DirecTV plans to ditch set-top boxes this Fall, begins Beta test

DirecTV plans to ditch set-top boxes this Fall, begins Beta test.

[newsimage][/newsimage]DirecTV hopes that, possibly by the end of this year, new technology will allow customers to receive all of their programming without the need for a set-top box.

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So instead of a set-top box you get a “behind set” box. Whoopee!

What DirecTV is planning here is nothing really new other than this working with its own TV service. For example, my basic free-to-air satellite receiver has built-in network streaming, so if I wanted to let’s say watch something on satellite in the patio, I just take out my laptop, click a bookmark, pick a channel and I’ve cordless satellite TV :slight_smile: OK, I don’t think it’s compatible with DLNA TVs, but for distribution to other TVs, we just use a video sender. The sender and receiver dongles are about the size of a pack of cards and thus are hidden behind the TV.

Then again, here in Ireland as well as the UK, there are a large range of decent channels free-to-air on satellite, unlike the US where one needs to pay for a satellite or cable service for even the basic commercial TV channels. So unfortunately for the consumer there they have to rely on the TV provider to offer this facility rather than letting the consumer use freely available third party tools to stream satellite programming to networked TVs, laptops and other devices.

In a couple of years, I’ll not be surprised if satellite and cable TV becomes obsolete apart from to customers in very remote regions without Internet access. At the moment, there are a wide range of IPTV services and most of the TV channels have their last week’s programming on-demand as well as the live channel itself for free (e.g. Magnet TV for RTE channels in Ireland, CatchUpTV for the Freeview channels in UK, etc.) OK, the live services only stream standard definition, but give it a few years and getting satellite TV would be like a digital TV converter box for your TV.

The cable companies already have streaming services operational. DirecTv is just following the trend to keep customers happy. I doubt DirecTV will forego their renewable security set-tops and take their chances streaming EVERY CHANNEL over the internet.