STB market continues to thrive, expected to peak in 2015

MUMBAI: Even though the pay-TV industry has been shifting toward delivering services to computers, smartphones and tablets, the traditional set-top box (STB) continues to thrive, with market shipments forecast to hit record highs this year, according to IHS.

Global shipments of STBs used for cable, satellite, terrestrial and IPTV digital TV services are predicted to reach 269 million units this year, which is eight per cent higher than last year. This is expected to grow another six per cent, to 286 million, in 2014, and a further one per cent, to 290 million, in 2015. However, 2015 is expected to be the peak of the market for the foreseeable future. After that, IHS predicts that STB shipments will decrease by five per cent in 2016 and by another two per cent in 2017.

"STBs are facing a mounting challenge to their role at the dominant pay-TV video consumption device because of operators‘ growing emphasis on supporting multiscreen devices," said Daniel Simmons, the senior principal analyst for TV technology at IHS. "However, operators are continuing to deploy STBs in order to manage the compatibility between their delivery networks and the consumer electronics devices that consumers are increasingly using to view content now."

"As pay-TV operators rush to accommodate changes in delivery platforms and in video formats - including the adoption of HD - STB shipments will continue to rise, hitting record levels for the next few years", adds Simmons.

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