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Digital TV / I Want My Enhanced TV / Set Top Box

The convergence of television and computers is going to take a major step with digital broadcasts. Data will be sent along with video and audio. How we'll use the data is still largely unknown, but one of the more practical options is the set-top box.

(set-top box) Its name is very descriptive. It will probably be a box that sits on top of your digital television, just like many VCRs do right now. Also, just as your VCR does, a set-top box will take input from the cable connected to your antenna or cable service, and output to your television.

The set-top box will process the data sent with the broadcast, storing some of the data and executing applications. How it will do all this is still being developed. There are a few steps in the process which still need to be defined and implemented, including the format of the data, the set-top box's operating system, and the application environment.

At this point, it looks like these set-top boxes will be based on something like Windows CE or Java. No matter which system is chosen, though, TV is becoming an interactive experience with endless possibilities.

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