set-top box

(redirected from Set-top boxes)
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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 ?
A new Global Set-Top Boxes Market research report has been added to the repository of Data Bridge Market Research which aims to give a complete overview of the Set-Top Boxes Market.
Many of these companies are innovating on their own, creating apps through which their customers can access TV on any device they want and teaming up with companies like TiVo to provide set-top boxes.
"The integration of the Icflix app on Humax's Android set-top boxes will make it easier for customers to watch premium content on their television sets, giving them access to award-winning Hollywood movies alongside Jazwood and Bollywood content," said Mohammed Amine Lalami, Head of Business Development at ICFLIX.
Mware's solution is completely integrated with Linux based set-top boxes based on the ALi chipset M3912 offered by TelergyHD.
There is also a shortage in supply of set-top boxes due to the same reason.
Rampant television piracy has pushed the UAE television broadcasters to resort to legal measures and authorities here have started clamping down on illegally imported set-top boxes.
The latest set-top boxes are now capable of receiving updates at a modular granularity rather than whole software images.
The Atom CE5300 media chip, announced today, will allow users to watch broadcasts, access the Internet and videoconference through smart TVs or set-top boxes, according to an Intel presentation.
The VQE approach encompasses on-path video connection admission control (CAC) employing Resource ReSerVation Protocol (RSVP) in the core and aggregation layers, and a real-time signaling mechanism operating between the provider aggregation edge and the IP Set-top boxes to address packet losses, long channel change times and quality monitoring.
We hear a lot about how much energy modern day flat screen TV sets consume, but the innocuous set-top boxes that drive them, along with their built-in digital video recorders, may be even more to blame.
3, 2011 (CENS)--Taiwan's digital TV project will trigger an estimated NT$13 billion (US$433 million at US$1: NT$30) procurements of set-top boxes when it starts next year, according to a senor government official.
Trident has integrated CRI's CryptoFirewall technology into its new TSC100 family of set-top box System on Chip (SoCs), providing a hardware foundation for conditional access and rights management systems in set-top boxes using the Trident TSC100 SoCs.