Sales of digital STBs in North America cool; China heats up
Worldwide sales of digital set-top boxes are slumping, largely due to slower sales in North America and Western Europe, according to a recent report.
The slowdown in unit shipments and revenues comes on the heels of a record-setting year worldwide in 2008, according to research firm In-Stat. The market slowdown has been due to reductions in cable operator capital expenditure (capex) budgets brought on by the global economic recession.
On the flip side, unit shipments to China are projected to set another record in this year, approaching 20 million units, contributing to a rise in the overall Asia Pacific market. In addition, increasing demand for digital cable TV services is pushing digital cable set-top boxes into new markets in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.
“Even with a slight decrease in unit shipments in 2009, the cable set-top box market remains both dynamic and robust,” says Mike Paxton, an In-Stat analyst. “There are some significant technology transitions, including the transition to MPEG-4 and the move toward a hybrid QAM + IP cable set-top box, that are creating new opportunities for cable set-top box vendors.”
Recent research by In-Stat found the following:
- Global unit shipments of digital cable set-top boxes are projected to reach 44 million in 2009, a decrease of 6 percent over 2008.
- Low-cost, digital terminal adapter (DTA) product unit shipments are beginning to have an impact on the cable set-top box market in North America, especially in terms of product ASPs.
- While Motorola and Cisco Systems remain the top two cable set-top box manufacturers, out of the remaining eight cable set-top box manufacturers in the top 10, six of them are from China.