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Cable Technology Feature Article

February 15, 2010

15 Million Cable STBs Expected to Offer MoCA Support by 2014: Study

By Narayan Bhat, TMCnet Contributor

By the end of 2014, about 15 million next-generation set-top boxes will be supported by MoCA, one of the most widely-supported home media networking technologies, predicts market research firm ABI Research.
The next generation of set-top boxes extends beyond HD and PVR functionality, and includes, first and foremost, networking/connectivity as well as hybrid designs, says the researcher in its later report titled “Next Generation Set-Top Boxes.”
More than anything else, next generation STBs will be added with far more features and capabilities including cable/IP, DTT/IP (Digital Terrestrial Television/IP), DBS/IP, and more.
According to ABI Research (News - Alert), a number of technologies are vying for a share in the next phase of home entertainment networking. If these technologies and innovations are put to use, they ultimately bolster the capabilities of the service operator and enrich the user-experience.
 Networking can also help reduce operator expenses via shorter installation times and the use of “thin(ner) clients in place of multiple PVRs, says the market research firm.
Among the leading contenders are MoCA, HomePNA (News - Alert), Powerline, and Wi-Fi. But according to industry analyst Michael Inouye, “Currently the choice of networking technology is largely specific to particular operators, obscuring any broad trends (North America aside). In general, though, MoCA seems to be gaining traction in North America (HomePNA has had success as well on the telco side), while Wi-Fi and Powerline have seen more success in Europe.”
Considering that the North American market is already establishing support for each respective technology, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and Latin America are seen as new opportunities. As large North American operators such as AT&T, Cox, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, and Verizon (News - Alert) select networking technologies best suited to their subscriber bases, these decisions will likely help spur similar selection processes abroad as interest in home networking grows.
As per the recent data released by the ABI Research, the shipment of the set-top box is expected to witness tremendous rise, growing at a compound annual growth rate of over 12 percent, during the 2009-2014 period, in the Asia-Pacific region.

Narayan Bhat is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Narayan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison