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coverstory_cover story 14/08/2015 09:24 Page 1 Homes under a cloud? Recent months and weeks have seen varying degrees of consolidation in the CPE sector, as well as traditional vendors enhancing their portfolio by acquiring 'cloud' expertise. Euromedia asked a range of industry players what role the Home Gateway and set-top box will play in managing and securing content distribution in the connected, multi-device home. uromedia: What role will STBs, Home Gateways and Smart TVs play in an increasingly cloudbased future? ABOX42: The TV will stay the major Entertainment Hub in the home. Therefore a new generation of Smart STBs from operators will provide a whole range of TV services: traditional Live TV, Catch Up TV and more and more on Demand Services. ActiveVideo: As functionality behind the user experience is virtualised in the cloud, the focus of STBs and other consumer devices will shift to next-gen codecs and advanced networking and storage functions. AirTies: The answer is not necessarily the same for all devices. We believe STBs and Smart TV will act as smart rendering engines for content mostly coming from the cloud OTT. Relying on quite standard and robust interfaces is mandatory for faster introduction of new content and innovation. Integrating the proper level of security is also a must, including in Smart TVs. The gateways may E still go in two different directions: either super media gateways with lots of power, security and control, or to quite simple devices, where a large portion of the functionality will be handled in the cloud. Which way it goes is dependent firstly on where the storage for PVR functionality sits: in the cloud or in the home, which is mostly a legal/rights issue and secondly, whether a broadcast network is being used to deliver content. Albis Technologies: With more and more FTTH roll-outs and the increasing power of CPEs, including mobile phones, more and more content can be streamed directly to end devices without the need for a gateway. Cloud-based streaming services employing OTT technology will be reachable in-home and abroad from the same source — without the need for transcoding and local streaming. When access to bandwidth is limited, in a DVB broadcast environment, or services like Network PVR are not an option, a Home Gateway can still play an important role. Alcatel-Lucent: The opportunity to harness powerful consumer-purchased equipment, such as connected TV, tablets, gaming consoles, and IP media players, is irresistible. As MSOs leverage this trend and deliver IP video services at scale, a simplification of the home environment will be required. This will include migrating the intelligence and complexity from the home infrastructure to the edge of the MSO network. To control the user experience, achieve greater efficiencies, and introduce services faster in this new home environment, MSOs are contemplating the use of virtualisation techniques for both STBs, as well as Residential Gateways (RGWs). Even though consumers are enthusiastically embracing connected devices, it will take some time before all TVs become smart. Service providers still need to find cost-effective solutions to deliver their services to regular TVs. HDMI or USB dongles can help service providers convert a basic TV into a smart TV. Amino Technologies: The STB continues to play an