UK and France lead with hybrid IPTV set-tops

By Robert Briel
October 14, 2009 19.46 UK

Nearly 13% of total worldwide IPTV set-top box shipments in 2008 were operator deployed hybrid sets combining IPTV and digital terrestrial reception. Of the 1.6 million IPTV + DTT STBs deployed, 87% of shipments went to Western European TV households, according to IMS Research.

“Uptake of operator deployed IPTV + DTT STBs has been popular in both the UK and France, but it is anticipated that Italy, Germany, Spain and The Netherlands will also see an increase through 2014. As a global projection, IMS Research expects 25% of IP shipments to be IP+DTT STBs. In Eastern Europe, Poland and the Czech Republic will comprise 54% of Eastern Europe’s IP+DTT shipments in 2014,” said Rebecca Kurlak, research analyst at IMS, in a statement.

Kurlak continued, “Not only will IPTV + DTT STBs experience a surge from operators, but in the retail market as well. Fetch TV and Video Future are just two examples of operator-free TV service business models available to Western Europe households. The boxes supply a la carte VOD offerings in tandem with free-to-air (FTA) DTT channels. The STBs are as compelling as traditional pay-TV operator STBs by offering DVR functionality, VOD and digital multichannel TV capabilities. The only drawback is the fact that sports programming and popular specialty channels remain absent from the content offerings.”

Additionally she noted, “For those that are not avid sports fans and prefer to pay for only a select amount of content, the retail STB does prove to be an attractive offering.”