The global market for set-top boxes will grow gradually over the next few years, then will peak at around 110 million shipments in 2012, according to a new report from ABI Research. Thereafter STB unit volumes for all platforms – DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television), IPTV (Internet Protocol Television), DBS (Direct Broadcast Satellite), and CATV (cable) – will begin a gradual decline.
STB revenues show a different pattern. According to ABI Research Principal Analyst Robert Clark, “STB revenues for all platforms have declined significantly between 2007 and 2009, but will recover by 2010 and remain relatively stable through at least 2013.” Sales of basic STBs have already been falling for some time; now HD-only and PVR-only STBs are also showing the first signs of downturn. From 2009 on, Clark expects to see a greater share of combined HD/PVR sales, especially in the DBS segment.
The decline in shipments after 2012 is due in part to the expected completion, in most developed countries, of the transition to all-digital television broadcasting. Pay-TV platforms in particular are affected through 2012 by the threat of displacement by over-the-top video, and the substitution potential of residential gateways, media hubs and gaming boxes. STB components will increasingly be integrated into TVs themselves.
ABI Research’s new study Global Set-Top Box (STB) Markets provides an overview of the global set-top box market. It includes analysis and forecasts of all pay-TV platforms’ subscriber counts and STB technology choices and corresponding global trends, with 1H 2008 shipments and vendor revenues and market shares by platform. For information, visit www.abiresearch.com.