a premium position for operators and makes their service indispensable in the living room.
“Small box. Big sound.”
The Integrated Set Top Box Soundbar combines a flexible set top box platform with support for the latest Dolby Atmos immersive sound and built-in speakers. All of this can be packaged in a device not much bigger than a standard set top box. Think of it as a small box with a big sound.
Integrated Set Top Box Soundbars are being deployed by operators globally
Some operators see it as a chance to create new revenue streams through premium subscriptions. This can represent phenomenal value for consumers – how else can you get a premium branded home cinema system in your living room for just a few dollars extra a month? The integrated set-top box soundbar also defends against pressure on subscriber ASPs as other functionality, such as recording, moves to the cloud.
Other operators see these devices as an incentive for retention – if you depend on the box for your whole living room playback experience, how are you going to do without it?
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Categorised in: Blog
This post was written by Dolby Laboratories