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IP STBs Find an Upside in the Mature Pay-TV Market

The pay-TV set top box market is mature -- and has been for some time now. That is to say, it has reached a state of equilibrium. Or put another way, there's an apparent absence of significant new growth.

Moreover, some industry analysts might say that meaningful innovation has been missing from this space for a very long time. That’s not to say, however, that there aren’t some segments of the business that are innovating and growing.

New In-Stat research has identified the IP set top box market segment as one of the few that is still growing.

Based upon the findings of their latest market study, In-Stat is forecasting that worldwide unit shipments will surpass 21 million in 2011.

“The recent up-tick in IP set top boxes is a result of Telcos gaining subscribers from cable and satellite providers, as well as replacing the boxes of current subscribers,” says Michelle Abraham, Research Director at In-Stat.

Future increases for IP set top box (STB) shipments will likely be driven by service providers moving to a server/client architecture where there is a media gateway/server located in the media room of the house that shares its content with client boxes that are distributed throughout the rest of the home.

These client boxes will be IP STBs. DirectTV is one of the first providers to offer this service, but In-Stat expects that others may follow over the next few years.

In-Stat's latest market study found the following:
  • The IP set top box market will grow 14 percent in 2011.
  • Motorola remained the market share leader in 2010 with 21 percent of the global market.
  • North American IP STB unit shipments will increase 48 percent in 2012.
  • In 2013, Western Europe will account for 46 percent of worldwide IP STB revenues.

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