IPTV set-top box vs. Smart TV – The smarter choice?

IPTV box

IPTV set-top box vs. Smart TV? Once a luxury, TV sets have been a part of standard equipment in practically every hotel room for quite a while now. However, only recently has the advancing technology enabled TV sets to become more than just a costly entertainment service for the guests. As ever-increasing broadband internet connectivity is firmly making the Internet the prevailing channel of TV content delivery, TV sets now don’t offer just a whole new level of experience for the guests, but also an amazing new opportunity for the hotels to directly reach and communicate their services to their clients.

Shorter version of “SMART TV in Hospitality TV projects” Blog.

There are two ways of utilizing the enhanced capabilities of the so-called Internet Protocol television (or IPTV) in hotels. It can be done either through a separate device called IPTV set-top-box (IPTV STB) connected to the TV set, or through a so-called Smart TV, that has IPTV functionality already built-in.

iptv set-top box

Is Smart TV a better Solution (vs IPTV Set-Top Box)?

At first glance, Smart TV appears to be the better solution. It does away with the hassle of finding a place for a separate IPTV set-top box and connecting it to a TV set, therefore being easier to set up and more elegant in general. Especially so if the TV box is to be hidden behind the TV screen, which by increasing the necessary distance between the wall and the screen mitigates the aesthetic benefits of modern ever-thinner TV sets. This makes Smart TV a compelling option especially for environments that need to have several TV sets installed, such as public halls, hotels, etc.
Or Set-Top Box based IPTV Solution?
However, the need to install and maintain several TV sets is, in fact, the very case where a solution based on a dedicated IPTV set-top-box could prove to be the better choice. The main reason behind this lies in that the IPTV field is still a rapidly advancing and evolving one with a growing number of IPTV content sources. As virtually every Smart TV manufacturer tends to use its own proprietary IPTV solution that already limits the availability of IPTV content at the very start, there is a fair chance a particular Smart TV set’s built-in IPTV capabilities become completely obsolete before the end of its life cycle of eight to ten years. This brings replacement costs that can be in cases such as hotels with several TV sets installed quite substantial.

List of Pros and Cons between both solutions (IPTV Set-Top Box; Smart TV)

Set-Top Box SMART TV
Choice of TV models any TV model Limited only to SMART models
Control over OS full remote access Limited or not available
Centralized support fully supported Limited or not available
Logs and diagnostic remotely collectable Limited or not available
DRM availability popular DRM available, easy to implement new DRM Limited to SMART TV vendor’s choice
Convergence Require more cables to connect STB to TV Less cables, all-in-one device
New features any TV model Limited only to SMART models
4K support full support Limited or not available
UI performance Without noticeable delay May show delay
Ease of management Same management tools for different models Each model require different approach
Bug fixing STB firmware is constantly updated and easy to fix Proprietary software hard to fix or update
Integration with 3rd Party Solutions fully available Limited or not available

This sheet displays some pros and cons of STB and SMART TV client devices.

IPTV STBs, on the other hand, coping with the evolving IPTV field much better. Generally, they are not bound to proprietary solutions as opposed to Smart TVs and can, therefore, offer a wider range of IPTV content from the start. And if a particular TV box does become obsolete or stops working due to failure it is more convenient and much cheaper to replace just the box than replacing the entire TV set, as it would be the case with Smart TV.
Despite the advantages of Smart TVs with integrated IPTV solutions, dedicated IPTV set-top-boxes not only do a better job at providing IPTV content for the user but also offer a future-proof flexibility for a price no existing or currently planned Smart TV can match.

Interested to find more about STB and Smart TV Hospitality TV Solutions?

In order to make a proper decision which Hospitality TV Solution to choose you are invited to get in touch with Nevron IPTV consultant. Both Hospitality TV Solutions will be presented to you and pros and cons of both Solutions will be discussed more deeply in order to fully understand them. Please fill the form or write an email on nevron@nevron.eu

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