ABI: Cable ops increasingly more ‘bipolar’ regarding STBs

Thu, 07/10/2008 - 8:10am
Traci Patterson

Due to increased competition in the cable and telco markets, cable operators are becoming more “bipolar” when it comes to set-top boxes (STBs), according to ABI Research.

Not only are operators supporting a roadmap that may require the deployment of new set-top boxes with more advanced features and functions (such as tru2way), but they are also aiming to drive the STB to extinction, ABI said.

Meanwhile, STB vendors are now offering new features to entice the operators that have traditionally been unwilling to shop around much for new STB technologies.

“Because some operators are facing stiffer competition, they are now willing to experiment a little more, venturing into offerings such as electronic program guides, wireless support, home networking support for MOCA or HomePlug, and expanded hard drives – all at increasingly affordable prices,” said Paulhwa Lee, an ABI Research analyst.

ABI also sees a growing trend toward partnerships and consolidation in the STB market. Examples used by ABI include: STB giant Motorola has acquired a Chinese STB vendor, Dahua Digital; decoder manufacturer Broadcom has partnered with Chinese STB vendor Coship; and decoder manufacturer NXP has acquired Conexant’s STB operations.

ABI Research has released updated Set-top Box Market Forecasts for the IPTV, satellite, cable and digital terrestrial TV markets.

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