The end of analogue broadcasting (on April 30) has led to a boom in the supply and purchase of digital set-top boxes. Market research specialist GfK says that in the year to March 31st, sales are up 24 per cent, with January generating record sales up 60 per cent (y-o-y).
Flat-panel TVs with built-in digital receivers also benefitted, says GfK, also up 60 per cent (y-o-y).
“The high demand for these products also led to lower consumer prices. Regarding DVB-S set top boxes, the average selling price in January dropped by 24 per cent (y-o-y) to €88, while entry level products could be found for less than €30. However, these low-cost devices only provide standard definition signals,” added GfK.
Set-top boxes also saw a rise in the integration of PVR (personal video recorder) functionality and IP based services – with 20 per cent of devices sold were compatible with an external hard drive, while 10 per cent had one built in.
“So-called ‘Hybrid’ models, while not a major trend at the moment, are set to grow in popularity following the digital switch off. Besides receiving ordinary broadcasts, they can also provide online content such as Video on Demand, YouTube and the ability to surf the web. These devices accounted for around 4 per cent of units sold in January,” said GfK.