set-top box

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set-top box

(communications, networking)
(STB) Any electronic device designed to produce output on a conventional televesion set (on top of which it nominally sits) and connected to some other communications channels such as telephone, ISDN, optical fibre or cable. The STB usually runs software to allow the user to interact with the programmes shown on the television in some way.

Online Media are one STB manufacturer.

set-top box

A device that converts video content to analog or digital TV signals. For years, the set-top box (STB) was the cable box that "sat on top" of the TV. Although no more flat surface to rest anything, the term lives on.

A satellite TV set-top box is officially a "satellite receiver," and the box that converts over-the-air digital broadcasts to analog for old TVs is a "converter" (see TV converter box).

Apple TV, Fire TV, Android TV and Roku boxes connect to the home network for Internet access and convert video from Netflix, Hulu and other providers into TV signals. These "media hubs" go by many names and may accept local content from the home network as well (see digital media hub).

The Cable Set-Top Box
In the days of analog TV, cable boxes descrambled the premium channels and managed the high channel numbers very early TVs did not support. For today's digital service, the cable box decodes MPEG video frames, decrypts the premium channels and stores and displays the program guides. Also providing upstream communications for video-on-demand, digital cable boxes often have a built-in DVR for recording content on a hard drive.

Many cable TV companies also offer Internet service, but their set-top boxes are only for TV. The cable coming into the house is split into two lines: one to the set-top box and the other to the cable modem for Internet access. See MPEG, DVR, CableCARD, cable modem and hybrid set-top box.


Set It On Top
For years, people placed cable boxes on top of their CRT or projection TV sets because there was plenty of room.







Big and Little
The Motorola unit (top) connects to the cable company's coaxial cable, whereas the Apple TV (only four inches wide) gets its content via Ethernet or Wi-Fi.


Big and Little
The Motorola unit (top) connects to the cable company's coaxial cable, whereas the Apple TV (only four inches wide) gets its content via Ethernet or Wi-Fi.







Not as Elegant as the Sales Brochure
In practice, today's streaming set-top boxes are often hidden in the A/V cabinet and nothing much to look at. These three plug into the A/V receiver via HDMI and connect to the home network via the Ethernet switch.




Not as Elegant as the Sales Brochure
In practice, today's streaming set-top boxes are often hidden in the A/V cabinet and nothing much to look at. These three plug into the A/V receiver via HDMI and connect to the home network via the Ethernet switch.







Legacy Support in a Set-top Box
Older set-top boxes such as this Roku unit had analog outputs to accommodate legacy TVs. However, HDMI has pretty much replaced this variety of connectivity (see HDMI).
References in periodicals archive ?
To further the STB's gaming capabilities, Jio announced a few key partnerships with companies like Gameloft, Tencent and more, indicating that the set top box is going to be playing Android games.
Growing need for digital television pertaining to government norms along with better quality of signal transmission may lead to the development of high quality television sets, which may further fuel the set top box market growth over the next few years.
Mohammad Windawee, director of distribution, MBC Group, said: "We are signing with Technosat so that our viewers across the Mena region will have the opportunity to get the right HD set top box and start to view for free.
According to Stefano Groppetti, Director of Cable & IP Business Unit, Home Video Division, STMicroelectronics; "The integration of MachBlue into our industry-leading STi710X single-chip HDTV decoder will demonstrate the possibilities to leading consumer manufacturers of offering viewers increased levels of web content via Set Top Boxes, and a richer TV experience through the use of enhanced user interfaces.''
ing set top boxes and this has helped mitigate the impact of the downward pressure on prices for more mature products."
The aerial needs to be connected to a digital adapter (set top box) or an integrated digital television to view services offered.
Since a car's WiFi node would be powered by the car battery it would have to be programmed to spend most of its time sleeping, then waking up at set intervals to query the set top box for any new content.
The SH-4 family is targeted at a wide range of multimedia applications including set top box, car information systems and portable digital consumer products and is supported through SuperH's extensive 3rd party program with over 65 companies offering various development tools, software and design services.
They also made special mention of the fact that not only can consumers pair any gaming controller with the device (or use their smartphones as one), but also the fact that the set top box comes with a graphics chip on-board.
LIVERPOOL'S coolest showroom of audio-visual products is to be one of the first brands globally, to receive the new Sky High Definition (HD) Set Top Box and Sky HD Ready card.
Tenders are invited for Supply of digital set top box with installation at vip guest house at farakka.
Bristol, United Kingdom, April 06, 2012 --(PR.com)-- The Talking Set Top Box, Hills HD94003G, was developed with the assistance of the Australian Government and Vision Australia.