The Asia-Pacific region will lead STB growth for the next five years, with shipments approaching 50 per cent of the STBs sold worldwide in 2013-2015 before falling off slightly. Established players delivering cable boxes to China, including Jiuzhou and Coship, stand to gain in market share as unit shipments and ASP increase in Asia. Huawei (through Huawei Devices) is also engaging service providers in the region, and ABI Research expects they will see success in this market.
According to practice director Jason Blackwell. “This trend, in which Asia-Pacific countries see continued strong STB adoption, 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. Subscriber growth in India is strong, but no clear timeline for digitizsation is being pursued, which is hampering digital set-top box growth in the subcontinent.”
Worldwide, video operators‚ desire to offer more channels and high definition channels has been evident. “2011 will be the first full year in which 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 to deliver high definition video, and can help fit more digital standard definition channels into the same bandwidth compared to the MPEG-2 standard.”
Worldwide, cable services remain the most popular pay-TV platform although they continue to lose market share, primarily to Telco TV (IPTV) platforms, with Satellite (DBS) and Terrestrial (DTT) platforms gaining customers but maintaining their market shares.