MPEG-4 Part 10 and VC-1: Must-Haves for the Set-Top Box of the Future
Posted Jan 18, 2005

Advanced video decoders are finding a role as standard features of Internet Protocol set-top boxes (IP-STBs). According to new studies from ABI Research, they will be found on virtually all new STBs by 2008.

MPEG-4 Part 10 (AVC), the ISO standard codec that is the algorithm of choice for the DVD and digital broadcast industries, and VC-1, the compression component of Microsoft's Windows Media technology, are included in about 30% of currently available IP-STBs, says the company.

"IP-STBs are not yet as numerous as 'regular' digital STBs," says ABI Research analyst Joseph Yau, "but they are definitely a growing segment of the set-top box market. More and more telcos and IPTV providers are deploying video over IP and DSL, and their subscribers will need these IP-STBs and residential gateways to decode the signals."

ABI Research's study "IP Set Top Boxes: MPEG-2/4 IP STBs, Gateways and Media Centers" offers timely data on the penetration of emerging Telco TV, IP set-top box, and gateway technologies, examining global trends in shipments, average selling price (ASP), and revenue growth across IP set-top box devices. Another study, "The Future of Cable, DBS, IP and Terrestrial Set Top Boxes" covers various distribution networks, including digital cable, DBS, fiber, terrestrial, DSL and IP-based networks.