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January 11, 2011

Bob Muglia to leave Microsoft

by Darren Allan
Bob Muglia, the President of Microsoft's Server & Tools Business (STB) department is to leave the company this year. This fact emerged in an email from CEO Steve Ballmer, who had apparently decided that the time was right for change in the STB division. Microsoft published Ballmer's email on its News Centre site, and in it the CEO wrote: “The ...

December 1, 2010

Virgin Media officially unveils TiVo STB

by Darren Allan
Virgin Media has officially launched what the company is calling the UK's first next-gen entertainment platform. The TiVo powered set-top box boasts a “game-changing” interface (which we saw leaked screenshots of yesterday), and it brings a new “world of apps” to the living room. Virgin says that the easy to use interface combines the live TV schedule with a catch-up ...

November 30, 2010

First grabs of Virgin Media’s TiVo service spotted

by Darren Allan
The first screenshots of the interface for Virgin Media's upcoming TiVo powered Connected TV service are floating around the net. You can take a gander at them courtesy of Pocket Lint, with the site claiming that the service will be launched before the end of the year. The TiVo powered HD/3D set-top box is going to offer a mammoth ...

July 12, 2010

RNIB works on talking STB

by David Allen
It is estimated that every day around a hundred people in the UK alone begin to notice a loss in sight and as the average age increases this is only going to get worse. However, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) are working with Bristol based software developer Ocean Blue, to build an electronic programme guide (EPG) ...

July 1, 2010

Mirifice tests Telenor STB equipment

by David Allen
The UK-based Mirifice has been selected by the Norwegian pay TV provider Telenor, to provide its MiriATE automated testing system to check its set top boxes. The pay TV provider will be using the MiriATE system to test its equipment before it is sent out to subscribers. This will ensure that the equipment is in top working order before ...

June 8, 2010

Logitech to use Harmony Link remote

by David Allen
Along with the announcement of Google TV, there have been some sideline announcements related to Google’s attempt to take over the TV in the home. One announcement comes from Logitech which has been charged with producing a remote to control Google TV and has now revealed the Harmony Link. This system is said to be able to use just one ...

Android to run Bonux STB

by David Allen
The Google operating system Android is popping up in all sorts of places including smartphones, tablets and even set top boxes, like the Bonux digital television set top box. What this means for the user is that what they see on the screen of their television will be run by Google Android, which has the appearance of an older ...

May 19, 2010

Humax releases Freeview HD STB

by David Allen
Humax impressed the market when it launched the HD FOX T2 Freeview set top box a few months ago, but with this launch came the promise of something better and now Humax has added the HDR FOX T2 Freeview HD recorder to its range of set top boxes. While the features are what are to be expected from a ...

Liberty Global plans super set top box

by David Allen
The Europe based cable provider Liberty Global is planning to roll out a super, all-IP set top box that is quite capable of handling video, voice and even data content and then displaying it at multiple points throughout the home. Liberty Global will be commissioning Samsung to build the unit, which is going to be powered by an Intel ...

May 11, 2010

Studios could disable STB ports

by David Allen
It seems that over in the USA a ruling by The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) means that the big film studios could have the power to switch off some of the features of consumers' set top boxes. The FCC ruling means that satellite and cable companies will be able to turn off output ports remotely, should they be suspected ...

April 14, 2010

Mediaroom ups the Pace for STB’s

by David Allen
A set top box developed by the UK based Pace has passed the tests put in place by the S3 Group, after being selected by Microsoft to ensure that the set top boxes using the Mediaroom platform are to the right standards. Pace is now the second largest set top box maker in the world, selling over seventeen million ...

April 12, 2010

STBs to get Silverlight

by David Allen
Microsoft has been trying to get its Flash rival Silverlight into the media, but a move to get the product into set-top-boxes could mean that Microsoft will be entering into the world of media sooner than expected. Silverlight can run on low power processors. These could be like the ones used in set-top-boxes to provider content with digital rights management ...

March 31, 2010

STB sales continue to rise

by David Allen
Over a hundred million satellite set top boxes were sold during 2009, which is around fifty per cent of all set top boxes sold during the year, according to data released by In Sat. Unsurprisingly it was the sale of high definition set top boxes that showed the highest increase in sales, with a massive sixty eighty per cent ...

March 30, 2010

Freeview on 3View launched

by David Allen
The electronics firm 3View has announced that its new hybrid set top box will be available for pre-order on the 7th April. The price of the new equipment will be £299. The 3View set top box is being marketed as the first piece of equipment in the UK to offer access to the free to view digital TV service ...

March 29, 2010

Freesat STB offers wireless iPlayer

by David Allen
The BBC iPlayer on Freesat is not the latest news, but what is new is the addition of the BBC iPlayer into the Technisat HDFS set top box. What makes this deal so interesting is that this equipment is wireless. For the first time with the free-to-view satellite digital TV service from Freesat, the BBC iPlayer will be accessed ...

Details of Google’s STB emerge

by David Allen
When it was announced that search engine giant Google was in talks with Intel and Sony to create a line of chips that will run perfectly with the Android Operating System, the story was immediately compared with similar news that a set-top-box is being created to bring Android to a wider customer base, especially people with older style ...

March 25, 2010

Freeview STB from Sagem released

by David Allen
The electronics firm Sagem has launched two Freeview HD personal video recorders (PVRs), the RT190 320 T2 HD and the RT190 500 T2 HD. Both models will offer the user twin digital TV tuners as well as all of the normal PVR features such as the eight day electronic programme guide, easy recording, series link, HDMI, Ethernet and USB ...

New HD STB for games from Pace

by David Allen
UK-based Pace is well known for producing set top boxes for satellite and digital TV services, but recently the company has been diversifying and has come up with an HD set-top-box that will make PC games available on the consumer's own TV. This equipment has been built under the umbrella of the European Union’s own games@large project. The system will ...

March 2, 2010

Second place for STB maker Pace

by David Allen
The Saltaire-based set top box manufacturer, Pace, is now the second largest supplier of satellite and cable television equipment in the world. According to research carried out by the Screen Digest, Pace has moved in front of Technicolor (formerly known as Thompson) and just behind the largest global supplier of set top boxes, Motorola. These figures come out just in ...

February 8, 2010

STB shipments to rise until 2014

by David Allen
The sale of set top boxes in the Asian market is expected to continue to rise over the next the few years until 2014. According to information released by ABI Research, it is estimated that sales could be approaching 111 million in 2014, taking year-on-year sales increase of twelve per cent into consideration. So far it is China that is ...

January 22, 2010

ANT Galio picked by CreNova

by David Allen
The UK-based ANT Galio platform has been chosen by the Germany-based set top box manufacturer CreNova Technology to make its latest range of set top boxes, which have been designed to bring the equipment up to European standards. The latest version of set top box technology will involve the Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV standard, which is also known as ...

January 7, 2010

Sale of STBs slows

by David Allen
It seems that the set top box market is slowing, following a good period of growth that was sustained even throughout the financial downturn. Following a study carried out by Infonetics Research, three reports have been produced covering the digital TV market. The global set top box market has dropped by six per cent over the last quarter. The market ...

December 10, 2009

Humax intros UK’s first Freeview HD STB

by David Allen
The set top box maker, Humax, has unveiled its new Freeview HD T2. This is being marketed as the first Freeview HD set top box available in the UK, and should be available in the stores sometime during the early part of next year. The race is on between Humax and Toshiba to bring out the first Freeview HD ...

December 9, 2009

PlayCast could deliver games to STBs

by David Allen
Most users of the Sky+ and Virgin Media set-top-boxes will have played on the short games that are provided, but because they are short versions, once played they are then forgotten. However a new service provided through PlayCast will now allow viewers to stream full length games and play them live through an on-demand service. This means that games producers ...

November 19, 2009

TVonics upscales Freeview box

by David Allen
With plenty of Freeview set top boxes on the market, consumers can easily get confused over which ones offer the best services to suit their personal requirements. If the consumer is looking for a Freeview+ with HD, then there is a new set top box on the market from TVonics, the DTR-HV250. This will be the first set top box ...

STB measurement essential

by David Allen
In the US, the coalition for innovative media measurement (CIMM) has made a change to its request for information on set top box measurement. It seems that the data collected from a set top box can be very valuable to the market and in particular to advertisers, as this data will show the viewing habits of each user. ...

November 16, 2009

Mirifice signs Russian STB deal

by David Allen
The UK based set top box testing equipment maker, Mirifice, has been selected by the Russian broadcast and telecom firm Comstar UTS to provide its equipment for future set top boxes. The system that Mirifice produce is called MiriATE, which is an automated system that will test the equipment as it delivers video, regional and optical recognition. The automating of ...

September 25, 2009

Set top boxes get user profiles

by David Allen
New ideas for set top boxes and other equipment are being developed in different regions of the world, but it is only when these ideas are highlighted that STB makers take them up and integrate them into the equipment used in this country. One such development being worked on in the US is audience measurement. This technology, which is being ...

September 16, 2009

New Thompson STB at the IBC

by David Allen
The France-based set top box manufacturer, Thompson, has been displaying two new pieces of equipment at the IBC event. What makes these set top boxes interesting is their ability to allow broadcasters to offer 100 Mbps broadband through the Multimedia over Co-ax Alliance (MoCA) standard, which would also allow content sharing and home networking. The DCI708 can offer both standard ...

July 14, 2008

Operators Support Two Opposing Technologies

by Alan Harten
Having to face up to ever increasing and varied competition in the cable market itself, as well as newcomers such as Telco’s all fighting for TV viewers, the traditionally set-in-their-ways and unwilling to change cable operators are becoming increasingly uncomfortable. According to researcher IMS, set-top boxes (STBs) will reach 90.3m unit shipments worldwide in 2009, up from approximately 50.8m units shipped ...

April 24, 2008

Pirelli’s IPTV set-top box powered by Sigma media processors

by Lin Freestone
Pirelli Broadband Solutions is using Sigma Design’s SMP8634 media processor to power its line of IPTV set-top boxes, which are currently being adopted by two major European operators. Pirelli considers that, by using Sigma’s line of media processors, its set-top boxes are able to offer rich features, an outstanding viewing experience, and a cost-effective system design. Advanced SoC platforms allow Pirelli to ...

April 11, 2008

Amino remains leader of IPTV STB market

by Janet Harris
Cambridge-based Amino Communications has been ranked the world leading vendor of pure IPTV set-top boxes (STBs) for the third year running. The accolade came from ABI Research in its ‘Pure IPTV’ report, which differentiates between ‘Pure IPTV’ and ‘Hybrid IPTV’ services. Hybrid IPTV services are generally traditional terrestrial, satellite or cable TV service which use IP to provide interactive features and video-on-demand. In ...