Roku, Apple and Google should brace for streaming video boom


Satellite companies might not be in a mood to celebrate, but things are looking positively rosy for companies selling video streaming devices, who are benefitting from the general trend of what industry insiders call over-the-top content. And if the sheer excitement over cord-cutting and the Chromecast isn’t telling enough, then this morning’s report from American market research firm Parks Associates should be ample testimony that video streaming to our big screen televisions is about to have its moment.

According to the report, the number of U.S. households that own some kind of video streaming device, which is defined specifically as a set-top box or dongle that is connected to the TV, has doubled in the last two years, to about 14 percent. Parks Associates projects that such streaming media devices will be in 300 million households by 2017 and that sales revenue will increase by 100 percent in that period, driven by shrinking costs.

Parks Associates points to a bigger shift in TV buying as conducive to streaming media device sales. Big screens and cutting edge Smart TVs are becoming more popular, the company says, and we will soon see an increased adoption of high-end products like 4D or UltraHD Smart TVs. While households may not seek to upgrade their thousand-dollar television every year or two, streaming video boxes become a cheap way to get an upgraded experience in the living room.

Of the 10,000 people Parks Associates surveyed, the percentage that do own set-top boxes tend to favor Roku’s offerings. In the survey, 37 percent have a Roku, compared to 24 percent who own an Apple TV. While Apple has been slow to make over its AppleTV, Roku has been quite aggressive in developing new models, the latest being the Roku 3. Google’s Chromecast is going to be an influential player in the streaming video market due to its ease of use, according to our very own Janko: “Chromecast is pure simplicity: Search and discovery of video content is happening on the mobile device or laptop, and all Chromecast does is stream media from the cloud.”

Another big draw is the boost in broadband speeds across the country, which helps streaming devices produce picture-perfect video. As some cities explore the super-fast speeds of gigabit connections, broadband companies are pushing to offer better service across the country for lower costs. More consumers will have access to better internet over time, making streaming devices a low-cost way to get high-quality media.

As the Chromecast continues to roll out in force, it’s not a stretch to see massive growth for video streaming devices coming down the pike over the next few years. As dongles and boxes get cheaper to produce and are packed with more features — in Apple TV’s case, maybe even some honest-to-goodness broadcasting deals — their appeal will continue to increase. Satellite companies should have more reasons to worry.

This post was updated at 2:16pm with correct spelling of Parks Associates.



The Roku 3 is a state of they art streaming player and will go well beyond is years. It’s what we want. I really enjoyed this article especially what Parks Associates said about projecting 300 million streaming devices in U.S. homes by 2017. I will be one of those owners soon. Thank you for your great insight.

Bob Cooley

Now all I need is some way to legally stream my local sports teams and cable is over.

Roger Jennings

If fulfilled, this projection will create a booming market for the Chinese MiniPC and TVBox manufacturers and dealers in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone.


All the high-brow videophiles must have their Blu-ray discs to watch content because their eyes don’t wish to be offended by low-quality content that streaming offers. No video streaming for them.

Alexandr Shevtsov

The problem is not in the online video, but the problem themselves online services (Netflix, Youtube, etc.) that provide the video in such a bad quality. I think for viewing online video services have to do an opportunity to choose the video quality as it can be done on Youtube.


Miracast TV — HD Wireless offers a better alternative to Chromecast and has a few key advantages and doesn’t limit the content displayed like Chromecast does… and also offers Full 1080p HD for browsing, unlike Chromecast which only offers 720p — This week, a new $39 Miracast HD Wireless adapter became available and works much more like Roku and Apple’s Airplay Wireless display technology–

This new device is available at T ab l e t S p ri n t — definitely worth reviewing the features this wireless streaming device offers–

Alexandr Shevtsov

Miracast (like WiDi) is better then when you need to quickly display fully the entire desktop and everything on it is, but Miracast video quality deteriorates during transmission to the TV. There is where the WHDI Broadcast image and sound quality is comparable with HDMI cable without degradation and without delay.
Chromecast is of low quality video only when there is a transmission of the entire web page, but when you switch to play the selected video, audio and pictures on a television broadcast is without any deterioration in the quality of video or audio.
Both technologies can easily co-exist in the smartphone and thus not interfering with one another.

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