Goodbye Set Top Box, Hello Blu-Ray Player?

This is an interesting proposition that’s made even my normally stoic eyebrow arch a couple extra degrees.  See, we’ve all heard about the Roku and whatnot, along with all those other set-top boxes for streaming video out there.  And we’ve also heard about Blockbuster’s latest inroads with Samsung for getting a “Blockbuster button” added to the box.

But what we haven’t heard is how the combination of such a thing might well destroy the set top box concept for good.

I know, strange thing to suggest, but hear me out.  See, right now, most of those set-top boxes are really only good for one thing–streaming video.  And while there’s a good chance that’s where we’re going in terms of distribution for our favorite home theater products, the thing is, are people going to just buy the set top boxes, or are they going to take what may well prove to be a longer term decision and get the blu-ray player WITH the streaming capability?

Let’s face it–it’s going to be a WHILE before streaming video is ubiquitous.  We’ve got to get the country over the hump on internet speed and bandwidth issues first and foremost.  THEN we can start thinking about streaming.  Until then, blu-ray’s pretty much got the format wars all to itself, except for the late adopters that are still enjoying their DVD collections JUST fine thank you.

So will the set top boxes be able to outlast the more versatile blu-ray players?  Only time will tell.