The worldwide pay-TV set-top box market continued to retract in the first quarter, with revenue down 3 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2013, Infonetics Research reports.
Releasing its first-quarter "Set-Top Boxes and Pay TV Subscribers" report, which tracks worldwide sales of IP, cable, satellite and digital terrestrial set-top boxes and over-the-top servers, Infonetics tallied global set-top revenue at $4.8 billion in the first three months of 2014. The set-top market is coming off a tough 2013, during which revenue fell 10 percent.
Sales of cable set-tops, however, yielded some good news, spiking 5 percent in the first quarter.
"There was a pocket of strength in the set-top box market in the seasonally weak first quarter," said Jeff Heynen, principal analyst for broadband access and pay TV at Infonetics. "North American cable operators stepped up spending again on top of successive sequential revenue increases as they transitioned higher-end multi-play subscribers to headed and headless video gateways and replaced aging, power-hungry standard-definition boxes with more efficient high-definition boxes."
In terms of manufacturers, Arris finished as the market share leader for the third consecutive quarter, benefiting from the refresh cycle in North America of HD cable boxes.
The North American pay TV market remained the leading driver of set-top box revenue, but Infonetics predicts the Asia Pacific region will close to within three percentage points by 2018.
"A boost in overall set-top box unit shipments this year will come from an increase in over-the-top media servers as service providers in China and other emerging markets use these devices to deliver live streaming TV," Heynen added.
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