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Satellite Pay-TV STB Unit Shipments to Grow in 2012

As the year comes to a close, 2011 will be remembered as a difficult time for many players in the video entertainment industry. The growth of online video viewing on-demand, and other significant market transitions, have taken a toll on the pay-TV marketplace.

The worldwide satellite set-top box (STB) market has experienced slow to negative growth in recent years as both the number of subscribers and the conversion from SD to HD has changed the market dynamics.

That trend is about to change. According to the latest market study by In-Stat, they are forecasting that digital satellite STB unit shipments will grow by nearly 14 percent in 2012.

"New technology in many ways is powering the expected uptick in unit shipments," says Michelle Abraham, Research Director at In-Stat.

Increasingly powerful processors enable a more personalized viewing experience with downloadable apps and recommendation engines.

An improved graphics capability also enhances the user experience, providing satellite service providers with a new feature set to compete for subscribers.

In-Stat's latest research findings include:
  • The Asian market is expected to stabilize, following slow subscriber growth.
  • In North America, the move to a server/client model impacts shipments because client devices will not all be set-top boxes.
  • The Indian market has experienced huge growth with 6 platforms competing for subscribers.
  • Pace was once again the top supplier of satellite STBs in 2010 with Technicolor and EchoStar following as was the case in 2009.
  • SD DVRs will disappear in some markets in favor of HD DVRs, although we expect them to remain in some cost-conscious markets.

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