Providing market intelligence for more than 35 years

Consumer Electronics Devices

We’re here to lead the way in helping our clients navigate change for lasting success

Q2 2020

Industry Report

Set-top Box Innovations and Trends

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.


Download Table of Contents (PDF)

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


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

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

© May 2020 Parks Associates
All rights reserved.  No part of this book may be reproduced, in any form or by any means, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Printed in the United States of America. 

Parks Associates has made every reasonable effort to ensure that all information in this report is correct.  We assume no responsibility for any inadvertent errors.


The Parks Points Newsletter Features All Aspects Of Our Research, Including Smart Home, Iot Devices, Entertainment And Digital Media, Security, Energy, Health, And Consumer Data.