Worldwide ultra-HD capable set-top box shipments will reach 48 million by 2020, while the market for HEVC set-top boxes—the next-generation of video compression technology—will rise even further to 88 million units.
These findings are part of ABI Research’s Set-top Box and Home Networks Market Research, which further asserts that, in 2014, the market will deploy only about 60K set-top high-end gateway set-top boxes with ultra-HD and HEVC capabilities within high-end gateway set-top boxes.
After the initial push of high-end ultra-HD capable boxes in multi-tuner gateway boxes, a second round of HD HEVC boxes will roll out in areas with demand for HD services where the last-mile network build out isn’t otherwise sufficient to deploy HD MPEG-4 services. Technicolor has secured the design win for Tata Sky’s ultra-HD deployment in India, Sumitomo has delivered set-tops for the NTT Playa in Japan, while BSkyB may build its own for Project Ethan. Early prototypes and designs have been based primarily on Broadcom 725x SoC with Broadcom or ViXS decoders.
“HEVC is an enabler not just of UltraHD—an immersive digital experience which will give benefits especially to consumers using 55 inch and larger screens,” comments ABI Research Practice Director Sam Rosen. “It also will enable delivery of interactive HD services to consumers whose homes do not have high bandwidth interactive services. Beyond the strong penetration of HEVC and UltraHD set-top boxes, we see IPTV boxes developing to include terrestrial tuners for hybrid services licensing retransmission of all free-to-air services.”