Global sales of digital TV set-top boxes (STBs) surpassed 100 million for the first time in 2007, according to new research from Strategy Analytics.

The sales reached 102.4 million, an increase of 12 percent compared with 2006, according to “Digital TV Set-Top Boxes: Global Market Forecast.”

"The set-top box remains the key gateway to advanced digital television services around the world," says David Mercer, principal analyst at Strategy Analytics. "Added value services such as high definition TV, digital video recording and Internet video are all set to drive further growth in this strategically important sector."

The cable market's share rose, to 36.2 percent, while satellite and terrestrial shares declined.

But in 2008, the report predicts a surge in demand for digital terrestrial STBs, driven by the digital transition.

By 2012, Strategy Analytics predicts that annual global sales of all digital TV STBs will reach nearly 200 million units.

"We expect the Asia-Pacific region to overtake North America and Europe in 2008, accounting for [one-third] of this year's 129 million sales," said Peter King, director of Connected Home Devices at Strategy Analytics. "Sales of digital terrestrial TV boxes in Europe have now plateaued as consumers begin to transition to integrated digital TV sets, but this pattern is unlikely to prevent overall market growth across all platforms."

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