Skip to main content

Why Cable Network Operators Need Better STBs

The arrival of innovative high-powered multimedia consumer devices -- such as the Apple iPad tablet -- is raising consumer UI expectations and driving cable network operators to demand more sophisticated set-top boxes (STBs) from equipment suppliers.

This emerging trend will have a significant impact on the legacy STB sector over the next several years, according to the latest market study by Heavy Reading.

"The STB, the primary cable component inside millions of U.S. homes, is morphing, expanding, and extending itself with new features and functionality," notes Craig Leddy, research analyst at Heavy Reading. "By utilizing the best capabilities of each device platform, a cable MSO can tailor its services to meet individual customer interests."

The new range of options is stretching and redefining the traditional meaning of the set-top box, Leddy says. "Emerging devices are helping cable to serve multiple screens and add more interactive and on-demand features to video content," he explains.

The result could be a bounty of new cable capabilities that will retain customers -- in the face of satellite and telco pay-TV competition, plus new low-cost over-the-top video offerings -- and hopefully produce some new value-added revenue opportunities.

Key findings of the Heavy Reading market study include:

- Cable is redefining the STB by embracing new devices to meet its in-home video needs.

- Never before have MSOs had so many options for devices and capabilities, including next-generation STBs, DTAs, and broadband-connected devices.

- Comcast's demo of an Apple iPad app that extends the functionality of conventional STBs is likely to spark more efforts to meld STBs with other end-user devices.

- MSOs are curtailing spending on leased STBs and seeking next-gen architectures to handle multiple video formats.

- The STB market is likely to become fragmented as MSOs use different devices for unique customer needs.

Popular posts from this blog

Linux Phone Standards Forum

A new Linux Phone Standards Forum (LiPS) has been founded to promote mass market adoption of Linux telephony terminals through standardization, interoperability testing and market education. The founding members include Cellon, France Telecom, FTM Labs, Huawei, Jaluna, Mizi, Open Plug and PalmSource. LiPS will support device manufacturers and operators in bringing to market Linux-based devices at lower cost (due to lower deployment costs through standardization), while facilitating the programming and development process for software and silicon vendors. The Forum said plans to work with other organizations such as the OMTP and OMA to identify requirements of distinct device categories including smartphones, feature phones, fixed-line, or converged devices. For each of these categories, or profiles, LiPS will define standard API�s that support relevant applications and services as well as a certification process for technology providers. In keeping with the open source philosophy, L

Cloud Services Gain New Momentum in Europe

Across European nations, more CIOs and CTOs are investing in public cloud services that become the essential foundation for the design and delivery of innovative digital transformation projects. Public cloud computing spending in Europe will reach $113 billion in 2022 and will double to $239 billion by 2026, growing at a 22 percent 5-year CAGR, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC). Investments in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) will continue to lead most of the spending in Public Cloud in Europe in 2022, but Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) will be the fastest-growing segment. In fact, PaaS enables digital business deployment via the quick testing and production of new software applications. Public Cloud Market Development Professional services, banking, and discrete manufacturing will be among the top spenders in public cloud services, absorbing almost 60 percent of the overall public cloud services spend in 2022.  Human-centric industries are adjustin

Strategic Digital Transformation Spending Trends

Looking ahead, many Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) continue to selectively invest in new strategic digital transformation projects that enable a significant competitive advantage. Some additional investments may go towards improving existing IT infrastructure and operations.  Worldwide IT spending is now projected to total $4.5 trillion in 2022 -- that's an increase of 3 percent from 2021, according to the latest updated estimate by Gartner. For now, most CIOs will be relieved that their budget is safe from major cuts. While IT spending is expected to grow in 2022, it will be at a slower pace than in 2021 -- partly due to a 5 percent cutback on spending for personal computers, media tablets, and printers. Digital Transformation Market Development "Central banks around the world are focusing on fighting inflation, with overall inflation rates expected to be reduced through the end of 2023. However, the current levels of volatility being seen in both inflation and currency exch