Set-top boxes

Arris Counts on CPE Upgrades

Nobody ever gets tired of pronouncing the death of the traditional set-top box, but Arris Group Inc. CEO Bob Stanzione keeps predicting something very different. (See TWC CEO Heaps More Dirt on the Set-Top Box and Arris Sees Stormy Spring.)

At the Barclays Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference Thursday, Stanzione was more bullish than ever about prospects for the consumer premises equipment (CPE) market. "We expect there to be a big replacement cycle in home devices beginning this year," he proclaimed.

An uptick in the CPE market would certainly be good news for Arris, which gets the bulk of its revenues from home equipment sales. After tripling in size through its acquisition of Motorola Home last month, Arris now has a Network and Cloud business unit and a CPE business unit. The CPE business, which is the larger of the two in terms of sales, includes cable modems, embedded multimedia terminal adapters (EMTAs), home media gateways, and set-top boxes.

As he has before, Stanzione cited analyst forecasts suggesting that home gateways will make up an impressive 64 percent of the worldwide CPE market by 2017, up from 28 percent today. That shift to gateways is a big part of the expected upgrade cycle.

Stanzione expressed minimal concern that smart TVs might do away with the need for set-tops in the near future. Although he said there's a possibility that some new smart TVs will be able to communicate directly with a home gateway, he doesn't expect that to be a major trend over the next three to four years.

— Mari Silbey, Special to Light Reading Cable

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