Report: 204 million STBs ship in 2009, outlook for 2010 strong

Despite a slowdown in the global economy, 2009 digital set-top box shipments and DVRs topped 200 million in 2009 with some 50 million TV households adopting free-to-air and pay-digital services.

IMS Research said growth in 2009 set-top box shipments was in large part due to the demise of analog TV in the United States, and strong demand in emerging markets, including China and India. More than 27 million digital terrestrial set-top boxes, or 13 percent of world shipments, were shipped to the United States in 2009. But the emerging markets of Brazil, China, India and Russia took in nearly 30 percent of STBs shipped in 2009.

But, the economic grind did have a negative impact on the market, said Ana Maxbauer, analyst and co-author of The Worldwide Market for Digital Set-top Boxes & iDTVs.

"Contractions of disposable income meant fewer households were able to adopt digital TV or upgrade to advanced services in 2009," she said. "Many operators delayed equipment upgrades, modified pricing, or focused on enhancing bundled offerings as a result."

Maxbauer forecasts that demand for STBs will remain strong in 2010 and beyond as China and European growth continue to drive sales.

"China's digital cable and FTA satellite projects, digitization of TV households in emerging markets, and imminent ASOs in Europe will require tens of millions of additional set-top boxes in the next 18 months," Maxbauer said.

For more:
- see this release

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