Worldwide shipments of pay-TV hybrid set-top boxes are expected to rise to nearly 87 million units by 2015, with much of the strong growth being driven by pay-TV operators in Asia and Europe. What is more, by 2015 they are likely to comprise the majority of set-top box shipments worldwide.
In a report entitled The World Market for Hybrid Set-top Boxes -2010 Edition, IMS Research says that although the Americas accounted for 65% of global hybrid STB shipments in 2009 thanks to heavy satellite and cable shipments of advanced HD DVRs, they will be overtaken by both Asia and Europe within a couple of years. In the case of Asia, growth will be heavily driven by hybrid deployments in China late in the period, while in Europe the best performing markets are likely to be France, Germany, UK, the UK, The Netherlands and others with sizeable pay-TV markets.
Commenting on the changing nature of the pay-TV landscape, Paul Erickson, senior analyst at IMS Research, said: As major pay-TV operators worldwide become more competitive with content offerings and advanced services, hybrid STBs become increasingly attractive as a way to utilize means other than an operator’s traditional infrastructure to deliver the most competitive experience possible. Additionally, virtually all advanced STBs shipping worldwide are expected to be hybrid by default within a few years.”
He added: “The shift of the pay-TV set-top box market towards hybrid STBs is notable for two main reasons. First, the near-ubiquitous inclusion of IP connectivity in current and future hybrid STBs enables continued innovation in the pay-TV experience. The IP-connected service enhancements of the future promise to bring substantially more to the viewing experience than today’s features like VOD, DVR, and media sharing. Second, the broader effects benefit both pay-TV operators and their customers. Hybrid STBs potentially allow operators to maximize the level of services they are able to competitively deliver within their market, despite limitations within their own infrastructure, regulatory issues, or content retransmission rights. As such, pay-TV customers will directly benefit in the long run as pay-TV services deliver ever-increasing amounts of content, interactivity, and innovative IP-driven applications into their living room.”