Research puts hybrid-STB shipments at 100 million in 2015

The demand for over-the-top content has stirred the hybrid set-top-box market, according to new research that says as many as 100 million of the units will ship in 2015. In-Stat said the boxes, which contain a tuner and an Internet connection, are fast growing and are emerging as a growth driver for the global set-top-box industry.

The boxes are quickly becoming commonplace, as they are beginning to appear in all service categories, as well as in new usage models and applications.

"As the STB industry continues its forward march, the next logical iteration is for the set top box to enhance and expand traditional TV-related services by permitting access to content from the Internet, or from Internet-like web services that provide a ‘walled garden' of authorized content," said research director Gerry Kaufhold. "By combining traditional TV services with ‘enhancements' that come in via broadband, content owners and service providers think they can successfully compete with all the emerging over-the-top approaches."

The 100 million figure for 2015 is nearly five times the number of hybrid boxes-some 23 million-expected to ship in North America this year, said In-Stat. As satellite operators continue to look for new ways to expand their holdings, it's not surprising that 58 percent of the shipments in 2015 will be STBs dedicated to that segment of the pay-TV industry. In-Stat said it expects the APAC region to see annual revenue from hybrid STB sales of some $1.5 billion.

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