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Chinese Market Drives Set-Top Box Growth

In 2007, the cable set top box (STB) market experienced record-setting growth, as both worldwide unit shipments and revenues reached new highs, according to the latest In-Stat market study.

Strong demand for basic digital cable set top boxes, especially in the Chinese market, coupled with sustained demand for advanced digital cable set top boxes in the North American market, is fueling the market growth, the high-tech market research firm says.

The next several years also look bright for this market. In-Stat is forecasting that demand for worldwide digital cable set top boxes will remain strong through 2012, although unit shipments will decrease gradually throughout the forecast period as the analog to digital cable TV transition matures.

The research report covers the worldwide market for cable set top boxes, with special emphasis on product manufacturers, market and technology trends, and the semiconductor content of the boxes.

It also provides a digital cable set top box Bill of Materials forecast, an analysis of digital cable set top box profit margins, digital cable set top box manufacturer market shares for 2007, and worldwide unit shipment and revenue forecasts for the next five years.

In-Stat's market study found the following:

- In China, demand for digital cable set top boxes remains red hot. Over 14.7 million digital cable set top boxes shipped last year, up from 9.9 million in 2006.

- Worldwide digital cable set top box unit shipments spiked to over 41 million units last year, up from 29.7 million units in 2006.

- Worldwide cable set top box revenues passed the $6 billion mark in 2007, up from $4.8 billion in 2006.

- Unit shipments of advanced or high-end digital cable set top box products, such as HD-capable and PVR-enabled boxes, also set a new record in 2007. Over 11 million advanced digital cable set top boxes shipped in 2007, up 30 percent over 2006 unit shipments.

- Motorola and Cisco Systems remain the top two global manufacturers of digital cable set top boxes, although their combined market share in 2007 decreased to 45 percent as Chinese set top box manufacturers increased production.

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