Another Day, Another Set-Top

building-b.jpgA 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.

2 thoughts on “Another Day, Another Set-Top”

  1. example:
    Drobo Whole House Hub
    – interchangeable storage
    – “thin” clients at each tv
    – DVR, adjustable storage
    – able to rip DVD to drives, playback to any or all clients
    – interchangeable cards to allow multi cable, satellite or ota tuning
    (you could have 2 DirecTV, 1 Time-Warner and 1 OTA)
    – multiswitch for sharing sources
    – optional CCTV card available
    – fully user upgradeable, future-proof scaleable via new cards & drives
    – obviously NAS compatible, able to stream from networked systems, usb-attached drives, youtube, etc.
    – priced at $999 entry, $1499 ultimate

  2. I believe this is the true “God box”:

    Media & Entertainment
    • 3D alpha-blended GUI optimized for displaying on a TV and using a remote control
    • Media browser presenting all content on all devices in the home on a 3D rotating cube
    • Plug-and-play detection and aggregation of network storage and DMA’s
    • Built-in NAS providing centralized backup and whole-house media server
    • “Follow Me” Media, each family member’s media follows him/her through the house
    • Automatically controls all existing av devices, like TV’s, Stereo’s, etc.)
    • Many control options: mobile phone, webpad, pda, phone

    Smart Home
    • Home Automation: Control lighting, climate, security, camera surveillance, and more
    • Communication: Phone system with auto-attendant, voice mail, call forwarding/routing for VOIP and POTS lines
    • Security: Uses your existing home alarm, surveillance cameras, lights, phones and tv’s to notify you on your mobile phone of any security alerts with the option of reseting the alarm or broadcasting your voice in the house over the tv’s

    …and its free, zero cost, nada.

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