Research points to minimal STB market growth

The sun may be setting on set-top boxes as the market matures after many regions wrap up the switch from analog to digital TV, but there's still some life left in the segment.

Research from In-Stat forecasts that total shipments of IP STBs will increase by 1 million units in 2011, with only Latin America and the Middle East/Africa showing growth over 2010. In-Stat said Latin America will see STB shipments top 670,000.

And, even though it expects North American STB revenues to grow 22 percent from a year ago, In-Stat said global revenues would decline slightly from 2010.

In April, the company said STB sales volume was relatively flat in 2010. IPTV provided a bright spot as the segment saw STB shipments increase 3.7 million units in 2010, with Asia and Latin America leading the way.

Norm Bogen, VP of digital entertainment for In-Stat, said service provider solutions to distributing content throughout the home were changing the market.

"Direct TV, for example, supplies a satellite STB as the ‘big box' in the home's media center while providing IP STBs, now referred to as ‘thin IP clients', for delivering content to different rooms in the home," he said. "This is certainly impacting the IP STB market in a positive way."

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