A new report by Infonetics Research on service providers’ requirements for IP-based set-top boxes (STBs) to deliver video services points to the end of the thin client.

With many in the industry have traditionally that video services would likely be delivered over a network, in particular through the cloud, leading to low-cost STBs designed to deliver basic video services being the hallmark of IPTV services, Infonetics Research’s Set-Top Box Features and Vendor Leadership: Global Service Provider Survey points to a mid shift in thinking. Specifically it suggests that the need for service providers to increase ARPU have led to significant changes in STB design over the years.

Explained Teresa Mastrangelo, directing analyst for video at Infonetics Research: “The STB remains the most visible point of interaction between subscribers and IPTV providers and is a key component to an operator’s success. In our recent STB survey, service providers rated STB features most important to them, which include support for HDMI inputs for 1080p picture quality, integrated hard drive for PVR support, USB inputs for external memory, the use of SoCs (system-on-a-chip) in the design, and environmentally friendly features.”

The survey also reveals that Ethernet is the preferred technology for delivering video to multiple devices in the home, probably the most important trend going forward as home s readily embrace the concept of TV Everywhere and devices such as the iPad and tablets and smartphones are increasingly used to access video services.

IP STB manufacturers regard Motorola and Cisco stetting the agenda in IP STB design even though Amino was acknowledged as the most installed IP STB vendor.