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Gaming on the Set-Top


As market competition heats up, broadband service providers are looking at ways to differentiate their services with advanced applications. Cable has made a big push with VOD, Verizon has introduced Home Media DVR and TV widgets, and AT&T talked just today about lab trials with features like TV caller ID, IPTV webcams and podcast downloads.

Originally, high-end set-tops were designed to handle advanced applications like high-def television and digital video recording (both fairly standard now), but since no operator wants a set-top that will be a doorstop within a year, Motorola’s high-end hardware was also given room to grow. As one example, higher-end processors and graphics cards initially implemented for HDTV and DVR functions can be provisioned for set-top gaming. Add in network capacity for on-demand services, and gaming could become a nice new revenue source for service providers, as well as an addictive casual pastime for consumers.

Technically speaking, one of the biggest challenges in enabling set-top gaming is the issue of latency. With a set-top you’re dealing not only with potential delays at the local box level, but also in communicating back to the network for interactive and on-demand features. Mastering latency on a cable or telecom network is a complex but certainly achievable feat. One that will likely come in handy in the not-too-distant future.

4 Responses

  1. […] Gaming on the Set-Top: Connected Home 2 Go […]

  2. If my STB can’t even manage to catch all my IR remote button presses reliably, why do I think it will be able to do real gaming?

    I assume the games we’re talking about are just simple parlor games and things like SameGame where latency won’t really be an issue. I’m not convinced my STB can even run something like Space Invaders without being incredibly frustrating…

  3. […] and how often? Is Home Media DVR (multi-room DVR) continuing to gain traction? How popular are games on the set-top? Of course it’s unlikely we’ll ever see that much detail, but as the numbers start to […]

  4. I really true! i really love your blog thanks

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