An article on the Light Reading Cable site today about this:
Is the Set-Top Duopoly on Its Deathbed?
Light Reading Cable - March 7, 2012
"Getting out of the set-top box business appears to be the thing to do these days.
Following word that Cisco Systems Inc. wants to unload its set-top box unit comes a rumor that Google is eager to sell off Motorola Mobility Inc.'s box business even before the deal is consummated.
If both possibilities end up ringing true, then, ding-dong, the duopoly is dead. But, it's hard to blame them if they do indeed decide to bug out. The set-top box business isn't what it once was as margins drop and the traditional functions of the set-top box, including security, give way to set-top-free IP-connected TVs and tablets and more elegant software-based security systems that loosen their stranglehold on conditional access.
The set-top box is a dying breed, but the business isn't dead yet, nor will it be for many years. So, in the theoretical absence of the duopoly, what's domestic cable to do? Don't fret too much is a good starting point. Panasonic Corp. may have picked the worst time to exit the U.S. set-top box business, but there is no shortage of folks that are hungry to help cable operators bridge the chasm. Here are some of the leading candidates, plus a few dark horses."
[Followed by the author's list and discussion of the leading candidates and dark horses.]