New STBs looking for hiding places

News from earlier this week heightened the industry-wide sense that the set-top box market is in flux: ABI Research predicted the STB market will drop off after peaking in 2012, and Amino announced it will buy Tilgin's IPTV STB division, reflecting a trend toward consolidation in the sector.

Not to be missed amid that news, however, was a report from Light Reading's Cable Digital News about a new "set-back" device from Advanced Digital Broadcast. "Set-back" is another one of those unfortunate-sounding descriptions that is nevertheless completely accurate. ADB's 4820C is designed to be mounted on the back of a flat panel TV, and it looks like the latest trend in STB designs could be sleek boxes that are meant to be stored out of the way, so as not to detract from the decor of the modern iPhone/iMac-inspired minimalist vibe of some households (shabby chic they are not). Amino and Thomson, among others, have nodded to this trend, and even encoding/transcoding firm Digital Rapids displayed a cool TouchStream streaming device at TelcoTV 2008 last week.

Oh, and the ADB device actually does things, too. It was the first Tru2way-certified STB, and it supports interactive programming and video-on-demand via a CableCARD slot and a DOCSIS return path, along with Tru2way's OpenCable Application Platform middleware stack.

For more:
- Cable Digital News has this story (and be sure to read comments post by Craig Matsumoto and Jeff Baumgartner)

Related article
SureWest Communications picked ADB STBs earlier this year