In five years, 40% of pay TV homes will have access to apps on their set-top boxes -- up from 10% last year.
ABI Research, which came up with the estimates, says these apps will
include a variety of news and information services, games and music services.
Video will remain the focus on these new applications, especially from so-called ‘over the top’
services, such as Netflix.
High-level current activity, where apps appear on set-top boxes, comes from telco operators such as AT&T and Verizon with their TV-video services. But cable
companies are beginning to make up ground, says ABI Research, such as Comcast with its X1/X2 platform, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable.
Worldwide estimates for set-top boxes is
expected to rise to 265 million next year from 236 million in 2012. ABI Research says the highest shipments of set-top boxes in 2012 came from China with 44 million; the U.S. with 29 million; and
India with 23 million.
New set-top-box shipments are expected to decline in saturated markets, such as North American and Western Europe, while continuing to rise in the Asia-Pacific and
Latin America regions."TV Set Top Box" photo from Shutterstock.