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STB manufacturers respond to growing risks, says ABI Research

The status of the set-top box (STB) within pay-TV households faces significant risk from the development of two-way, digital-cable–ready TVs, media centers and residential gateways, says ABI Research.

The research firm, which recently published “Global Set-Top Box Markets,” finds STB manufacturers are responding in several ways, including the addition of new features, such as increased hard-disk space, DVD players, DVD burners, and home-audio solutions, which will better align STB functionality with consumer demands.

Manufacturers also are attempting to improve electronic program guides and to incorporate more video gaming and Web-based services, notes the research firm.

ABI Research forecasts that revenue from standard STB sales will decline in the period from 2008 to 2012. STB vendors initially will rely on growing markets for IPTV, DBS and DTT set top boxes. But according to the report by 2010 even those sectors will be under pressure from alternative technologies introduced to facilitate the connected home.

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