The market for internet protocol set-top boxes will grow at least four times faster than that for cable or satellite-based boxes in the near future, according to ABI Research.

With opportunities existing everywhere in the world that a telephone operator offers broadband services, the compound annual growth rate for internet protocol set-top boxes is forecast at around 60% over the next five years, compared to a more modest 13-14% for cable and satellite devices over the same period.

While companies such as Thomson, Samsung and Pace Communications are heavily committed to this market, two of the largest cable set-top box manufacturers have not yet produced any internet protocol boxes.

Set-top boxes will play an important role in the future of television viewing experience – whether it be for high definition, time shifting, video on demand or interactive services. Chipset vendors such as ST Micro are pushing the envelope to empower set-top box vendors in building a home gateway device at a price point attractive for the service operators to launch.

ABI Research’s report, The Future of Cable, DBS, IP and Terrestrial Set Top Boxes, examines the global trends in shipments, revenue, and penetration of advanced features for various forms of distribution networks, including digital satellite, terrestrial, cable, fibre and broadband networks.