Carriers identify critical IP STB features

Market research firm Infonetics Research has released excerpts from its STB Features and Vendor Leadership: Global Service Provider Survey, which captures service providers‚ requirements for IP-based STBs to deliver video services.

“Although low-cost set-top boxes designed to deliver basic video services over broadband infrastructure were the hallmark of IPTV services, strong competition and the need to increase ARPU have led to significant changes in STB design over the years. The STB remains the most visible point of interaction between subscribers and IPTV providers and is a key component to an operator‚s success. In our recent STB survey, service providers rated STB features most important to them, which include support for HDMI inputs for 1080p picture quality, integrated hard drive for PVR support, USB inputs for external memory, the use of SoCs (system-on-a-chip) in the design, and environmentally friendly features,” notes Teresa Mastrangelo, directing analyst for video at Infonetics Research.

Highlights of the report include:

– Although we often hear about video conferencing as an application for IPTV services, it is not rated highly by many respondents
– Ethernet is the preferred technology for delivering video to multiple devices in the home
– In an open-ended question asking carriers which vendors they consider to be the top three IP STB manufacturers, Motorola finished at the top of the list, followed by Cisco
– Amino is the most installed IP STB vendor, illustrating its long history as an IP-STB vendor, particularly among operators that were early pioneers in IPTV

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