Annual set-top shipments worldwide will exceed 200 million units by 2013, as consumers seek more interactive and personalized television services, a market research firm predicts.
As a result of the increasing demand, service providers will overhaul their current base with next-generation models to try to grab a competitive advantage, Parks Associates said in its latest market outlook released Thursday. The new set-tops are expected to support applications such as time- and place-shifting and Internet-based services
A Parks survey of U.S. broadband households found a third "very interested in a set-top box that connects to their PC and Internet service as well as their TV," Parks analyst Jayant Dasari said in a statement. The same survey also found that less than one in 10 consumers were willing to pay an additional $6 or $3 a month for connecting devices other than the TV to the set-top.
"While less than 10% are willing to pay a monthly fee, demand is still on an upward trend, especially as the set-top connects to more and more services," Dasari said.
Parks believes the growing demand is especially good news for cable and telco/IPTV operators leveraging the set-top platform to support multi-play strategies, such as offering service bundles that include broadband, telephone and TV services.
In leveraging the set-top to a variety of sources, the competitive battle among service providers is expected to expand to the entire digital home, affecting every service sector from energy management and security to voice and video, Parks said.
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