Connected TV devices such as Blu-ray players, game consoles, smart-phones, and TV sets are swamping the market. The value of hybrid STBs that are immediately put into use will reach $1.3 billion (€1 billion) worldwide by 2014, according to research firm In-Stat.
“TV programmes have come to the Internet. Now, the internet is coming back to TV, and savvy software engineers and smart TV producers are finding ways to create new “hybrid” services that bring it all together,” said Gerry Kaufhold, principal analyst for In-Stat, in a statement. “The set top box industry is scrambling to create designs that facilitate all these new features.”
Some of the research findings include: hybrid-capable STBs are shipping today, but only a small percentage are using the capabilities. Western Europe will be the hot bed for development of hybrid services, and the leader for early hybrid STB shipments.
Intel’s x86 Instruction Set promises to be a key enabler, as Adobe Flash, Windows Media, Microsoft Silverlight, DiVX, and VP8 appear first on an x86 Instruction Set. Each category of set top box and each geographic region is developing along unique trajectories.