Pay-TV services are fuelling a global demand for set-top boxes that is expected to reach an annual 120 million units by 2011, according to new research from Understanding & Solutions. The figures exclude digital terrestrial adaptors and free-to-air satellite receivers.
Understanding & Solutions is predicting that the market will be sustained by the maturing digital satellite market and the cable sector that will be driven by the conversion of analogue customers. The growth of IPTV services is also a significant factor.
“The growth of online TV and video is both threat and opportunity to the STB industry,” says Understanding & Solutions consultant Andrew Carroll. “Broadband may possibly impact the need for dedicated digital TV infrastructure long term, but, for the next 2-3 years at least, subscription Service Providers actually see the STB as a way to network and integrate broadcast and IP services into one seamless ‘any content, any screen’ proposition for customers.”
One potential threat to the STB market is the use of the CableCard in the US markets, which will replace the traditional box with a module that is plugged into the TV set, though Understanding & Solutions believes the impact of the CableCard will be limited for at least the next two to three years.