Although STBs definitely have a future, the importance of virtual ones should not be overstated, according to Matthias Greve, ABOX42 founder and CEO.

In a wide-ranging Q&A published by the Karlsruhe-based company, he also spoke positively about Smart STBs, which are now already a reality in the market.

In Greve’s view, smart TVs offer a range of OTT applications but will not replace the main STB device in end-users homes as they provide a unified and rich TV experience on the first and second screen.

Meanwhile, virtual STBs should be treated in the same way as operators would an app on iPad, Xbox or PlayStation. “It is is an add-on but not the core of the operator’s TV solution”.

Asked about what is the major shift in the STB market, Greve said it was one of moving from “old integrated, proprietary STB products to modern Smart STB platforms where the focus has moved to the software layer”.

Greve also said that there are a number of factors that distinguish Smart STB from preceding models.

They can handle many different standards side-by-side, are HTML5 browser based and much easier for development.

ABOX42 is a leading provider of hybrid, IPTV and OTT DVB Smart STBs and has developed a new generation of Smart STBs for the global market.