The continuing trend is to link broadband signal delivery to the home entertainment display, and other devices via set top boxes. Set top boxes used to be just an analog cable tuner/decoder but now it includes the likes of digital cable, satellite controller, internet service controllers, digital video recording systems and home networking.
These devices allow the various cable and satellite signal operators to deliver a wide variety of services from television to internet and the hardware manufacturers can provide many features and benefits including home networking capabilities.
There is digital video recording onto hard disk drives, replacing the cassette format, allowing pause and replay of and live television, or interactive TV. There are new standards being created to facilitate the design of the boxes such as a recent reference blueprint development by communications chipmaker Broadcom using the Microsoft interactive TV software system.
The set top box is going to be a high volume commodity with many forms and functions.
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