Over-The-Top Device Shipments Up 20% in 2013 to 1.7B

IHS sees over 2.5 billion over-the-top media capable devices shipping by 2017

The FCC may have to decide pretty soon what regulatory regime does or doesn’t apply to over-the-top video given its widespread accessibility by all those mobile devices poised to get more bandwidth.

A whopping 1.7 billion devices capable of accessing over-the-top broadband content over Netflix, Hulu and other platforms will ship by the end of 2013, the majority of them still PCs and smart phones.

And while phones and PCs are still primarily used for voice and data, respectively, each is increasingly becoming a media portal.

That is according to a new consumer electronics report by global research firm IHS.

That is a 20% increase over the 1.43 billion units that shipped in 2012 and is on a pace to grow another 20% next year on the way to a projected total of 2.67 billion by 2017, which would be an 86% increase in just five years.

OTT-capable devices include set-tops, Blu-Ray players, TV's, game consoles, tablets, PCs, smart phones, Apple TV and Roku.

IHS says one of the keys to OTT devices are the chips that allow them to handle content "without draining either the system’s battery or the consumer’s wallet." But that will be an increasingly high hurdle, says IHS, given the technical requirement for OTT, including new media coding standard that requires more computing power. But that cloud has a silver lining for the equipment manufacturers having to fill an expanding market.