The global market for cable video gateways that combine the functions of a broadband router with the functions of a TV set-top box, will grow from less than 700,000 units in 2010 to more than 10 million by 2016, according to a new ABI Research report.

Cable service providers across North America and Europe are looking to purchase more gateways in order to deliver cable network content and services across multiple platforms and multiple devices in an integrated fashion. Cable operators in Asia are looking to purchase more gateways as a low-cost means of extending their triple play packages to new customers, ABI’s researchers found.

Cable gateway boxes can be more cost-effective, especially in homes with three or more TV screens, compared to traditional set-top box architectures,” Jason Blackwell, practice director for digital homes, explained.

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“Cable gateways used in conjunction with IP-only thin-client set-top boxes, give operators the ability to centralize costly cable tuners, hard drives used to offer DVR functions, and network processors at one location in the home. In addition, these centralized architectures help to provide operators with a migration strategy from traditional QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) broadcasting to IP video.”

The latest, feature-rich cable gateways many manufacturers are showcasing today surprisingly make up only 30% of the total market, according to ABI’s report, which is entitled, “Worldwide Set-Top Box Markets: CATV, DBS, IP, DTT.”

“The set-top box market today is showing increasing polarization between high-end models with 3D user interfaces and low-cost boxes used to bring millions of customers pay-TV services for the first time in their lives.” senior analyst Sam Rosen. 

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