[opendtv] Milk'n it Baby! - Global STB shipments to reach record levels this year

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: OpenDTV Mail List <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 19 Jul 2013 09:03:54 -0400

Sometimes we forget that the U.S. typically leads in many new technologies. 
Bert would be the first to point out that the U.S. DTV standard played a major 
role in the launch of HDTV. But Bert is so wrapped up in the next big thing for 
watching TV in the U.S., that he forgets than many other global markets are 
just beginning the digital and HD transition, and that technology deployment 
tends to lag the U.S. market, These countries typically adopt technologies 
later, when the R&D has been paid for, and the manufacturing processes are 
mature. 

And then there is the minor issue that the entrenched MVPD suppliers are not 
going to just give up because Apple, or Intel, or Google want to disrupt 
another market.

Regards
Craig

http://broadcastengineering.com/cable-amp-iptv/global-stb-shipments-reach-record-levels-year

Global STB shipments to reach record levels this year

Shipments are predicted to grow to 286 million in 2014 and 290 million in 2015.
Jul. 17, 2013
Michael Grotticelli

Reports of the imminent demise of STBs have been fueled by the increasing 
prominence of multiscreen devices. 

Despite the pay television industry’s increasing focus on delivering services 
to alternative devices such as PCs, smartphones and tablets, its traditional 
flagship platform — the STB — continues to increase and, indeed, thrive with 
market shipments set to hit record highs in 2013, 2014 and 2015. That’s 
according to new market research from IHS, a business consulting and research 
firm based in California.

Worldwide shipments of STBs used for cable, satellite,terrestrial and Internet 
protocol television (IPTV) digital TV services are forecast to climb to 269 
million units this year, up 8 percent from 250 million in 2012, according to 
the latest IHS Set-Top Box Market Monitor report.

Shipments will grow another 6 percent to 286 million in 2014 and by 1 percent 
to 290 million in 2015. The year 2015 will represent the peak of the market for 
the foreseeable future, IHS said.

“STBs are facing a mounting challenge to their role at the dominant pay TV 
video consumption device because of operators’ growing emphasis on supporting 
multiscreen devices,” said Daniel Simmons, senior principal analyst for TV 
technology at IHS. “However, operators are continuing to deploy STBs in order 
to manage the compatibility between their delivery networks and the consumer 
electronics devices that consumers are increasingly using to view content now.

“As pay TV operators rush to accommodate changes in delivery platforms and in 
video formats — including the adoption of HD — STB shipments will continue to 
rise, hitting record levels for the next few years,” Simmons said.

Reports of the imminent demise of STBs have been fueled by the increasing 
prominence of multiscreen devices. For example, IHS in 2012 noted that the 
domination of the boxes on the pay TV market was set to come to an end, with 
multiscreen devices accounting for nearly half of all platforms obtaining 
television services from the largest operators by 2015.

Pay TV operators are also increasingly focusing their attention on video 
delivery to multiscreen devices as they attempt to stave off the competitive 
threat posed by platform-agnostic OTT services such as Netflix, Amazon and 
others.

However, this doesn’t mean that the boxes will stop being used — or even that 
their shipments will stop rising in the near term. In fact, IHS expects pay TV 
operators to continue to deploy STBs and utilize them as a central platform for 
video services.

The multiscreen phenomenon, ironically, will help boost the set-top market 
during the next few years, as operators offer multimedia home gateway boxes 
that can deliver services to PCs, smartphones, tablets and other devices, 
supporting the operator-as-an-app model.

In mature markets where pay TV digitization is complete or nearly finished, the 
transition to HD and MHG boxes will help to sustain volumes and increase 
revenue in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The gradual migration to HD is continuing, with 
2014 expected to be the first year when more than 50 percent of pay TV boxes 
shipped globally can support HD.

These developments will allow the STB industry revenue to grow to $22.2 billion 
in 2013, making it the most valuable year in the history of the market.

IHs said Pace, based in the UK, shipped 11.3 percent of all pay TV STB unit 
shipments in 2012, retaining its status as the world’s largest vendor. French 
manufacturer Technicolor (Thomson) increased its shipments by almost 5 million 
units in 2012, allowing it to leapfrog Illinois-based Motorola and take second 
place in the market. 
 
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