Traditional set-top box (STB) manufacturers remained the leaders in the worldwide market last year, but they are facing increased competition from lower-tier manufacturers, according to IMS Research . This competition added to the strong growth of the worldwide STB market last year, which saw an estimated 122 million units shipped.
French STB-maker Thomson  held on to the lead position with double-digit share, due primarily to its dominant position in the U.S. pay-DTH market and its entry into the European IP-STB market.
Motorola  nearly doubled its digital cable STB output compared with 2005, and the company has further extended its share lead over Scientific Atlanta . Philips Consumer Electronics has ascended into the top five by supplying the continued growth of pay-DTH markets in Europe and Asia.
Lower-tier Asian manufacturers—such as DVN, Changhong, Huawei, Skyworth, Jiuzhou and Gospell—have moved into the top 20 by capitalizing on the growth of digital cable TV markets in China, India and other parts of Asia. These manufacturers are poised to challenge the top-10 STB makers in the coming years as the need for conditional access and security, and the demand for increased functionality, drives these local markets, IMS said.
“Some of the lower-tier manufacturers that barely registered on the radar a few years ago are now moving into position to capture the low-end STB market in the quickly developing digital markets in Asia,” said Connected Home Research Group analyst Mark Meza.