USB Power Delivery (for Set top Boxes) - A dream so close and yet, so far away

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Conclusion

We now have the technology in place, but it’s simply not economically feasible to have one single cable going in the STB, that unless one of two things happen:

  • A very high end market, with very high ARPU, which isn’t that concerned on the device’s TCO. In this case, the brand awarenesses and link to state of the art technologies overcomes the additional cost.
  • EU comes into play. Of the problems concerning generic 12V power supplies is that other than the actual output voltage, nothing else is standard, nor plug format, nor maximum supported power. This means that the almost universal avail 12V PSU isn’t that universal, as reusing on any other device other than the one originally shipped with will most likely not be possible. The weird thing is, this objectively violates EU device non-obsolescence by design, as it’s not obviously the case. Maybe helping this, is the fact that the EU seems to be more concerned on the power efficiency of such devices, rather than reusing, at least for the time being.

Until if and when any of those cases see the light of the day, we’ll need to way a while longer until the real technology matures, both in terms of support, ensuring that most new TV models do support it, both PD and HDMI over USB, and the cost if brought down to a level similar to that of a common 12V power supply.

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