If the security, DVR and decoding functions of the set-top leave the box itself and end up in software, then the capital needs of multichannel providers will go down (set-tops are a huge part of capital spending). Less capital required lowers the barriers to entry. Fewer barriers to entry means more providers -- whether over-the-top or facilities-based. All of which suggests that video margins will continue to go down for distributors.
Bye Bye Set-tops? (Home Media Magazine)