Chapter Nine. Compressing for Set-Top Boxes

By now your head must be spinning with all the possible avenues for compressing and distributing video. I know how you feel. All that tweaking to get the image just right makes you think back to those old days of rabbit ears and tuning in UHF. Fortunately, most of us have put that stuff behind us when it comes to TV tuning, thanks to the ubiquity of cable, satellite, and digital TV. One video delivery device that has become nearly as common in homes, though probably not thought about a lot, is the set-top box.

A set-top box (STB) is a device that connects to a TV and an external source of signal, turning the signal into content that is then displayed on the TV. Before cable-ready TV sets, most of the ...

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