India STB-makers lose out
Foreign suppliers of set-top boxes have captured some 95 per cent of India’s demand for digital TV converter equipment, according to statistics from India’s Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DEITY).
DEITY says that in the six months to November 2012 about 10 million cable boxes were imported, and a further 4 million for DTH transmissions. Local manufacturers could have supplied up to 7 million units a month, says DEITY, but during the whole of the Phase 1 conversion process only supplied 300,000 units for cable TV, although did a little better for the DTH sector and supplied some 4 million units.
Two factors impact buying trends. Bizarrely, local taxes are not helping buyers. Factory gate prices are said by DEITY to be about $19.02 per unit, but this translates to at least $24.36 at the point of sale. Imported basic functionality boxes are said to be typically priced lower than this, at about $22.59 per unit. Also a factor is that buyers place a higher perceived value/reliability on imported boxes.