The naked TV: Devices like WiDi put set-top boxes on endangered species list

The proliferation of Internet-connected devices streaming content directly to the television may mean the sun is setting on the set-top box era, a new analysis from GLG Research says, with technologies like WiDi (wireless display, a concept pushed by Intel) giving consumers an anywhere-any device option for their viewing experience.

Add WiDi to other home gateway options like wireless USB, Apple's Airplay, Point-to-Point Ethernet, and wireless HDMI, and getting content to the viewer becomes even easier.

Consumers have access to an ever-increasing array of video equipment--such as Roku, Vudu, Boxee, Blu-Ray players, game consoles and mobile devices--and several online sources from which they can access content, including streaming juggernaut Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV and Google TV, the analysis says.

Describing set-top boxes as a "bottleneck between consumers and content," the report claims that new alternatives will break the "stranglehold" on such content.

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