ST creates new record with set top boxes shipments crossing 66 mn

MUMBAI: STMicroelectronics has announced that its worldwide shipments of set-top box (STB) during 2004 has reached 66 million units. This marks the greatest number of units shipped in a calendar year since ST entered the market in 1995.

The record 2004 figure represents an increase of 43 per cent over 2003 volumes. Analyzing each market segment in more detail, the greatest increase in volume was seen in the satellite sector which contributed over 50 million units to the total, representing an increase of over 30 per cent on 2003 volumes.

ST supplied 7 million devices to cable services, a growth of 15 per cent , and shipments to terrestrial STBs exceeded 6 million units, an increase of over 240 per cent. Also included in the 2003 total is over 1 million units supplied to the emerging market for IPTV (Internet Protocol TV) STBs, where content is delivered over a broadband Internet connection.

"The tremendous growth we have seen in 2004 means we have exceeded all previous record totals," said ST's Home Entertainment Group GM Christos Lagomichos. "The continued drive by governments around the world toward analogue switch-off will see the market for digital STBs grow even further in the coming years."

The rapid growth in the STB market is illustrated by the speed at which the landmark total of 200 million units has been reached. ST announced it had shipped 100 million MPEG decoders to STB manufacturers in early 2003, some 8 years after first entering the market. In contrast, the second 100 million units have been shipped in just the following two years.

"ST has led the market for MPEG-2 decoders for many years and in 2004 collected 66 per cent of the merchant market revenues from dedicated MPEG-2 STB silicon devices," said Michelle Abraham, Principal Analyst at In-Stat. "We forecast that the total market for digital STBs will grow to 91 million units in 2005 and 130 million units in 2008."

ST continues to service this demand by developing innovative products that further reduce the overall bill of materials of the set-top box.

Complementing the comprehensive range of MPEG-2 decoders, ST includes satellite, cable, and terrestrial tuner and demodulator devices in the product portfolio. These devices convert the broadcast signal into the digital MPEG-2 stream.

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