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Set-Top Box Market Stable Despite Streaming Media Player Influx

30 Jul, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Rising global demand for set-top boxes (STB) should offset market declines in North America and Western Europe, according to new data from Futuresource Consulting.

The London-based research firm said that despite competition from Smart TVs and connected digital media devices, such as Roku and Google Chromecast, the $20 billion STB market should remain stable with an average selling price of $74, and unit prices ranging from less than $30 to more than $300.

While the domestic multichannel video program distribution market hovers around 100 million households, increasing numbers of MVPD distributors are migrating traditional STBs to Internet-connected devices with cloud-based storage and related features.

Emerging markets accounted for around 70% of global demand in STB units, with the Asia Pacific market making up 44% of the demand. At the same time, emerging markets' STB market value is less than 60% that of established markets due to the a relatively low price point for the boxes.

High-definition STBs represented 53% of worldwide shipments in 2013, increasing to more 95% of shipments in 2018, according to Futuresource.

"There is a great disparity between regions in the adoption of high-definition. HD boxes already account for 95% of shipments in North America, whereas Latin America and Middle East/Asia are at 28% and 35% respectively,” Jack Wetherill, senior market analyst at Futuresource, said in a statement.

Digital video recorders (DVR) comprised 16% of total shipments in 2013, and will peak in 2015. North America and Western Europe have a 69% combined share of the global volume. Multimedia home entertainment systems totaled five million units in 2013, with growth forecast to continue as North America accounts for the majority of sales volumes, driven by Dish Network’s Whole Home DVR.

Meanwhile, Futuresource said Ultra-HD (4K) services are expected to remain niche for several years due to lack of a clear business model and consumer indifference.


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