Cable television set-top boxes are not generally among the home devices consumers are particularly proud of. In 2016, Layer3 TV, a Denver-based innovative pay-TV distributor, announced that this should change and commissioned BMW Group subsidiary Designworks to rethink what a cable TV set-top box should be and how it should function.
The new box unites excellence in engineering with a modern, modular design that fits into each room’s aesthetic. Customers are now offered the best of both: a unique, intuitive interface (which seamlessly integrates the best of cable TV, premium channels, streaming online video content, social media and smart home devices) and a whole-home gateway that upgrades any living room.
Until recently set-top boxes provided by cable companies left a lot to be desired. With a limited colour palette that has 50 shades of black or grey, an overall design scarcely related to considerations of interior decor, distracting flashing LEDs, vents that could not be covered, and an array of buttons, boxes up until today did not play an essential role in the user experience.
To solve this problem, the Designworks team took a new approach to these overlooked but ubiquitous objects. It came up with a set-top box that can harmonise with a home dweller’s sense of place, creating a device defined by clean lines and a sleek, low profile that can slot into entertainment systems, bookshelves, or reside comfortably on a coffee table.
The design team sought to eliminate many of the unnecessary features of conventional boxes, taking a “less is more” approach and rethinking them from the ground up. The result is a user-friendly design that hides in plain sight, better integrating into its environment.
The Layer3 TV box offers a simple solution and presents consumers with options for colours and materials so it can be customised. In addition, to make them more intuitive to use, all unnecessary buttons and LEDs were eliminated.
The design team also eliminated all top, side, and front-facing vents, making the product virtually immune from damage by stacking or liquid spills. Tangled cables, typical of the home entertainment experience, were also dramatically pared down for a cleaner look and feel in the home environment.
BMW Designworks once designed a pair of Puma concept shoes.