Home Media Magazine has an article reporting that set-top boxes will be gone within five years, which comes according to a panelist at the 2011 Digital Hollywood conference.
"What I think is the set-top as we know it, in my opinion, is going to disappear," said Jan Steenkamp, the VP of Americas and a founding member of Irdeto, a software security and media company. "The set-top box will become software. The biggest cost to do business is set-top boxes."
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According to research performed by Parks Associates, almost 75 million households in the United States will have a connected TV by 2015. These connected televisions will supply content, games, and all the other services offered by set-tops, making them obsolete.
Kurt Hoppe, the director of smart innovations and alliances at LG Electronics, mentioned that "economically, cloud-based [content], long-term, is an attractive solution." He went on to suggest a stepping stone to counter Steenkamp, predicting that a hybrid set-top with cloud based content would be where the future in home theater is.
It will be interesting to see what direction the industry takes, but there is no doubt that it will be changing.