Hybrid Web-to-TV set top boxes will bring a new set of Internet services to TV sets, by integrating Internet capability into cable, satellite, telcoTV (IPTV), and digital terrestrial set top boxes. Work is being done to create “hybrid” services that bring "apps" and "widgets" to TV programming, along with advanced advertising, according to In-Stat.
Blu-ray players, game consoles, and TV sets are connecting to the Internet, and everything on the Internet is becoming accessible on smart-phones and other connected devices. Internet video is the new "must have" service, In-Stat believes. But many devices need additions set-top-boxes to connect to the Internet. Those hybrid STBD that could be immediately put into use will reach 1.3 billion worldwide by 2014 in terms of revenue.
“TV programs have come to the Internet. Now, the Internet is coming back to TV, and savvy software engineers and smart TV producers are finding ways to create new "hybrid" services that bring it all together. The set top box industry is scrambling to create designs that facilitate all these new features," said Gerry Kaufhold, the principal analyst for In-Stat.
According to In-Stat hybrid-capable STBs are shipping today, but only a small percentage are using the capabilities. Western Europe will be the hot bed for development of hybrid services, and the leader for early hybrid STB shipments.
Interestingly, but Intel’s x86 promises to be a key enabler, as Adobe Flash, Windows Media, Microsoft Silverlight, DiVX, and VP8 appear first on an x86.