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coverstory_cover story 14/08/2015 09:24 Page 2 amount of content will grow, but the end user will prefer a convenient and lean back user experience on the big screen, and this will be an important role of the STB. In addition, as the services are becoming more advanced with network PVR and new cloud services available, the STB will become even more advanced. EKT: At the end of the day, the consumer wants to experience the content on a display. The cloud-based future will mean a lot for content delivery and the availability of personalised content that is viewed when the user wants. In the user’s premises the TV will remain the main display simply due to its size and a STB of some sort will remain the key component to delivering the user experience as the Operators wants it to be. Entone: As more and more content shifts to the cloud, we expect that STBs and home gateways will shift roles from content rendering to ensuring a consistent consumer experience, and maintaining a required level of service quality throughout the home. Freesat: There is a battle brewing in the connected home. The outcome being the home ecosystems will be defined by either service providers or the big Silicon Valley tech firms, or it being a truly open environment. Whoever wins, the result will be a home full of devices that all have a job to do, but when connected together, create a truly connected home experience. STBs, routers and smart TV’s will continue to play their specific roles, but how they connect will be key to delivering a quality service to the viewer. Irdeto: As the media industry moves further towards embracing cloud-based infrastructures, it is clear to see that the role of STBs, Home Gateways and Smart TVs are continually evolving. Cloud-based frameworks serve to provide the consumer easy access to premium content and more services on connected devices as well as reducing set-top box investment for operators to better compete with pure OTT providers. While we still expect set-top boxes or home gateways to play an important role in coming years, we see operators also interested in moving away from set-top boxes in broadcast environments to gain cost and usability advantages. NAGRA: Over the last 15 years, the STB/CPE industry has been declared ‘dead’ or ‘dying’ more often than not yet it has remained fairly robust. While there will be change as some services are moved to the cloud, not all payTV service operators are all built equal or can offer the same line-up of services. For example, there are still analogue deployments in Europe, so it will be a very long time before we see any impact due to the deployment of the notorious thin-client. In the very 16 EUROMEDIA fragmented Digital TV world, we will still require a termination device in the home be it a STB, gateway, or perhaps as some people believe the Smart TV (with no need for a STB). Netgem: Our view has always been and remains that the STB is a ‘mean to an end’ and the end-goal is to provide the relevant content with the best possible experience. When it comes to STBs today, it is very clear that the situation depends on the market conditions in terms of Network capabilities and Content rights environment. Regardless of which STB (light or sophisticated), our view is that the user experience has will increasingly depend on the quality of the Cloud-based solution to support multi-screen capabilities – such as what we are offering with EE TV in the UK. Red Bee Media: As consumer bandwidth to the home increases, the advantages of leveraging the cloud for PVR and related functions that have historically lived within the STB becomes very compelling - both for the consumer and the pay-TV operator. The dramatic rise in multi–screen viewing in recent years, combined with time shifting behaviour, also makes the centralisation of recordings and user preferences more compelling. The STB and smart TV will increasingly run thin client, web centric, software stacks and the hardware will focus on high quality/performance rendering of media and the UI. The home gateway’s optimal role in a media context is that of the intelligent content router rather than content hub. Roku: We believe that streaming players, settop boxes and Smart TVs play a major role today and in the future. When these devices are connected, rich with content and easy to use they can help consumers to get a