The Asia-Pacific region will lead worldwide set-top box market growth for the next five years, according to data from ABI Research. Asia-Pacific’s share of the market will approach 50 per cent of all set-top boxes sold worldwide in 2013-2015 before declining slightly.
“This trend towards Asia-Pacific STB uptake is driven by the completion of digital transitions in North America and Western Europe, coupled with the digitisation of cable systems in China occurring through 2015-2016,” says practice director Jason Blackwell, “Subscriber growth in India is strong too, although no clear timeline for digitisation has been established, which hampers digital STB growth.”
Worldwide, video operators’ desire to offer more channels and high definition channels was evident. “2011 reflects the first full year where boxes capable of decoding MPEG-4 (H.264 AVC) will exceed legacy boxes capable of decoding only MPEG-2,” explains senior analyst Sam Rosen. “MPEG-4 is required for high-definition video, and can help fit more digital standard definition channels into the same bandwidth, compared to the MPEG-2 codec.”
Cable services remained the most popular pay-TV platform globally – although they continue to lose market share, primarily to IPTV platforms. Satellite (DBS) and terrestrial platforms are gaining customers through market growth, but maintaining steady market shares.