A study by IMS Research predicts that worldwide shipments of hybrid set-top boxes (STB), which combine traditional broadcast TV reception with video delivered over the Internet, will grow to nearly 87 million units/year and reach more than 380 million households by 2015. Paul Erickson, Senior Analyst at IMS Research said, “Augmenting traditional video delivery methods with additional content and services over IP has finally come of age,” and in five years, the majority of new STB worldwide will be hybrid devices. While the Americas currently lead with over 65% of global hybrid STB shipments, IMS expects Europe to overtake within a couple of years.
Meanwhile, Europe’s largest TV manufacturer, Vestel has announced a new range of STBs equipped to receive HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV) services broadcast via ASTRA satellites by German broadcasters, including ARD and ZDF. Hakan Hutlu, Vestel’s Deputy General Manager for Marketing, said, “with HbbTV, consumers have all the benefits of a high quality large-screen viewing experience coupled with the capability to enjoy compelling VOD and catch-up content, interact with programmes and friends, or swap media files or photos.” ASTRA is a founding member of the HbbTV Consortium, establishing an industry standard for hybrid TV.