2008 Year in Review: The set-top box evolution is upon us

One of the most significant trends to come out of 2008 with a full head of steam is gradual migration away from the importance of the set-top box in advanced TV and video offerings. STBs are not going away anytime soon, but the second half of the year saw new developments in residential gateway technology, TVs with Internet interfaces and new sleeker devices pushing the STB into a new style realm where it doesn't resemble the STBs of old.

An ABI Research report that came out late in the year also suggested that STB shipments will begin to decline after peaking in 2012. Meanwhile, a growing number of OTT-driven STB-like devices like those from Vudu, Roku and others began to circumvent dedicated telco TV services by leveraging improving broadband connections. Such new devices initially found critics in the increasingly-crowded market, but toward the end of the year, the new devices were looking like a more interesting option for some telcos. A recent announcement from Vudu showed that the company is moving quickly to bring Internet video into its arsenal.

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