TiVo offering enhanced DVR and online streaming, there has been X-Box and Roku and Apple TV. And we continue to wait for the introduction of Intel Media's new box. Now comes a box so small that it fits like a flash drive into the back of the set. Google's Chromecast may be the smallest and cheapest of the devices so far. But according to articles, it also may lack a ton of notable content and limited to the Chrome browser, another Google product. Still, the Chromecast is generating a lot of interest.
So competition is heavy for the box that consumers want to power and control their content on and off their TV screen. And yet the mighty cable set top box continues to power almost every home that seeks to have cable television service. Every channel is scrambled and access requires subscription. While some channels are offering authenticated viewing without the cable box, access to on demand still mandates that a box be used. Only recently have some cable operators enabled CableCards on TiVo premiere boxes to receive on demand programming. Most other cable operators do not.
So what is the consumer doing? Are they bypassing one box for the other or are they most likely attaching multiple boxes to their TV set. If the TiVo research study is valid, consumers are using streaming media content to augment their viewing experience from cable and not replace it. So multiple boxes may for now be the future in the home.