Set-Top-BoxWorldwide shipments of UltraHD set-top boxes (STBs) will reach 48 million by 2020 while HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) STB shipments will grow even faster, to 88 million units per year, by 2020, according to a forecast from ABI Research. Some 60,000 high-end gateway STBs with UltraHD and HEVC capabilities will be shipped in 2014, ABI predicts.

ABI analysts foresee an initial push and rise in UltraHD and HEVC-capable STBs employing next-generation video-compression technology in multi-tuner gateway boxes. That will be followed by a second surge of HD HEVC STB installations fueled by deployments in areas of strong demand “where the last-mile network build-out isn’t otherwise sufficient to deploy HD MPEG-4 services,” the market research company elaborates in a press release.

UltraHD Set-Top Boxes Forecast
“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,” according to 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.”

In India, Tata Sky has opted to go with Technicolor for its UltraHD deployment. In Japan, Sumitomo has delivered UltraHD STBs for NTT Playa, while BskyB may build its own for its Project Ethan, ABI notes, adding that “early prototypes and designs have been based primarily on Broadcom 725x SoC with Broadcom or VIXS decoders,”

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