MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) set-top box shipments surpassed MPEG-2-only set-top box shipments for the first time in 2010, with about 53 percent MPEG-4 shipments worldwide, according to ABI Research’s report “Global Set Top Box Markets.” Despite the support for advanced encoding, however, pay-TV operators worldwide have been slow to support interactive features on set-top boxes.

High-end boxes that shipped this year in the United States and Europe will enable higher levels of interactivity, including next-generation EPGs (electronic program guides) and hybrid services, with many services slated to launch in early 2011.

“Set-top boxes are slowly catching up to consumer electronics devices which enable access to interactive services and over-the-top (OTT) content,” said ABI Research practice director Jason Blackwell, in a statement. “In the U.S., operators are favoring their own ‘TV Everywhere’ platforms, including Comcast’s Xfinity,, and U-verse, rather than supporting OTT video services. In Europe, Project Canvas and HbbTV are more open interactive TV platforms.”

“More processing power is being tested in set-top boxes, including early tests of an Intel Atom-based platform. These high-powered boxes act as gateways with multiple tuners and support multi-room viewing with thin clients on other TVs in the household,” said ABI Research senior analyst Sam Rosen, in a statement. “‘No new wire’ home networking standards are enabling deployment of these gateway devices.”

The Daily


NAB’s Policy To-Do List

Gordon Smith ’s remarks at NAB ’s State Leadership Conference Tuesday centered on COVID-19, much like everything else has these past 14 months. “We ended last year with a major victory on Capitol Hill

Read the Full Issue
The Skinny is delivered on Tuesday and focuses on the cable profession. You'll stay in the know on the headlines, topics and special issues you value most. Sign Up


Jun 10
The FAXIES Awards – Virtual CelebrationSave the Date! - June 10, 2021
Jul 16
Diversity List – 2021 Nominations Due: July 16, 2021
Sep 10
Most Powerful Women – 2021 Nominations Due: Sept 10, 2021
Dec 7
Most Powerful Women CelebrationSave the Date!
Full Calendar


Seeking an INDUSTRY JOB?

Hiring? In conjunction with our sister brand, Cynopsis, we are offering hiring managers a deep pool of media-savvy, skilled candidates at a range of experience levels and sectors, The result will be an even more robust industry job board, to help both employers and job seekers.

Contact for more information.