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Set-top shipments to hit record highs

Set-top box shipments will set record highs in 2013 and the next two years, climbing 8% this year alone, according to new research by IHS.

The Set-Top Box Market Monitor report claims that shipments of set-tops for cable, satellite, terrestrial and IPTV digital TV services are set to reach 269 million units this year, up from 250 million in 2012.

This year is also tipped to be “the most valuable year in the history of the market” with STB revenue tipped to grow to US$22.2 billion (€17 billion).

In 2014, shipments are will grow by another 6% to 286 million and will increase by a further 1% in 2015 to 290 million – a market peak for “the foreseeable future” – according to IHS.

After this, shipments are expected to start to decline, decreasing by 5% in 2016 and by another 2% in 2017.

Daniel Simmons, senior principal analyst for TV technology at IHS, said that operators’ growing emphasis on supporting multiscreen devices means that the STB is under threat as the dominant pay TV video consumption device.

“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,” he said.

“As pay-TV operators rush to accommodate changes in delivery platforms and in video formats—including the adoption of high definition (HD)—STB shipments will continue to rise, hitting record levels for the next few years,” Simmons added.

In 2012, IHS predicted that  STBs’ dominance of the pay-TV market will come to an end, with multiscreen devices accounting for nearly half of all platforms obtaining television services from the largest operators by 2015. However, in its latest report, it says “this doesn’t mean that STBs will stop being used—or even that their shipments will stop rising in the near term.”

In mature markets where pay-TV digitisation is complete or nearly finished, the transition to HD and MHG STBs will help to sustain volumes and increase revenue in 2013, 2014 and 2015, said IHS.

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