Global set-top shipments will reach an estimated 273 million in 2016, surpassing the 269 million shipped in 2015, SNL Kagan said.
The growth is driven by increases in shipments from both cable and satellite TV service providers, with shipments from telco operators remaining flat.
However, production efficiencies and decreasing component costs are driving set-top pricing down, the research company said set-top revenue will decline 6% in 2016 to $16.4 billion.
SNL Kagan projects shipments will rise again in 2017 to around 275 million, before dropping in 2018 due to what it predicts will be falling demand for pay-TV services worldwide, as well as alternative delivery mechanisms, such as media streaming devices.
The research firm believes shipments will drop to 261 million by 2020.
Huawei led the global pay-TV set-top market in 2015 with 26 million shipments, SNL Kagan added. Skyworth came in a close second with 25 million shipments; Technicolor and Arris came in third and fourth, respectively, with Arris experiencing a 13% drop in shipments. SNL Kagan attributed the decline to softening demand in the U.S. market for lower-end cable boxes.
The findings can be found in a new SNL Kagan report titled The Set-top Market Remains Robust.