In homes receiving cable TV, MoCA home media networking will be supported by some 15 million next-generation set-top boxes by 2014, according to new forecasts from ABI Research.

The next generation of set-top boxes extends beyond HD and PVR functionality, and includes networking/connectivity as well as hybrid designs. At the core, next generation set-top boxes represent a form of hybridization, which can include cable/IP, DTT/IP (Digital Terrestrial Television/IP), IP/DTT, DBS/IP, and more.

A number of technologies are vying for a share of the next phase of home entertainment networking. Such connectivity extends the service operator’s network both internally (communication between multiple service operator boxes) and externally (communicating with third-party devices), both of which enrich the user-experience and ultimately foster services and features sought by consumers.??

Among the leading contenders are MoCA, HomePNA, Powerline, and Wi-Fi. But according to ABI analyst Michael Inouye, in a statement, “The choice of networking technology is turning out to be largely specific to particular operators, obscuring any broad trends."

"In general, though, MoCA seems to be gaining traction in North America (HomePNA has had some success as well on the telco side), while Wi-Fi and Powerline have seen more success in Europe.”??

HomePNA has largely targeted the telco operators. While it can extend to DBS (Direct Broadcast Satellite) and cable, the telcos will likely remain the primary target. Considering that the North American market is already establishing support for each respective technology, Asia-Pacific and Latin America are seen as target markets.

“The industry at large needs to focus on establishing a shared working foundation (if not standards) for networking and broadband services,” said Inouye. “Initiatives such as the Open IPTV Forum, Canvas, and HbbTV are steps in the right direction.”

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