A new set-top maker has entered the fray to the tune of $17.5 million in capital investments. The company, Building-B, says it will have a product in retail this fall that will combine broadcast TV with VOD and Web video. Sounds great. But haven’t we heard that somewhere before?
There’s a reason no one else has come out with a successful “God box” yet. It’s damn hard to make. Plus, the big guys – primarily Cisco and Motorola (my employer) – have proven that profit is more easily made elsewhere. In set-tops that do less, but for a lot less money.
At least in today’s environment, it’s hard not to be skeptical of Building-B’s chances for success. I predict we’ll see several more companies try to make a God box work (including Digeo this year), but it will be a couple of years yet (if not four or five years) before someone really makes a go of it.