Internet TV Boxes Expected To Remain "relatively Unsuccessful" In 2008

TV services that depend on set top boxes like the Apple TV, are unlikely to see a considerable jump in sales in 2008, ABI Research believes. Even with Apple TV at its front line, the company describes this market segment as a "struggling breed of retail-based Internet video devices" and estimates that about 1.2 million of these systems will make their way to consumers in 2008.

So far, ABI said, Internet TV boxes "have had difficulty resonating with consumers, largely due to their higher prices and competition from legacy set-top boxes, as well as confusion over the benefits they will ultimately bring to the buyer".

"The high cost of these devices, their reliance on the home network, the need for consumer self-installation, and the scarcity of content have all contributed to their lack of commercial success," said research director Michael Wolf.

Emerging video services on game consoles aren't helping this segment, but ABI said that "there is a possibility of a break-out success among these new entrants if they can create compelling content offerings, make consumer installation and management incredibly easy, and offer both the hardware and content at compelling pricing."