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Why Channel-Centric Pay-TV is Becoming Obsolete

Most subscribers of traditional pay-TV services have evolved beyond the channel-centric constraints of legacy video entertainment offerings. As a result, global unit shipments of personal video recorder (PVR) products set a new record in 2009, and that benchmark is expected to be eclipsed by 2010 shipments.

Fueled by growing consumer demand to time-shift television programming and thereby avoid the inherent limitations of linear programs on broadcast channels, pay-TV service providers are deploying millions of new PVR products each year.

In-Stat is forecasting that the global annual PVR product unit shipments will surpass 50 million by 2014.

"Historically, the PVR product segment has been a growth market, even though most unit shipments were restricted to just a few countries," says Mike Paxton, Principal Analyst at In-Stat.

Over the past year PVR products are becoming more common in places such as Latin America and Eastern Europe, a development that bodes well for the near-term growth prospects of the PVR market.

However, the PVR adoption phenomenon is likely short-lived, as more consumers discover the freedom that's gained from embracing on-demand IP video offerings. Perhaps the channel-centric delivery model is becoming obsolete, and it's happening sooner than industry analysts had anticipated.

In-Stat's latest market study revealed the following:

- Worldwide revenues in 2010 are projected to increase significantly, rising by over $1.2 billion in comparison to 2009 revenues.

- A key market driver for PVR products in the near-future will be digital terrestrial television (DDT) set top boxes that integrate PVR capabilities.

- PVR-enabled satellite set top boxes continue to be the largest PVR product segment, followed by cable set top boxes.

- In 2009, Motorola was the leading PVR product manufacturer with over 4.9 million PVR product unit shipments.

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