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Market Research Report

Set-top Box Innovations and Trends

Published by Parks Associates Product code 890219
Published Content info 35 Pages
Delivery time: 1-2 business days
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Set-top Box Innovations and Trends
Published: May 31, 2020 Content info: 35 Pages


The set-top box market is undergoing a profound transformation with the advent of new options for accessing pay-TV and premium-TV channels. Until a few years ago, most customers could receive these channels only from a local cable company or a satellite company. Now, many options exist for using video devices attached to TVs and video products (smart TVs) to access the same channels without a set-top box. Furthermore, these new methods for accessing traditional TV also offer an expanded choice of new channels streaming over the Internet, and with many carrying award-winning programs.

This report explains these changes and examines how set-top box makers and cable operators are adjusting by establishing new business relationships and adding features to the set-top box that may help retain customers.


"Set-top boxes are no longer the only portal to the world of premium video content, but we see a market continuing for the STB through innovation and creative partnerships with MSOs, streaming services, and content developers," said Kristen Hanich, Senior Analyst, Connected Home, Parks Associates.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Bottom Line

History and Evolution of Set-Top Boxes

Competing Approaches to Delivering Premium Video Content

  • Set-top Box Supplied by the MSO
    • Linear TV
    • Internet TV
  • Cloud-Based Set-Top Box
  • Set-top Box from Third Party and Cable Card from MSO
  • Streaming Interfaces
    • Connected Video Devices
    • Streaming Media Players - a Set-Top Box Alternative
    • Smart TVs - an Existential Threat to Add-On Video Products
    • Set-Top Box Advantage: Quality of Service
  • Extending Set-Top Box Features with Middleware and Apps
    • Set-Top Boxes with Android TV Middleware

Set-top Box User Experience Features

  • Pay-per-View
  • Electronic Program Guide (EPG)
  • Anytime/Anywhere Viewing
  • The Remote Control Unit
  • Apps, Widgets, Internet, and Home Automation Features
  • Set-Top Box Management Features
  • Streaming Services
  • Streaming Pay-TV (vMVPD)

Innovations in Set-Top Box Monetization

Strategies for Retaining Set-Top Box Customers

  • Focus on Content and Set-Top Box features
  • Compete with Streaming Equipment
  • Responses by the Industry

The Future of Set-Top Boxes

  • Implications and Recommendations

List of Figures

  • Penetration of Traditional Pay-TV vs. OTT Video Services (2017-2020)
  • Adoption of Connected Video Products
  • Most Commonly Used Streaming Video Devices (2018-2020)
  • Pay-TV Service Features Received
  • STB Optional Features
  • STB Management Features
  • Top OTT Subscription Services in the US (Q1 2020)
  • Weekly Average Video Consumption via TV (2015-2020)
  • Monthly Use of Pay-TV Features
  • Traditional and Online Pay-TV (vMVPD) Service Adoption
  • Age Breakout of Set-Top Box Owners vs. Non-Owners
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