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Hybrid IPTV Set-top Box Creates Opportunity

The latest global market study by Multimedia Research Group (MRG) demonstrates how hybrid IPTV set-top boxes (STBs) are helping IPTV Operators accelerate early service deployment or extend the reach of their existing video IP Networks.

By merging existing digital video broadcast programming with IPTV services, Operators are finding they can significantly slash CapEx and lead-time costs from typical IPTV deployment costs.

In 2008, there were already 14.4 million installed hybrid STB units worldwide, with estimated growth to 22.3 million in 2012.

The MRG report explores how hybrid IPTV set-top boxes can receive broadcast digital channels from Satellite, Terrestrial or Cable—plus from a managed IPTV (on-demand) service.

By using existing broadcast sources in addition to on-demand IPTV service, IPTV Operators can significantly reduce the content acquisition and early network infrastructure requirements.

"Use of hybrids can solve some serious problems presented by technical restrictions or lack of content," says MRG Analyst, Huw Price-Stephens, MRG Analyst. "They can also create new and bigger problems unless acquired with an effective exit strategy, which does not require swapping out the STBs."

Matching a hybrid strategy with the local competitive profile may be the best way for an IPTV Operator to differentiate the service.

Moreover, the growing threat of compelling Over the Top (OTT) video offerings will motivate IPTV service providers to act sooner, rather than later.

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