The worldwide market for digital set-top boxes (STBs) experienced continued strong growth in 2006, with smaller Asian manufacturers advancing up the market share ladder, says IMS Research. Traditional STB stalwarts still remain the worldwide leaders, but are facing increased competition from lower tier manufacturers. The digital STB market reached an estimated 122 million units shipped in 2006.
French STB maker Thomson held on to its lead position in 2006 with double-digit share due primarily to its dominant position in the US pay-DTH market, and the company's strong entry into the European IP-STB market. Motorola nearly doubled its digital cable STB output compared to 2005, and has further extended its share lead over US-based competitor Scientific Atlanta. Chinese-based Tongda has gained ground on the top tier players by tripling their satellite STB output in 2006, with volume shipments primarily to Asian markets. No longer trailing the STB heavyweights, Philips Consumer Electronics has climbed into the top five worldwide share leaders by supplying the continued growth of pay-DTH markets in Europe and Asia.