Set-top box Survey 2012 - Advanced Television by wuzhenguang


									             The future of the set-top box has come under
       increasing scrutiny in recent months, with a senior                                                      to appear on the latest SoC solutions from
                                                                                                                semiconductor companies. However, in line
        cable company executive suggesting it will become                                                       with the general industry trend, we have seen
   extinct, and uncertainty surrounding the ownership of                                                        very limited demand from our customers.
                                                                                                                Arion: All HD-ready. No 3DTV planned yet.
   leading vendors. Euromedia finds out how the market                                                          EchoStar: Vast majority HD, some SD in
    and products have developed, and how sector players                                                         South America. MPEG-2/MPEG-4 supported.
                                see the future panning out.                                                     3DTV is somewhat ‘pass through’ for STB man-
                                                                                                                ufacturers, but indeed features in our plans.
  Euromedia: What markets do your STBs                         Hybrid DTT/IP Set Top Boxes, and are ranked      Entone: All products support HDTV, 3DTV
  address?                                                     #3 worldwide for STBs.                           and are compatible with MPEG-2 and MPEG-4.
  Albis Technologies: IPTV-only STBs and                       TechniSat: Cable, satellite, DTT, and hybrid.    Humax: The majority of products are HD,
  Hybrid DVB-C/IP or Hybrid DVB-T/IP.                          Euromedia: What about PVRs and storage           about 20% by value are SD. The majority
  Amino: IPTV single stream and PVR set top                    capacity?                                        of products are
  boxes plus broadcast hybrid options using ST                 Albis: PVR via an external HDD. Standard size    MPEG-4 but
  Micro and Intel-based platforms.                             of Disc 2.5” and Capacity 320 GB or 500 GB.      MPEG-2 is
  Arion: Cable, satellite and hybrid.                          Amino: This functionality is provided by fit-    still shipping.
  EchoStar: Complete range of connected                        ting HDD and the capacity increases as the       Demand for 3D
  devices from entry level ‘zappers’ through to                default offering of the HDD supplier changes.    is not significant.
  fully functioning ‘media gateways’ that distrib-             Currently, our standard size is 320Gb but this   Motorola: Majority of
  ute multiple, independent streams of TV to                   can be customised according to customer          STBs are HD-ready sup-
  different rooms and devices. EchoStar                        requirements.                                    porting both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4.
  Technologies designs and distributes cable,                  Arion: Yes, with 500GB.                          Motorola has developed an innovative soft-
  satellite, DTT, IPTV and hybrid STBs and                     EchoStar: Yes. We are finding that the           ware enhancement for its commercially-avail-
  DVRs to digital TV operators and directly                        industry de facto size is 500GB in both      able set-top products to bring value-add 3D
                                              Set-top box Survey 2012

  into retail markets under the EchoStar                           operator and retail markets – there are      processing to the home. Americas: updated
  and Slingbox brands.                                             some products on the market with 1 TB        3D processing has been incorporated into the
  Entone: Pure-IPTV set-top boxes as well                          drives.                                      DCX and QIP platforms and will include sup-
  as hybrid devices supporting IP plus                             Entone: Our standard DVR is 320GB            port for MPEG-4, MPEG-2 and 1080p24/30
  cable, DTT or satellite.                                         with options for 1TB.                        output. EMEA/APAC: similar capabilities will
  Humax: Cable; Cable + Hybrid;                                    Humax: 160GB, 320GB, 500GB, 1TB,             be incorporated into the VIP product line
  Satellite; Satellite + Hybrid; Terrestrial                       2TB.                                         depending on customer demand.
  (T); Terrestrial (T/T2) + Hybrid; IPTV;                          Motorola: Many of Motorola’s set-tops        Netgem: All STBs support full HD and are
  OTT.                                                             offer DVR capabilities and storage capaci-   both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 compliant. We
  Motorola: All-Digital QAM Set-tops                               ty ranges from[ 160GB up to 1TB] in some     have not integrated 3D as yet, however it is on
  (DCX series, DCT series and DCH                                  STBs.                                        our roadmap and we would look to deploy this
  series); Analogue/Digital QAM Set-tops                           Netgem: The N8000 Series Media Centre        if there was sufficient demand from our
  (DCT series and DCH series); Hybrid                              PVRs ship with 160GB/320GB internal          customers.
  QAM-IP Set-tops (QIP series); IP Set-                            storage, this can be extended to 520GB       Pace: North America and Latin America are
  tops (including hybrid models) (VIP                              and 1TB should the customer wish. The        our two strongest regions; North America pre-
  series).                                                         models in the N7700 and N5000 Series do      dominantly HD Zapper, HD PVR and Media
  Netgem: N5000 Series Internet TV                                 not include an integrated PVR, but offer     Server products; Latin America predominantly
  adaptors – No PVR functionality and sin-                         external PVR capability via USB.             SD Zapper, HD Zapper and HD PVR products.
  gle tuner option, connects the television                        Pace: Yes – 320GB, 500GB, 1TB.               Technicolor: We offer MPEG2 and MPEG4,
  to the Internet for streaming IPTV and                           Technicolor: We offer PVR, Storage           whereas the portion of SD boxes diminishes
  on demand content and other services.                            depends on customer request. We can also     over time, it does represent an attractive
  Can also connect to the local media serv-                        support external storage to expand entry-    entry-value for emerging countries.
  er to access the user’s own stored con-                          level STBs.                                  TechniSat: No, not all – there is still demand
  tent; N7700 Series Hybrid STB & Media                            TechniSat: Yes, 320 GB and 500 GB and        for DVB-C SD boxes on the markets. But there
  Centre. Includes PVR and blends broad-                           1 TB.                                        are only 2-3 models in the range which are
  cast (Cable, Terrestrial and satellite) with                     Euromedia: What about HD? Do you             only SD. 3DTVfor STBs is not a priority one
  broadband (IPTV, OTT) services and                               offer both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4? Does           for us.
  content; N8000 Series Media Centre                               3DTV                                         Euromedia: Which regions do you identify as
  STBs Provides advanced networking                                feature in your plans?                       the strongest regions in terms of sales and for
  functionality; this includes serving con-                        Albis: All STBs are HD and offer both        which products? Who are the major customers?
  tent from the PVR, internet or broadcast                         MPEG-2 and MPEG-4. 3D Graphics and           Albis: Our main customers are in Europe,
  world to another room. It offers multiple                        3D TV are supported on our next genera-      with a focus in Eastern Europe, predominant-
  tuners, a high capacity Hard Disk Drive                          tion STBs.                                   ly with IPTV-only STBs.
  and home network connectivity.                                   Amino: All devices are HD, MPEG 2 and        Amino: Our Aminet A140 set-top box is a
  Pace: Complete range of cable, satellite,                        MPEG 4 capable. We can provide 3DTV          very strong performer in a range of markets –
  DTT, IPTV and hybrid STBs.                                       functionality – frame compatible formats     particularly in North America and Western
  Technicolor: We offer Cable, Satellite,                      are no issue to support and MVC is beginning     Europe where a number of tier two operators

                                                                                                                             COVER STORY

                                                                         Slovenia, H1 Telekom and      many more.
                                                                         Netia as customers in         Motorola: Middleware providers include
                                                                        Eastern Europe and             Microsoft Mediaroom, and Motorola’s open
                                                                        Iusacell in the LATAM          set-top software platform KreaTV supports a
                                                                        market. Netgem’s operator      variety of open source middleware solutions,
                                                                        customers for its high end     including Dreampark/Dream Gallery – Now
                                                                        N800 media centres STBs        part of Motorola Mobility; Alcatel
                                                                        include incumbent              Lucent/MiView TV; Orca interactive/RightTV;
                                                                        Australian telco Telstra and   Nokia Siemens Networks /HES (Home
                                                                        Monaco Telecom. Other          Entertainment System); SeaChange;
                                                                        operator customers include     Latens/Eco; Espial /Evo; BeeSmart; Ericsson/
                                                                        Viaplay, Elisa, Melita, P&T    IAP/ NanguTV; Smartlabs.
                                                                        Lux and Netplus. In the        Netgem: We have developed our own
                                                                   B2C space, customers include        middleware, NetgemTV. This offers three key
                                                    Toshiba, and Virgin Mobile France.                 elements: Client/Server middleware;
                                                    Technicolor: We sell everywhere in the             Embedded/online applications and Heavy
                                                    world, with main US references including           client STBs. In 2011 the company also intro-
                                                    DirecTV, Comcast, Insight, MediaCom, main          duced nCloud, its own connected home solu-
                                            use     LATAM references including Net Servicos, Sky       tion. This allows consumers to experience a
                                       our prod-    Brazil and Mexico, TV Globo, DirecTV,              Cloud type environment within their home.
                                 ucts. We’re see-   TeleCentro and Telefonica, main European           nCloud uses a hybrid STB as a hub to aggre-
                          ing increasing trac-      references including Bouygues Telecom,             gate broadcast content with OTT and the
                tion in Latin America where         TopupTV, Sky, R-Mundo, Euskatel, Sogecable,        user’s own stored content and blends it into a
we’ve been active for some time and see very        Viasat, RiksTV, ZON, Cabovis_o, UPC,               single EPG. Content can then be served to any
interesting developments there in terms of          CanalDigital, Hot Israel, Telenor, main APAC       connected devices as HTML5 pages.
broadband rollout and regulatory change that        customers including Austar, Bharti, TataSky,       Technicolor: We partner with most middle-
is starting to drive IPTV deployments.              Astro, StarHub, etc.                               ware vendors in the marketplace.
Arion: Our strongest region is India and            TechniSat: Germany, Austria, Switzerland,          TechniSat: As we are doing customised
LatAm. India was the major customer for SD          Eastern Europe (PO, HU, Baltic, Balkans),          solutions also there is no problem in
products but forecasts this year India will be      Spain and BENELUX.                                 implementing any middleware – for Retail we
the major region for HD products. LatAm will        Euromedia: What level of support do you            do also have our own middleware as well as
be a major region for hybrid STBs for next few      give to CI+?                                       S&T, OpenTV and Opera.
years. Our HD major region is Europe.               Albis: We currently do not support CI+.            Euromedia: What role can the STB play in a
EchoStar: Europe: Cable – Unitymedia;               Amino: We can support CI+ on certain               cloud-based future?
Satellite -Freesat (UK/retail); Telefónica          products within our portfolio - typically the      Albis: STBs can still play a role for OTT based
(South America); DTT – Freeview (UK/retail);        hybrid IPTV/broadcast devices.                     cloud services.
IP – Slingbox (retail). Americas: Satellite -       Arion: CI+ v1.1                                    Amino: The nature of content changes con-
DISH Network (USA), Bell TV (Canada),               EchoStar: Supported.                               stantly - whether it is locally stored or in the
DISH Mexico; IP – retail distribution of            Entone: Later this year, we will introduce the     cloud. This requires a platform that can evolve
Slingbox (North America).                           Amulet 560 Hybrid TV Media Hub that will           to meet those demands and we believe that
Entone: Entone has a strong track record and        support DVB-CI+.                                   the set-top box will continue to play critical
is ranked #2 in North America for IPTV STBs.        Humax: Humax supports CI+ where                    role in the future. Examples of this include
We have over 100 deployments alone in North         appropriate to the product and the market.         Flash, HTML 5, MPEG 2 – MPEG 4 and
America, with a significant presence in Europe.     Netgem: Not supported currently.                   HTTP streaming to HLS.
Humax: US 46%, EU 29%; DirecTV in the US.           Technicolor: Supported.                            Arion: STBs can play a smart hub role in a
Motorola: Americas: AT&T, Bell Canada,              Euromedia: Which middleware providers do           cloud-based future.
Telus, TBay Tel, Surewest, Hawaiian Telecom,        you partner with?                                  EchoStar: A vital one! No one doubts that the
SDN Communications, Hotwire, Farmer’s               Albis: Nokia Siemens Networks, Zappware,           long term future of entertainment delivery lays
Telephone Co; EMEA: Altibox, Deutsche               Beenuis, Dreampark (Motorola). On Project          in the cloud, however, most industry commen-
Telekom Group, KPN, Telia Sonera, ComHem,           specific requirements, we have also partnered      tators and analysts forecast that ‘total’ cloud
Lyse, Maxisat, Portugal Telecom, Rostelecom,        with Ericsson and Nordija.                         delivery remains a way off. Presently we are in
Vimpelcom, TTNET; Asia Pacific: ABN, KDDI,          Amino: Use partner board.                          a phase of partial cloud-based or ‘hybrid’
SingTel (this is not an exhaustive list).           Arion: OpenTV and Cubiware.                        entertainment delivery with purely cloud-
Netgem: The company is currently growing            EchoStar: Alticast (MHP), Open TV/Nagra,           based entertainment providers (including
its business outside of the core domestic mar-      Latens, also offer own embedded software           Netflix, LOVEFiLM etc) leveraging relation-
ket and aims to double its international rev-       solution where middleware is not required.         ships with portal providers to deliver their
enues over the next three years. Netgem’s           Entone: Partners include Cubiware, Conklin,        paid-for content through third party Smart
strategy targets tier one operators looking to      Ericsson, Espial, Hibox, Minerva, Nokia            TVs and set-top boxes. There are real techni-
upgrade their service offering and tier two/tier    Siemens Networks, Nordija, SyncTV and              cal, business, economic and social barriers to
three operators that can take advantage of          Zappware.                                          services being migrated fully to the cloud –
Netgem’s end-to-end solutions and short             Humax: NDS, ANT, Opera, Soft@Home,                 including broadband capacity and line speeds.
time to market. Netgem counts Telekom               OpenTV, S&T (MHEG), Alticast (MHP), and            Device providers and broadcasters are looking

                                                                                                                                  EUROMEDIA 17
  towards the gateway set-top model where                                                                 cycle for TVs remains stubbornly around the
  broadcast is used to deliver entertainment                                                              seven-year mark, while operators continue to
  into the home and a ‘local cloud’ is used to                                                            innovate over shorter time frames in terms of
  serve entertainment to multiple rooms, and                                                              improved set-top box performance and func-
  devices inside or outside the home. Gateway                                                             tionality. We see the set-top box evolving to
  remains the next step to the fully cloud-based                                                          provide more of a media/home gateway role,
  future, though even in a 100% cloud-based                                                               distributing content to multiple screens around
  delivery world a connected device will still be                                                         the home. All Amino products will support
  required to watch content on the big screen be                                                          IPv6 – it’s a feature that has to be delivered on
  it a connected TV, STB or PC etc.                                                                       any connected device; and is no more of an
  Entone: As more content and services become                                                             issue for STBs than for anything else.
  available in the cloud, STBs will continue to                                                           Arion: Internet STBs find a place in the
  have a crucial role in the home because STBs                                                            crowded world of smart devices. Subscribers
  are necessary to support advanced user inter-                                                           need various smart devices and Internet STBs
  faces and recommendation engines that enable                                                            will be one of their choices. IPv6 implementa-
  consumers to navigate, discover and enjoy           but the most developed markets is a                 tion technology grows quickly and it will be
  huge libraries of on-demand content. These          pipedream – at least for the time being. The        stable for integration. Also remote control
  devices will also enforce access control and        huge demands Pure Cloud TV would place on           changes to user-friendly design so subscribers
  security measures to give content owners the        bandwidth means that a Cloud infrastructure         will not feel any uncomfortable to use their
  confidence to make high-value content avail-        will be impractical anywhere for between five       Internet STBs.
  able for cloud-based delivery.                      and twenty years, depending on the market.          EchoStar: Purely Internet STBs do have a
  farncombe: The cloud-based future is                This means that STBs will be present in living      role to play. The STB has been effectively
  already here with Smart TVs offering features       rooms for some time. Even when Cloud deliv-         migrated to be a hybrid IP or ‘Internet’ device
  like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. But even        ery becomes more widespread, STBs will still        combining broadcast with on demand content
  in a cloud-based environment, pay-TV opera-         have an important place at the centre of the        delivered over the IP channel. Major brands
  tors will continue to provide managed devices       connected home as media servers, the most           like Apple and Google have invested heavily in
  – a ‘STB’ with a new name – to their sub-           cost-effective way for operators to aggregate       Internet TV offerings, In order to gain a high-
  scribers to ensure security and to manage the       and deliver content for multi-screen services.      er level of market share, such Internet-only
  user experience and quality of their service.       S3 Group: In a cloud-based future, we expect        devices need to approach the hybrid world
  Humax: Legal and regulatory issues are the          the STB to become more powerful and capable         and deliver multichannel television in addi-
  greatest threat to cloud-based products.            of running full hardware-accelerated browser        tion to Internet only on-demand services.
  However, the idea that the IDTV will replace        functionality. It will also serve as a gateway      That’s certainly the way in which EchoStar is
  the STB is probably erroneous. There is mas-        between home content and cloud content from         taking its Internet TV/Android development.
  sive fragmentation in the TV market from a          the web. Content will flow both ways as the         What remains key is making the consumer
  technology perspective and in addition to this      user requires.                                      experience a simple and seamless one with
  TV manufacturers want to maintain their             Technicolor: STBs will keep playing a key           such Internet services available through an
  control over the user experience. The operator      role in the future, from final decoder up to        aggregated platform.
  will likely still maintain set-top boxes in order   whole-home video distribution server combin-        Entone: Internet STBs are optimised to sup-
  to control the user experience but they will        ing personal, pay-TV, and OTT content.              port high speed, rich graphical user interface
  become greatly simplified products.                 TechniSat: STB can be used as remote centre         and navigation, and advanced content for-
  MoCA: The STB can be the hub or gateway             for the whole house to have access to the           mats. Blu-ray players, game consoles and TVs
  for edge devices providing in-home capabili-        cloud and all the content – but we think that       have some similar capabilities but carry signif-
  ties closer to the CPE.                             tablets and mobiles will become more impor-         icant cost overhead attributed to their other
  Motorola: The STB is getting smarter and            tant in this area if it is not in connection with   functions. As such, it is more cost-effective to
  more connected, its role is rapidly evolving.       VOD or OTT.                                         upgrade an Internet STB to support new con-
  This evolution will see a transition from hybrid    Euromedia: Can ‘Internet STBs’ find a place         tent formats, super high-resolution displays,
  IP video gateway leading to an all IP Gateway.      in the crowded world of connected Blu-rays,         3D, etc. Much like today’s mobile phone, we
  We see this type of gateway becoming the            Smart TVs, and provider-based OTT packages?         see consumers upgrading Internet STBs on a
  entertainment hub in the Living Room, the           Is IPv6 implementation an issue for STBs?           regular basis and much more often than other
  centre of IP connected home of future. It will      Albis: Service providers’ business models can       more costly devices. All of Entone’s Hybrid TV
  feed content from a variety of sources to a mul-    still benefit from STBs in order to bundle,         devices support IPv6.
  titude of devices, allowing consumers to view,      differentiate and brand their services. This is     farncombe: We believe the real change will
  record, or play video on any networked device       always not the case for consumer electronic         be the decline of the retail STB market as the
  – TV, tablet, smartphone, gaming console – in       devises. For Linux based STBs, IPv6                 functions these devices offer become widely
  any room, seamlessly. Our service provide cus-      implementation is not an issue.                     available through smart TVs, connected games
  tomers understand how a powerful combina-           Amino: Certainly. Our customers see the STB         consoles and Blu-ray players.
  tion of hardware and software maximizes             as a critical element in securing and retaining     Humax: Internet STBs can find a place in the
  infrastructure investment to deliver anytime,       customers. Consistent quality of experience         connected TV environment, although the issue
  anyplace, on any screen content experience          will remain a key factor in service provider        of content fragmentation remains. Not every-
  consumers crave.                                    offerings – alongside the continued strong con-     one wants to own a Blu-ray and the majority
  Netgem: We recognise that rationale for the         sumer demand for quality content. Despite the       of the population has already purchased a
  broadcast industry moving to a pure Cloud           continued growth in smart TV sales, usage           non-smart TV. IPv6 needs better support from
  model makes a lot of sense. However, this           rates of ‘connected’ functionality remain low –     ISPs in order to progress.
  becoming a mass-market reality in anywhere          particularly in the UK. Plus the replacement        Motorola: See above.

  Netgem: The current generation of connected        tomer demands and thus reduce churn.             complement the current pay-TV packages. The
  CE devices do not offer the slickness or the       S3 Group: Internet STBs are cheap, simple        ability to combine both in a consistent, inte-
  ease of use that are provided by pay-TV servic-    and disposable items which can be upgraded       grated, and rich consumer experience would
  es. Although there have been some develop-         regularly by the user and can support multiple   bring significant value to the consumers. IPv6
  ments, it is still incredibly inefficient for      rooms at a low cost. Smart TVs have a basic      is a natural trend for the whole devices world-
  developers to have to create apps for each and     issue in that they attach a rapidly evolving     wide. Technicolor has been at the forefront on
  every platform and making multi-screen serv-       component (Internet STB hardware and soft-       integrating IPv6 in its home gateways, paving
  ices work still demands a high level of techni-    ware) to a component with a much longer          the way for a good return of experience to
  cal competence that is beyond all but the most     lifespan i.e. the TV display panel. Most Smart   apply to the STBs.
  committed AV geeks. By comparison, the plug        TV functionality will be obsolete long before    TechniSat: Connected Blu-Rays will not
  and play STB technologies offered by pay-TV        the TV reaches end of life. We recommend         become very successful in regard to VoD serv-
  operators offer a far superior experience and      that customers consider IPv6 for all new STB     ices available with SmartTV or Internet STB.
  access to a range of premium content that is       deployments. It depends on the geography but     Pure Internet STBs are fine but only on FTA –
  not available through OTT services on other        in the next few years IPv6 may well become a     in regard to Operator business I think they
  devices. Our hybrid STBs have been designed        necessity and it is better to be prepared than   will be more work with limited access to get a
  specifically to offer operators the best of both   to miss the boat.                                higher ARPU with their own offers of V0D,
  worlds, they offer a fully controllable, branded   Technicolor: The advent of ‘OTT boxes (e.g.      OTT etc. – in this perspective the SmartTV is
  and curated environment that can be updated        Vizio, Google, Apple) prove the need to better   also more useful for non – operator dominat-
  with additional online services to meet cus-       embrace the OTT offering (apps, content) to      ed markets or the CAM does limit some func-

   IHS: End of STB                       television services on the          will represent only about one       more recent distributions.
                                         device of their choosing,           third of the 849m in 2015.          Among the other platforms,
   domination                            rather than being limited to            Multiscreen is defined as a     Microsoft’s Xbox has also
   looms                                 using STBs,” said Tom               service that allows the view-       been a focus for the pay-TV
   The set-top box is not set to         Morrod, senior principal ana-       ing of video on multiple plat-      companies, along with Smart
   be on top for very much               lyst, TV Technology, for IHS.       forms beyond the traditional        TVs from Samsung and LG.
   longer—at least for one seg-          “Consumers desire greater           mode of televisions connect-           By 2015, 11 pay-TV opera-
   ment of the pay-TV industry,          flexibility, demanding access       ed to STBs. The multiscreen         tors will be supporting con-
   according to analyst firm IHS         to entertainment on any plat-       device category comprises a         tent and subscribers on more
   Screen Digest.                        form, in any location and at        range of products, including        multiscreen devices than on
      In 2015, 49% - or nearly           any time. Because of this,          smartphones, media tablets,         their own set-top boxes.
   half of all devices obtaining         cable, satellite and IPTV oper-     portable media devices, video          For example, Bell Canada,
   television services from 43 of        ators are shifting their focus      game consoles, personal com-        which has a very strong
   the largest global pay-TV             away from the STB and               puters and Internet-enabled         strategy for delivery of servic-
   operators that have com-              toward multiscreen deploy-          televisions (IETVs).                es to its mobile subscribers,
   menced deployment of multi-           ment. For the 43 major opera-           PCs in 2011 were the most       will be supporting almost
   screen services—will be PCs,          tors tracked by IHS Screen          common devices associated           eight times as many phones
   smartphones, tablets and              Digest that have deployed           with multiscreen pay-TV             and tablets in 2015 than
   other so-called multiscreen           multiscreen services, this          deployments. In second place        STBs. Multiscreen devices will
   devices, up from just 18% in          means that multiscreen              were devices based on Apple         account for 89% of Bell
   2011, according to the IHS            devices will supplant STBs as       Inc.’s iOS operating system,        Canada’s total consumer end-
   Screen Digest TV Multiscreen          the leading pay-TV access           i.e., iPhones, iPads and the        points, defined as the number
   Intelligence service at infor-        devices by 2016.”                   iPod touch. However, by             of devices used by sub-
   mation and analytics provider            The global installed base        2015, the number of iOS             scribers of the Canadian oper-
   IHS. Meanwhile, STBs will             of pay-TV STBs associated           devices accessing pay-TV            ator in order to access its
   decline to just 51% of pay-TV         with multiscreen operators          services will rise by nearly        pay-TV content.
   operator devices in 2015,             will amount to 321.7m units         800%, while PCs will expand            Operators with larger STB
   down from 82% in 2011, as             in 2015, up 17% from 274.5m         by only about half that rate.       installed bases, such as BSkyB
   presented in the figure on            in 2011. Meanwhile, multi-              Hot on the heels of iOS will    in the U.K., also are expected
   page 22 .                             screen devices actively receiv-     be Android, whose base of           to perform well, tipping the
      This means that in 2016,           ing pay-TV services will rise to    devices connected to pay-TV         scale with approximately 1.5
   STBs will relinquish their            310.1m, up more than 400%           will grow by more than              devices per STB installed in
   customary position as the             from 60.1m in 2011.                 1,200%. In the Android mar-         2015. The strength of BSkyB’s
   near-exclusive video con-                The total installed base of      ket, the increasing availability    Sky Go and Now TV strategies
   sumption device among the             STBs is actually much larger,       of smartphones with larger          will make the company a
   43 major cable, satellite and         when incorporating pay-TV           screens and the rising ship-        majority IP-to-multiscreen
   Internet protocol television          providers that aren’t engag-        ments of tablets will propel        device operator by that time.
   (IPTV) providers that are             ing in the deployment of mul-       the expanding use of pay-TV.           In the US cable market,
   proceeding with multiscreen           tiscreen services. The multi-           The leading pay-TV opera-       where STB deployments are
   deployments.                          screen operators accounted          tors so far have focused on         most widespread, Comcast
      “A new era is dawning in           for only about one half of the      PCs and iOS in their first-         will be nudging toward having
   the pay-TV industry, one in           global total of 538.8m              phase multiscreen deploy-           one Xfinity or Streampix
   which subscribers can access          installed STBs in 2011, and         ments, followed by Android in       device per set-top box.

tions as well – foremost cable operators are                                                         Technicolor: We have a dedicated team at
not very interested in a full internet access to                                                     the forefront of the energy efficiency, pushing
their customers as they will not earn money                                                          recommendations for standardisation.
on their additional offers. In regard to purely                                                      TechniSat: Our STB are already compliant to
IPTV, we are not sure as some countries are                                                          EU regulations – most of them are do not
not really prepared in regard to infrastructure                                                      need <0,3W in Standby.
an FTTX so that pure IPTV offers can become                                                          Euromedia: Any other observations and
the dominant way of transmission on the mar-                                                         predictions for the STB market?
ket (think about 40m people watching football                                                        Albis: Managed operator environments bene-
at the same time via Internet only!).                                                                fit from the customisation and feature differ-
Euromedia: What steps have been taken to                                                             entiation enabled by STBs, plus STBs still play
ensure energy efficiency and device sustain-       Motorola: We have designed our new                a key role for QoS and QoE.
ability?                                           generation of global television set-tops to       Arion: STB markets will be more diversified.
Albis: Our STBs comply with two key direc-         meet our customers’ needs for reduced energy      It is meaningless to distinguish between STB
tives: Code of Conduct on Energy Efficiency        consumption, less packaging and easier recy-      and TV or blue rays because the convergence
V8 (IEC 62301:2011, mod. and EN                    cling. Our latest VIP Series IPTV set-tops use    between them has already happened.
50564:2011) and Voluntary Industry                 advanced power management technology,             EchoStar: In general, the market remains in
Agreement to Improve the Energy                    which saves almost a quarter of the power         good shape with great anticipation surround-
Consumption of Complex Set-top Boxes with-         required by the previous models. We also          ing the launch of media gateways.
in the European Community.                         reduced CO2 emissions in distribution by          Entone: Entone believes the future TV experi-
Amino: We are a signatory to the Voluntary         shrinking the size and weight of the unit and     ence will combine the best of linear TV, DVR,
Agreement: our STB products conform to the         providing online instructions instead of paper    premium content delivered via IP, personal
latest specification requirements. This ensures    manuals. Overall, based on an independent         media sharing and management, and content
that products are designed to be energy            lifecycle assessment, we achieved an estimated    mobility. As such, STBs are evolving from
efficient.                                         12% to 20% carbon footprint reduction for the     being simple terminal devices to the hub of the
Arion: All products are certified by the CE        QIP range compared with the previous gener-       networked home. The key is to enable a seam-
association. Our R&D has managed the inde-         ation, factoring in all stages of the product     less user experience – making it simple for
pendent department for improving device sus-       lifecycle, from manufacturing through trans-      users to access a wide variety of professionally
tainability.                                       portation and use.                                produced content and personal media via a
EchoStar: EchoStar follows applicable              Netgem: All STBs offer power consumption          consistent UI and a single remote control.
European legislation to reduce power consump-      of 13W or lower and 1W or below in stand-by       farncombe: The STB is evolving will one day
tion in connected devices. EchoStar’s latest       mode.                                             bear little resemblance to the boxes we are
product launched in retail – the Ultra Slim Box    Pace: Pace is the leader in promoting energy      familiar with today. Even the name is likely to
– operates below 1 watt in low power mode.         efficient STBs, being one of the instigators in   change – and this is not just a marketing ploy
Entone: Our DeepSleep technology greatly           the European Voluntary Agreement on energy        but a true reflection that these boxes rarely sit
reduces power consumption by over 95%              efficiency of STBs, the EU code of conduct on     on top of our TV sets even today. Most likely
when a device is in standby mode. This             energy efficiency of STBs, the US Energy Star     the STB will be re-branded as its role includes
amounts to significant savings in energy costs     programme for STBs and the current initiative     becoming a ‘home gateway’ or ‘wireless gate-
and further reduces carbon emissions.              to set up a voluntary programme in the USA        way’ and perhaps it will take on this moniker.
Humax: Humax is a core member of the               for energy efficient STBs, all of which drive     But when an operator provides the device as
CSTB EC VA which strives to drive down             down energy consumption. We have a Pace           part of its package, pay-TV will remain a core
power consumption of pay-TV products.              ‘banned substances’ list which exceeds the        services offered through this device.
Humax has already exceeded the targets for         requirements of the RoHS and similar              Humax: The home gateway server will proba-
standby efficiency set by government and con-      Directives and our supply chain complies with     bly become a ‘headless’ product instead of a
tinues to maintain interest in beating targets.    the Dodd-frank act on conflict minerals.          big digital TV recorder.
MoCA: We have focused on the availability of       S3Group: Energy consumption is a system           MoCA: The STB does not go away in terms of
power modes - including on/off, sleep, stand-      design issue for a networked STB and must be      functionality, though it may eventually cease
by – as well as a general integration with         solved by making sound decisions about the        to exist as a specific product category. It
other devices in use, all of which must address    total end-to-end network design rather than       evolves into a gateway or some other hub or
energy efficiency.                                 just one component such as the STB.               central receive and distribution point. It can’t

 APAC 50% of                           access to hundreds of                   Operators in these                ecosystem of set-top box
 STB market                            international channels and a         developing markets are for           manufacturers, coupled with
 A jump in cable and satellite         few HD services for the first        very low costs boxes. Set-top        CAS vendors China Digital TV
 set-top box shipments in              time. Asia-Pacific and Eastern       box manufacturers are look-          and Sumavision,” according
 Asia-Pacific markets is being         Europe’s growth in set-top           ing to decrease BOM costs by         to Rosen. “Meanwhile, India is
 driven by cable digitisation in       box units will outstrip those        using in-house CAS solutions         struggling to enable an
 India and China, as well as           of the rest of the world in the      and low cost SoCs optimised          ecosystem of local manufac-
 China’s rollout of digital            next five years,” suggests           with lower-powered CPUs that         turers, as well as to get
 satellite boxes to its rural          Sam Rosen, practice director         support HD video, but only           adequate supply of boxes to
 households. “Digital transi-          of TV and video at ABI               simpler graphical user inter-        meet an unrealistic digitisa-
 tions are bringing consumers          Research.                            faces. “China has a robust           tion timeframe.”

                                                                                                                                EUROMEDIA 21
  go away entirely, even with a move to the         the expense of traditional middleware. Value       gy-advanced, whole-home solutions to con-
  cloud, as too much functionality and services     will still be added to the STB through custom      sumers who are very sensitive to the quality of
  are being demanded by subscribers from the        functionality and enhancements aimed at            the content and the experience.
  service providers. There will always have to be   improving the quality of experience, as well as    TechniSat: Smart functionality becomes more
  some CPE in the home to access, process, cap-     by the addition of comprehensive content pro-      and more important – but the average con-
  ture, monitor and distribute services as need-    tection features. Increasingly we will see oper-   sumer only interested in Linear TV and maybe
  ed and demanded.                                  ators benefiting from interoperability with        some kind of additional value such as HbbTV
  Netgem: Advances such as adaptive bitrate         other user devices rather than focusing purely     or MHEG5 should not be forgotten – the chal-
  streaming mean that Internet delivery of          on the traditional walled garden approach. It      lenge for all industry partners is that the con-
  streaming content is now becoming a mass-         will become a must-have to enable access to        sumer does not take care where his content
  market proposition for broadcast services.        content through other devices such as tablets,     comes from, but that it is available – and that
  Recent deployments such as the Viaplay Box,       Smart TVs and PCs. This implies a strong           the UI can be navigated as easy as possible
  that uses OTT to deliver premium linear chan-     gateway function for the STB in the future.        without differentiating if you are in the Internet
  nels, highlights that the broadcast and tele-     Technicolor: STB is and remains an attrac-         or using content via DVB-C/S/T. Also, the
  coms industries are starting to converge.         tive market, and is poised to evolve by taking     Multiroom/Multiscreen topic will be more and
  S3 Group: Web and browser technologies            into account the seamless inclusion of OTT         more important as well as the usage of a STB as
  and open standards will begin to dominate at      content and applications, delivering technolo-     Mediaserver for the whole connected home.

   Global shipments                     services. The ability to incor-      growth through to 2013,               to sustain global growth.
   will flatten out                     porate these boxes within            with smaller regions including           In Western Europe, cable
                                        home networking infrastruc-          Eastern Europe and Latin              represents the largest propor-
   Following several years of           tures and their compatibility        America growing from 16%              tion of pay-TV homes and
   healthy growth, demand STBs          with portable devices pro-           to 18% and 4% to 6%                   close to half of all pay-STB
   continues to climb this year,        vides the ability to roll out        respectively.                         demand, and the continuing
   on track to reach 228m units         services that allow the control         Asia Pacific has witnessed         migration to digital services
   shipped globally, according to       of in-home lighting, tempera-        tremendous demand and                 will drive cable STB growth
   research from Futuresource           ture and security. Such offer-       growth, with India’s satellite        through to 2014. However,
   Consulting. However, as              ings are expected to become          industry and growing digital          cable operators are losing a
   demand from maturing pay-            increasingly widespread due          cable base and China’s cable          proportion of their analogue
   TV markets like North                to the competitive nature of         sector driving much of the            subscribers to alternative pay
   America and Western Europe           the market and slowing video         volume in the region. Asia            platforms and FTA services.
   begins to slow, the mar-                                                                                               Overall cable
   ket will start to see                                                                                                  subscribers will fall over
   moderate decline over                                                                                                  the forecast period, in
   the next few years.                                                                                                    turn negatively affecting
      Despite this, STBs                                                                                                  long-term demand for
   will remain a core com-                                                                                                STBs.
   ponent of the pay-TV                                                                                                      In North America, the
   industry’s service                                                                                                     saturated pay-TV mar-
   proposition as opera-                                                                                                  ket continues to lose
   tors utilise the box to                                                                                                subscribers quarter on
   exploit existing services                                                                                              quarter, negatively
   and look beyond the                                                                                                    affecting demand for
   delivery of video to improve         related revenues forcing oper-       Pacific however represents a          STBs, resulting in a 4% fall
   subscriber retention and grow        ators to embrace new growth          short term opportunity for the        over the forecast period.
   revenues.                            opportunities,” says Carl            STB industry as subscriber            Revenue however will be sus-
      Leading manufacturers are         Hibbert, Head of Broadcast           growth is beginning to slow           tained as operators move to
   launching a new generation of        Research at Futuresource.            in comparison to previous             more advanced set top boxes
   STBs labelled as media gate-            On the video front, facili-       years, although with India’s          allowing for the roll-out of
   ways or smart boxes, notes           tated by enhanced broadband          cable digitalisation initiative,      more sophisticated services
   Futuresource Consulting. This        performance, pay-TV opera-           demand will continue to be            that will attract new revenue
   new generation of STBs offers        tors are beginning to incorpo-       high.                                 streams from subscribers.
   features such as transcoding,        rate IP not only to enhance             Latin America represents a            The brave new world of the
   wireless routing, multi-plat-        existing services to the big         long-term growth opportunity          next generation STB will
   form content management,             screen, but also to boost con-       for the STB sector with an            undoubtedly be the key driver
   media distribution and multi-        tent delivery to multiple            abundance of new pay-TV               in this market moving
   room delivery.                       devices including tablets and        services rolling out in the           forwards. Operators are
      “The roll out of these new        smartphones.                         region, analogue to digital           compelled to offer higher
   boxes comes at a time when              Regionally, growth oppor-         conversion of cable                   value service propositions to
   the saturation of subscriber         tunities are still present. Asia     subscribers and the roll-out of       consumers, and the advanced
   bases in mature markets is           Pacific, which is expected to        new free to air digital servic-       features delivered by these
   resulting in the need to devel-      represent 45% of global              es, but the region is unlikely        new STBs will be fundamental
   op new non-video related             shipments in 2012, will see          to provide sufficient demand          to future success.


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