Carriers identify critical IP set-top box features in new survey

Monday, May 16th, 2011
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CAMPBELL, California — Market research firm Infonetics Research today released excerpts from its Set-Top Box Features and Vendor Leadership: Global Service Provider Survey, which captures service providers’ requirements for IP-based set-top boxes (STBs) to deliver video services.


“Although low-cost set-top boxes designed to deliver basic video services over broadband infrastructure were the hallmark of IPTV services, strong competition and the need to increase ARPU have led to significant changes in STB design over the years. The STB remains the most visible point of interaction between subscribers and IPTV providers and is a key component to an operator’s success. In our recent STB survey, service providers rated STB features most important to them, which include support for HDMI inputs for 1080p picture quality, integrated hard drive for PVR support, USB inputs for external memory, the use of SoCs (system-on-a-chip) in the design, and environmentally friendly features,” notes Teresa Mastrangelo, directing analyst for video at Infonetics Research.


  • Although we often hear about video conferencing as an application for IPTV services, it is not rated highly by many respondents
  • Ethernet is the preferred technology for delivering video to multiple devices in the home
  • In an open-ended question asking carriers which vendors they consider to be the top three IP STB manufacturers, Motorola finished at the top of the list, followed by Cisco
  • Amino is the most installed IP STB vendor, illustrating its long history as an IP-STB vendor, particularly among operators that were early pioneers in IPTV


For the Set-Top Box Features and Vendor Leadership: Global Service Provider Survey, Infonetics interviewed purchase decision-makers with incumbent carriers (76%) and competitive operators (24%) from North America (47%), EMEA (47%), and Central and Latin America (6%). Carriers were asked by Infonetics about their preferred IP STB features, including those related to video codec support, container and wrapper format, picture and photo format support, and audio codec support. Respondents also weighed in on IP STB tuners, overall IP STB features, home networking and media sharing technologies, IP STB hard drive capacity, and manufactures (including vendors installed now and under evaluation for purchases, the “top three IP STB suppliers,” and their familiarity with various manufacturers).

IP STB vendors named by serviced providers in response to survey questions include Advanced Digital Broadcast (ADB), Amino, Cisco Systems, Entone, Huawei, Humax, Motorola, Netgem, Pace plc, Sagecom, Samsung, Technicolor, and others.