When your mission is to change a broken industry, you leave no stone un-turned. That includes changing the boring old design of the Set-Top Box into something cool enough that design blogs are writing about.
By Josh Rubin
Layer3 TV Launches Cablebox Designed by BMW Designworks.
The first new cable company in over a decade puts user experience first.
Layer3 TV is a new US cable company with service available in Chicago, Washington D.C. and Longmont, CO with Los Angeles coming online soon. Shown here is an exclusive look at their new set-top box designed by BMW Group subsidiary Designworks. "We believe design should be at the center of everything we do and it starts with the box," CEO Jeff Binder tells us about the collaboration. "We had the luxury of designing this box from scratch and don’t have any legacy," he continues. Lacking legacy is a bigger theme of why Layer3 see opportunity for a new cable company.
There's clearly room to reinvent a business model when starting from scratch, but why create a new cable company when so many consumers are looking to internet-based solutions like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu for TV content? "Who says it’s the age of cord cutting? There has been a lot of talk about it but really the numbers don’t show cord cutting," Binder points out. And if design experience is at the center of their proposition it does make sense given the higher reliability of cable and significantly higher volume of content programming.
The Layer3 Gateway box is available in a range of colors to fit in with the customer's home decor and includes both WiFi and DVR services, as is standard for most boxes these days. It features a full color screen that displays relevant information, including the show you're watching—not just the channel. And customers only need one main box because adding additional rooms to the system is handled through smaller satellite boxes that connect wirelessly to the hub. Not only is Layer3's set-top box thoughtfully designed, so is the system's user interface. Unlike most legacy systems which have low res, minimally responsive graphics, Layer3's UI is full color, high resolution and promises to be fast and easy to navigate. Keep an eye on Layer3 TV for news about availability in more markets