What is STB?

A set-top box, or STB, is a television decoder that consists of a TV-tuner input. It converts source signals into visual and audio content that can be viewed on screens. An STB receives digital signals from satellite, ADSL, or cable sources, and converts them into a signal that an analog TV can understand. Contemporary STBs can be connected to the internet for a wider variety of content.

STBs were initially placed on top of television sets. However, with the advent of flatscreen TVs, the name is a bit of a misnomer. Newer STBs are part of IP distribution networks, and as a result, many choose to use the word “net-top box”.

It is important to remember that the distinction between STBs and storage devices such as DVD players has blurred quite a bit, and many of these devices come with built-in interfaces. The latest STBs also feature automated firmware and security updates.