Cable video gateways will grow from less than 700 thousand units in 2010 to over 10 million in 2016, according to ABI Research. Cable operators in North America and Europe are looking at advanced gateway products from vendors including Pace, Samsung, and Technicolor to deliver advanced services and content to every device in the home, including TVs, media tablets, and smartphones. Meanwhile, operators in Asia are looking at the gateway as a low-cost way to get triple play to new audiences.
“Cable gateway boxes can be more cost-effective, especially in homes with three or more TV screens, compared to traditional set-top box architectures,” explains Jason Blackwell, practice director, digital home. Cable gateways, used in conjunction with IP-only thin-client set-top boxes, give operators the ability to centralise costly cable tuners, hard drives used to offer DVR functions, and network processors at one location in the home. In addition, these centralised architectures help to provide operators with a migration strategy from traditional QAM broadcasting to IP video.
“Surprisingly, the feature-rich devices that many manufacturers are showcasing today account for only 30 per cent of the total market – with low-cost devices used to deliver triple play services in an integrated fashion in Asia accounting for a larger component of the video gateway forecast,” says Sam Rosen, senior analyst. “The set-top box market today is showing increasing polarization between high-end models with 3D user interfaces and low-cost boxes used to bring millions of customers pay-TV services for the first time in their lives.”