China’s web TV market in 2009 had over 2 million web TV set shipments and about 1/4 million web TV STB shipments. The fast development of the web TV market is driven by competition between the giant domestic TV vendors and the low incremental cost for web TV functionality, helping drive wider user acceptance. As a result, In-Stat forecasts web-enabled TV shipments to exceed 15 million units by 2014.
The web TV STB market does face challenges associated with its limited sales channel and high retail pricing. Some telecom operators are deploying web TV STBs coupled with subscriptions to their high bandwidth Internet access, but they do so while keeping a low profile due to regulation concerns.
Recent research by In-Stat reveals the following:
– With the triple-play policy being pushed by the Chinese government, more licensed content providers for web TV sets will emerge.
– Web TV is becoming standard on large screen LED and LCD TV sets.
– The penetration rate of web TV is likely to increase from 8 per cent to 50 per cent in the next five years.
– Users are willing to pay for web TV content, if the content is in HD quality and up-to-date.
– Cable STBs with VoIP functions have already emerged in China.
– In the US market, over 137 million web-enabled CE devices will ship in 2014.
– Hybrid web-to-TV set top boxes (STB) are emerging as a vital tool to enable broadcasters and operators to provision over-the-top video offerings.