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China Leading the Asia-Pacific Pay TV Growth

Consumers in the Asia-Pacific region will increasingly opt for higher-end set-top boxes that support personal video recorder (PVR) and high-definition (HD) features, according to a new study from ABI Research. This trend will be driven to a large degree by China, which will see the region's largest increase in subscriber numbers.

"The Asia-Pacific pay-TV industry still has considerable room for growth, especially in countries like China and India, where the base of potential customers is huge but there is still relatively low pay-TV and digital penetration," says broadband research analyst Serene Fong. "For instance, in the digital cable TV and telco TV arenas, we expect China to take the lead in terms of actual shipment counts, with approximately 75 million and 9 million box shipments, respectively, by 2012."

China will also lead in subscriber growth rates, fueled by growing affluence and increased consumer spending on TV and video services. Chinese consumers will also invest in technologically more advanced set-top boxes in order to view digital broadcasts over their traditional analog TV sets.

ABI Research's latest study on the Asia-Pacific set-top box market focuses on five main markets in the region -- Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and India -- a mix of mature, maturing, and developing markets in the pay-TV and digital penetration arena.

The study addresses market conditions and set-top box equipment deployment for the four video platforms, cable TV (CATV), direct broadcast satellite (DBS), digital terrestrial (DTT), and telco TV (IPTV).

It also examines operator/vendor relationships which tend to vary among these four platforms. For some, it is a fairly closed system where operators usually keep to one or a handful of set-top box vendors for support; for others, there is greater openness where consumers are allowed to purchase set-top boxes independent of operators.

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