By : Erik Gruenwedel | Posted: 22 Jul 2008
Fueled by increased consumption in China and India and the transition from analog to digital TV, global revenue from subscription-based TV set-top boxes (cable) is projected to grow 40% by 2012, according to a new report.
The study from London-based Futuresource Consulting said the increase of 38 million set-top box (STB) units during the period represented a mix of new subscribers and current consumers upgrading to units that feature digital video recording and high-definition capability.
The Asia Pacific region, spearheaded by China, would account for nearly 50% of the global demand for STBs. Latin America also will experience strong demand, but on a much smaller scale, said the report.
By comparison, North America, which is considered a mature STB market, will experience limited growth spurred mainly to multiroom boxes and HD/DVR capability.
“Pay TV operators around the world continue to use STBs to drive digital services, increase ARPU (average revenue per cable subscriber) and reduce subscriber churn (the ratio of customers who cancel subscriptions) with innovations such as high-def, DVR, VOD and home networking,” said Carl Hibbert, analyst with Futuresource.
The report said increased subscriber saturation coupled with capital expenditures, which includes the purchase of new equipment, could impact future STB growth in the industry.
However, Hibbert said the STB will remain a mainstay in the cable industry over the next five years due in large part to it being the gateway into the home for a variety of entertainment services.