Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Worldwide Cable TV Set-Top Box Market

Growing deployments of one of the least glamorous consumer electronics devices, the cable TV set top box, continues to surprise the consumer electronics industry.

For the second consecutive year, demand for digital cable TV set top boxes reached new heights, as both unit shipments and product revenues set new records.

Last year, worldwide digital cable TV set top box unit shipments spiked dramatically to over 41 million units, up from 29 million units in 2006, according to the latest market study from In-Stat.

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

In-Stat expect that 2008 will be another good year for cable TV set top box manufacturers and component suppliers. However, total worldwide unit shipments and revenues are projected to decline slightly this year, as cable operators shift some capital expenditures to other network components.

In-Stat's market study includes the following insights:

- The continuing shift from analog cable TV to digital cable TV services in China, the largest cable TV market in the world. Over 14 million digital cable set top box units were shipped in China last year, an increase of 48 percent over 2006.

- Continued strong demand for high-end cable set top boxes in North America. These boxes, which support high-definition HDTV services or offer personal video recording (PVR) capabilities, are now being viewed as a necessity for subscriber retention, especially in light of the increasing competitiveness of the North American pay-TV market.

- A strong push during the first half of 2007 by U.S. cable operators to purchase and deploy digital cable set top boxes with integrated security. The ban on integrated security, which went into effect in July 2007, now requires virtually all new cable set top boxes to come with a removable CableCard.