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Charles Cheevers, CTO of ARRIS’s CPE unit, has suggested that future network constraints and content consumption requirements may see an increase in the number of set-top boxes in a household, a viewpoint that challenges the widely-held belief that the growing ubiquity of cloud-based functionality will lead to the disappearance of the STB.
According to Cheevers, although service providers are increasingly offering gigabit services, the advent of services such as Virtual Reality and the spread of 4K Ultra HD content will mean that to ensure quality and distribution around the house to a range of family members across a range of enabled devices, more than one STB may be necessary.
He feels that the form factor and location will not necessarily reflect current locations, with the ceiling potentially housing more discrete devices connected wirelessly to wallpaper-thin display panels.
ARRIS completed the $2.1 billion (€1.94bn) acquisition of UK STB and home gateway specialist Pace in January 2016, in a move designed to combine the two companies’ strengths in entertainment and communications delivery, broadening ARRIS’s worldwide CPE leadership with a competitive stake in satellite communications.