A Set-top Box (STB) also called Set-top Unit (STU) or Cable Box is an electronic device used to decode digital signals from the satellite so that it can be viewed on a traditional TV set (mostly under analogue system now).
Recently the Indian authorities have made digitization of Cable Television (CTV) mandatory under â€œThe Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2011â€ passed last year in the Lok Sobha. Initially the law has been implemented in four major metropolis of India including Mumbai and Kolkata. The TV viewers need to install a Set-top Box for each TV set to view cable television programmes.
The Set-top Box not only helps in digitization of cable television signals but also ensures better picture and sound quality. This system will ensure transparency in the entire cable television operation which includes accurate reporting of subscriber numbers and revenue.
Meanwhile as studies revealed, the Set-top Box has a drawback because it consumes more power than even a refrigerator. As such the electricity bill will increase. It requires keeping the STB switched off when not in use although during off state the STB fails to record updates.
In spite of certain limitations, set-top box is still important for digitization of cable television system. Bangladesh may consider introducing STB.