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Digital Satellite Set Top Market Forecast

The digital satellite set top box market, by far the largest of the digital TV set top box markets, reached 65 million units in 2005 and will grow to 79 million units by 2009, reports In-Stat. Digital satellite set top boxes include pay-TV boxes whose features are often specified by satellite pay-TV providers, and Free-To-Air (FTA) boxes that are used to receive unencrypted TV signals.

"We are seeing a more pronounced dichotomy between full-featured boxes that are used by pay-TV providers to offer other services in addition to satellite TV reception and basic boxes for TV reception only," says Michelle Abraham, In-Stat analyst. "Advanced features include hard drives for DVR services, multiple tuners, more connectivity options, and high-definition decoding for receiving HD signals."

In-Stat found the following:

- H.264 coding and 8PSK modulation are becoming common among providers for the delivery of HD signals; thereby increasing the demand for 8PSK demodulator ICs and H.264 decoder ICs in the set top boxes.
- Connectivity options in advanced boxes today include USB in many DVR boxes and HDMI in most HD boxes.
- More Ethernet connections in satellite set top boxes are likely in the future as more satellite pay-TV providers offer services in partnership with broadband providers.

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