Worldwide UltraHD capable set-top box shipments will reach 48 million by 2020, while the market for the next-generation of video compression technology HEVC set-top boxes is forecast to rise even further to 88 million units, according to ABI Research’s Set-top Box and Home Networks Market Research. This is a steep growth from this year's projection of about 60K UltraHD and HEVC capable units within the high-end gateway set-top boxes segment.
The HEVC which stands for High Efficiency Video Coding provides 2x data compression ratio compared to its predecessor H.264/MPEG-4 AVC (Advanced Video Coding) for the same level of video quality, enabling transmission of high definition service at a lower bandwidth. HEVC based HD set-top boxes will be rolled out after an initial phase of MPEG-4-based UltraHD set-tops deployment, in areas with lower bandwidths which are insufficient for MPEG-4 based services, said ABI.
ABI also shared a number of Ultra-HD set-top contracts from pay TV providers globally where early prototypes and designs have been based primarily on Broadcom 725x SoC with Broadcom or ViXS decoders. These contracts include Technicolor's design win for Tata Sky’s UltraHD deployment in India, Sumitomo's selection to supply set-tops for the NTT Playa in Japan and BSkyB's own Project Ethan.