Hybrid STBs take off

An IMS Research study has revealed that nearly 13 per cent of total worldwide IP set-top box shipments in 2008 were operator deployed IP+DTT STBs. Of the 1.6 million IP+DTT STBs deployed, 87 per cent of shipments went to Western European TV households.

The study says "Uptake of operator deployed IP+DTT STBs has been popular in both the UK and France, but it is anticipated that Italy, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands will also see an increase through 2014. As a global projection, IMS Research expects 25 per cent of IP shipments to be IP+DTT STBs. In Eastern Europe, Poland and the Czech Republic will comprise 54 per cent of Eastern Europe's IP+DTT shipments in 2014."

"Not only will IP+DTT STBs experience a surge from operators, but in the retail market as well. Fetch TV and Video Futur are just two examples of operator-free TV service business models available to Western Europe households. The boxes supply a la carte VOD offerings in tandem with free-to-air (FTA) DTT channels. The STBs are as compelling as traditional pay-TV operator STBs by offering DVR functionality, VOD and digital multichannel TV capabilities. The only drawback is the fact that sports programming and popular specialty channels remain absent from the content offerings."

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