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Report: Pay-TV Companies Shifting to Hybrid Set-Tops

18 Aug, 2010 By: Chris Tribbey

Simple cable and satellite services are no longer enough for pay-TV operators, as worldwide shipments of hybrid set-top boxes are expected to hit nearly 87 million units by 2015, according to a new forecast from IMS Research.

Set-tops with built-in DVRs and other features in North and South America already represent 65% of worldwide hybrid set-top shipments as of 2009, but continued growth in Europe and Asia, especially China, will see the Americas surpassed by 2015, according to IMS.

“The shift of the pay-TV set-top box market toward hybrid STBs is notable for two main reasons,” said Paul Erickson, senior analyst at IMS Research. “First, the near-ubiquitous inclusion of IP connectivity in current and future hybrid STBs enables continued innovation in the pay-TV experience.

He said the second reason was “the broader effects benefit both pay-TV operators and their customers.”

“Hybrid STBs potentially allow operators to maximize the level of services they are able to competitively deliver within their market, despite limitations within their own infrastructure, regulatory issues, or content retransmission rights.”

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