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Microsoft now controls nearly a quarter of the global IPTV middleware market

Microsoft’s Mediaroom platform was installed in 23% of deployed IPTV set-top boxes by the middle of 2012, despite an environment that is beginning to fragment with many small and regional players, according to US firm ABI Research.

Chinese system integrators ZTE and Huawei also have a well-established role in the market, based on strong and growing IPTV platforms within China, notably those by China Telecom, which use different suppliers on a regional basis.

“There is a strong split in the IPTV middleware market between system integrators providing an entire solution and specialists in applications and customer experience,” according to Sam Rosen, ABI Research practice director for TV & video.

“With the exception of Cisco, who recently purchased NDS, the system integrator’s role in customer experience will likely decline over the next few years; instead, this role will be left to client-centric middleware companies with better user experience,” added Rosen.

The analyst pointed to companies such as Viaccess-Orca, Netgem and others, each of which he believes have a distinct philosophy on how to create an IPTV system.

Overall growth in IPTV households, however, means that few companies are likely to lose out. IPTV households are currently forecast to grow from 80mn in 2012 to 117mn in 2017, with growth driven by Asia-Pacific.

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