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By Kristen Dyak
We’re all pretty sure the Internet is here to stay, but what about cable television? Most of us saw the switch from analog to digital TV a couple of years ago. But unlike the converter box switch in 2009, the Internet Set-Top Box converts your TV into a viewing tool for streaming multimedia from the Internet. With Internet Set-Top Box technology like Boxee, Roku, Google TV, and Apple TV, is cable television doomed to be faded out?
The best way to look at this is to check with the major players and see if they are playing into the Internet TV switch. For instance, in February 2011 Netflix announced that it would soon be including CBS shows for their customers. Amazon also jumped in offering an Instant Streaming of Movies and TV shows for Roku. As more broadcast companies and websites offer Boxee and Roku compatible streaming, the more the customer demands will increase. But will Set-Top Boxes ever gain enough popularity to push cable television off the market?
As this technology advances and becomes more popular, the need for developers to conform to the application’s API will increase. For instance, Boxee uses different programming languages in which Python is one of the main used. In order for a company to use Boxee so that their viewers can stream their videos, they would have to hire someone with Python skills who can work with Boxee API to get the job done correctly.
With companies and tech developers moving in the direction of Internet TV, it won’t be too long until the American public gets wind and starts buying Internet-TV converters to replace their current cable solutions. Roku had started selling in retail stores to increase their sales, which in 2010 amounted to 1 Million units.
So is an Internet Set-Top Box right for you? That depends on what your current use of TV and Internet is. If you’re a movie-lover who spends more time on the computer than in front of the TV, then I would suggest an Internet Set-Top Box. But if you’re someone who likes their local cable channels and doesn’t really spend as much time online, then I would suggest sticking with your cable service. Either way Internet Set-Top Boxes will do for TVs and Movies what MP3 players did for music, completely replacing modern day cable television.
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