That being said, a few still see some upside market opportunity within the mainstream pay-TV category.
The set top box market actually experienced pockets of growth in 2011, primarily due to robust demand for digital cable set top box products in Asia.
In contrast, North American cable set top box unit shipments are decreasing, largely due to the declining number of cable TV subscriber households -- combined with cable TV operators tightening their capital expenditure budgets.
According to the latest market study by NPD In-Stat, they report that global digital set top box unit shipments are on track to exceed 55 million, down just 1 percent from 2010 unit shipments.
"In-Stat believes that the long-term outlook for the cable set top box market is positive," says Mike Paxton, Research Director at NPD In-Stat.
Although they are currently projecting global unit shipments to decrease slightly in 2012 and 2013, the ongoing shift from analog cable services to digital cable services in the developing world will boost demand again in 2014.
NPD In-Stat's market study revealed the following:
- Motorola Mobility continues to be the leading cable set top box manufacturer, followed by Cisco Systems.
- Demand for high-definition (HD) cable set top boxes continues to be strong. In 2011, almost 11 million HD cable set top boxes will ship worldwide.
- The total available market (TAM) for semiconductor components in digital cable set top boxes is forecast to be $2.9 billion in 2011.
- Total digital cable set top box product revenues are projected to reach $6.5 billion in 2011.