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August 14, 2012

Cisco News - Cisco IP Set-Top Boxes Threatening to Dethrone Competitors

By Jacqueline Lee, Contributing Writer

Cisco and Motorola (News - Alert) are in a dead heat to win the title of “most popular” manufacturer of IP set-top boxes, according to a global service provider survey from Infonetics (News - Alert) Research.

In fact, as explained by Infonetics’ directing analyst for broadband access and video, Jeff Heynen, Cisco is now perceived as the overall top IP set-box supplier for carriers. Last year, Motorola carried top honors.

“This is consistent with our set-top box market share reporting, where Cisco has led in global IP STB revenue share for 4 straight quarters,” Heynen said in a statement released by Infonetics. “Clearly Cisco’s efforts over the past year to expand its IP set-top box lineup and customer base, and the major contracts it has scored with AT&T (News - Alert), Deutsche Telekom and Telus are paying off.”

IP set-top boxes function as interfaces between television sets and broadband networks. They enable services like video-on-demand (VOD), electronic program guides (EPGs) and digital rights management (DRM) in addition to decoding and rendering broadcast TV signals.

According to carriers, the top three critical applications for IP set-top boxes were VOD, EPG and whole-home DVR. Social networking capabilities, despite increased discussion about social TV, were not highly ranked by carriers as crucial functions.

The survey, entitled “Hybrid IP Set-Top Box (News - Alert) Features and Vendor Leadership: Global Service Provider Survey,” also found that increases in both time-shifted viewing and HD programming were increasing the need for storage on set-top boxes. Nearly three-fourths of survey respondents predicted that box owners would need more than 500 GB of storage by 2013.

The research also found that most television owners used Ethernet to connect set-top boxes to home networks and to share media with additional devices. Other top connecting media included 802.11n Wi-Fi and universal plug-and-play.

Amino is the most popular IP set-top box brand installed by carriers after Cisco and Motorola.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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