Verizon FIOS Looks to Kill the Cable Box

Sections: HTPC, Streaming, TVs, Video servers

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Anyone who has a digital cable service has to deal with the eyesore of a gigantic, VCR-sized box in every room room, and these boxes can draw a lot of power with their built-in DVRs and heavy lifting processing.  Verizon FIOS is looking to become an even more “digital” service, by installing a central media server in your home that then feeds a bunch of bunch of small client hubs around the house, essentially turning your cable system into an extension of your home network. Of course, the real idea is to eliminate these boxes all-together, with customers using apps on smart TVs, tablets Blu-ray players, game consoles, and other devices they own to receive and process the signals.

It’s totally understandable why Verizon would want to get out of the box business: these devices are really expensive, even in the wholesale market, and represent a considerable investment in a customer. By passing that buck onto you (and preferably a device you already own), not only would they deliver the flexibility people want with this new more centralized solution, but it would give them the ability to expand easily to new devices by just updating their apps. Hypothetically, even the server could be eliminated for HTPC owners, reducing the device needed for reception to a USB dongle that contains the decryption keys.  At one time, small hardware solutions like CableCARD were thought to be the future — who ever thought you might someday roll your own cable box?

Via: [Verizon YouTube Channel]

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