The death knell for set-top boxes will just have to wait. Infonetics Research’s recent study said that the set-top box market, which includes IP, cable, satellite, hybrid boxes, bounced back last year.
“Contrary to popular opinion, the set-top box market is alive and well,” said Julien Blin directing analyst for consumer electronics and mobile broadband at Infonetics Research. “STB revenue grew almost 10% in 2012, a considerable rebound from a year ago, and will remain healthy in the near term as operators in China, India, and Latin America add digital services.”
According to Infonetics, the global set-top box (STB) market, including IP, cable, satellite, and DTT STBs, totaled $4.6 billion in the fourth quarter of last year, which was up 3 percent sequentially. Infonetics expects the global STB market to grow to $26 billion in 2017
With a 28 percent spike in revenue, Cisco led all set-top box vendors last year, edging out Motorola and Pace. Earlier this year, during a second-quarter earnings call, Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers said the company was moving away from low-margin set-top box deals, which was later clarified to mean the vendor was putting more of its focus behind data and video gateways.
“Video gateways and media players will be the real standouts moving forward, as North American and European cable and satellite providers transition away from digital STBs,” Blin said. “We expect video gateways to grow from just 1 percent of total cable and satellite STB shipments in 2012 to 16 percent by 2017, and to see strong double- and triple-digit annual growth in media player shipments every year at least through then.”
At the other end, Motorola’s sales declined by double digits in 2012, largely a result of new entrants in the North American market, particularly Pace and Samsung, according to Infonetics.
Sales of over-the-top (OTT) media servers increased 25 percent in 2012, with much of the growth coming from Apple TV.