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Bullish Global Growth Forecast for IPTV CPE

Worldwide sales of IPTV set-top boxes (STB) will grow to 7.9 million units in 2007, a growth rate of 111 percent, according to Strategy Analytics, the global market research and consulting company.

Their report entitled "IPTV Set-Tops: SD, HD and DVR -- Global Market Forecast," predicts that more than 3 million HD-enabled IPTV set-top boxes will be sold in Europe alone this year as pay-TV operators make the switch to the new H.264 standard technology.

The share of Digital Video Recorders (DVR) is also growing rapidly, rising to 29 percent of the global market this year from 15 percent in 2006 as new IPTV service providers seek to compete with the established satellite and cable pay-TV incumbents.

"In our view, any IPTV system that does not have, or is not planning for, HDTV upgrades will not be competitive in the long term," says Peter King, Director, Connected Home Devices. "DVR functionality is also becoming an increasingly important competitive tool in the battle for new customers."

Strategy Analytics predicts that annual worldwide sales of IPTV set-top boxes will reach 33.5 million by 2012, by which time the global installed base will be 112 million units. Asia-Pacific will be the dominant market, accounting for 45 percent of the installed base, followed by Europe (33 percent) and the U.S. (13 percent).

I believe that it's interesting to note that Strategy Analytics has joined other market research companies in tempering their IPTV-related forecast for the U.S. market. The slow growth predictions are no doubt related to the delays encountered by AT&T -- as the largest U.S. telco attempts to scale their IPTV deployments that are based upon the Microsoft TV platform.

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