100 million hybrid set-top boxes by 2015, says analyst
Several television manufacturers plan to sate consumers’ Internet addiction with dedicated web-ready Smart TVs over the next few years. Analysts at In-Stat, however, believe web-connected hybrid set-top boxes that deliver both traditional broadcasting and online videos will provide an intriguing and less expensive alternative.
The research group said global shipments of Internet-connected TV tuners will reach 100 million in 2015, with more than 23 million of the hybrid devices hitting North America alone this year.
“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 Gerry Kaufhold, In-Stat research director. “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.”
In-Stat also predicted that satellite-based models will hold nearly 60 percent of the hybrid STB market by the end of 2013.
Companies including Western Digital and Roku have released connected streaming media players to compliment broadcast-restricted set-top boxes. Apple’s own connected media player, Apple TV, has garnered the lion’s share of that market. The Cupertino company sold 4 million units of the device in 2011.
Already on-board with Hybrid STBs, or is your TV still just a TV? Let us know in the comment section.
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