Set-top or modem? How about both, suggests In-Stat Research

The question of whether cable operators favor digital set-top boxes or cable modems came up at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in New Orleans where operator executives were typically vague.

"We're at a point in transition," said John Chapman, Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) fellow and CTO of the Access and Transport Technology Group, speaking at the opening day Technology Leadership session. "We're going to need the set-top box to reach the beachhead devices" like TVs.

On the other hand, the latest statistics from In-Stat Research indicate that the industry is not sitting by idly on its set-tops while over-the-top providers use cable broadband to compete in the video space and that the percentage of cable set top boxes with integrated modems will double from 2009 to 2014.

Combining the two just makes sense, said report author and principal analyst Mike Paxton, noting that "the cable modem is the perfect conduit of IPTV to the cable TV household. In fact, cable modems are already performing this task in millions of households, just not through the digital set top box to the TV set. Instead, this IP video is commonly being displayed on the PC."

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