Global shipments of Pay-TV set top boxes (STBs) are on track to grow by nearly 40 per cent by 2012 according to a new Industry “Pay-TV operators around the world continue to use STBs to drive digital services, increase ARPU and reduce subscriber churn,” says Carl Hibbert of Futuresource Consulting, “with innovations such as High Definition, PVR, VoD and Home Networking.” This competitive ';technology push' from the Pay-TV industry and the continued importance of content security will maintain the stability of the STB industry for at least the next two to three years, despite the wider availability of TVs with open interfaces like CableCARD and CI+, and increasing trends towards CE product connectivity into Pay-TV networks.
“The next five years will see further consolidation in the STB industry, with smaller vendors being absorbed or pushed out, especially as China_s major OEMs and brands increase their drive on export markets. And in a commoditising market, the long haul survivors will be the ones with solid account relationships, competitive economies of scale and/or unique competencies in software or end-to-end network solutions.”
Furthermore, the next five years will see a geographical shift in demand for STBs. Futuresource research shows that EMEA accounted for the largest proportion of demand in 2007, generated through rapid subscriber adoption across both cable and satellite, with Analogue Switch Off generating additional traction for DTT boxes.
By the latter part of the forecast period, Asia Pacific will become the dominant territory, accounting for nearly 50% of global demand. India and China will account for the majority of this, though both have witnessed slow uptake of multi-channel TV to date, due to price and technology limitations.