The average consumer has benefited from the incredible pace of innovation over the last decade. In the consumer electronics space, the past ten years have given us the smartphone, the smartwatch, and even the smarthome. Heck, for a little over $1000, you can purchase your own portable pilotless drone that can film you doing all those things that get you “stoked.” Oh, and that drone is compatible with a $400 off-the-shelf camera that weighs a little more than one pound that takes professional quality 4K video. Business models are evolving too, as reflected by how viewers now consume content. Not only have the amount of over-the-top (OTT) video offerings available exploded, but companies like Netflix and Amazon are producing their own original programming; and winning awards for it too.
Unfortunately for consumers, one market that has been relatively immune to the innovation bug is the set-top box (STB) space. Why is it that in the age of self-driving cars and 3D printers that consumers still have basically the same video navigational device they had in their homes a decade ago? If preteens can print their own prosthetic limbs with hardware purchased at the local computer store, why can’t we easily purchase and activate a device that seamlessly integrates our cable and OTT video content in a user-friendly interface?