Advanced Television

Analyst: Pricing pressure drags on STB market

July 30, 2015

Unit shipments of set-top boxes worldwide improved 2 per cent sequentially in the first quarter of 2015, and were up 3 per cent from the year-ago first quarter, according to the IHS Infonetics Set-Top Boxes report.

“We expect unit shipments of set-top boxes to improve in 2015, but price competition for higher-end devices and growth among less expensive boxes for emerging markets will bring revenue down for the year,” said Jeff Heynen, research director for broadband access and pay TV at IHS.

IHS expects particularly strong unit growth for High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) dongles, which allow viewers to stream online movies, music, games, photos and apps to a TV using a smartphone, tablet or laptop. HDMI dongles, such as Google’s Chromecast, Roku HDMI sticks, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick HDTV, and virtual set-top boxes, will see the highest unit growth of all the digital media adapters tracked by IHS, and could siphon away business from OTT servers.

STB market highlights:

  • The global STB market – including IP/cable/satellite/DTT STBs, OTT media servers, and HDMI dongles – totalled $4.2 billion in Q1 2015, slipping 3 per cent from Q4 2014.

  • IHS expects the number of HDMI dongles sold worldwide to top 27 million by 2019.

  • Cable STB sales fell 2 per cent worldwide in Q1 2015, to $1.5 billion, as declines in traditional digital boxes, media players and client devices offset gains in headed gateways and hybrid IP/QAM devices.

  • A slowdown of sales in North America was to blame for global satellite set-top box revenue being down 3 per cent in Q1 2015 from the prior quarter.

  • Arris claimed the worldwide STB revenue market share lead in 1Q15, and is far and away North America’s leading STB supplier to cable operators.

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