ARRIS has unveiled a range of Android TV-powered set-tops for cable operators, telcos, and satellite operators, offering things like modular architecture so they can be adjusted to fit the specific needs of each operator. While ARRIS doesn’t mention any partners, set-top boxes built for operators and with Android TV inside could mean that cable companies will one day offer these instead of traditional cable boxes. The units are equipped with things you’d find in a regular set-top cable box, like DVR capabilities and DRM security solutions, but also come with Wi-Fi to allow for easy connection to the internet.
The set-top boxes are UHD(4K) and HDR compatible, which means consumers who receive these from their service provider and have compatible 4K HDR TVs will be able to enjoy any 4K and HDR content accessed through the box, not unlike other Android TV solutions that support 4K, such as the NVIDIA SHIELD. Since these will come with Android TV that also means the units will have access to the Play Store and the wealth of available apps that are within it, like YouTube, Play Movies, Play Music and more. ARRIS also mentions operators will be able to benefit from the open platform of Android TV, meaning they can deliver a made-to-order experience for the consumer and design the user experience to fit their branding and style which meets their own specific needs. It also means that set-top boxes will come with Chromecast built-in, thus offering another way for users to access or stream content if they didn’t already have this solution before with any other devices.
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Although Android TV will be built into these units consumers shouldn’t expect them to have the very latest in specs, but they do come with a fair amount of RAM and storage as they’re listed on ARRIS’s website coming with 2GB of RAM and 8GB of eMMC flash storage internally, which will certainly be needed for the running and installation of apps. Since these aren’t directly consumer-facing there’s no detail on when these will hit the market, but ARRIS is showing them off at IBC 2017, so anyone attending can still take a look at them up close and personal.