Set-top box shipments to peak in 2012, says ABI Research

After continuing gradual growth, the global market for set-top boxes will peak at about 110 million shipments in 2012, according to a new report from ABI Research.

The report, “Global Set-Top Box (STB) Markets,” forecasts that STB unit volumes for all platforms, including IPTV, digital terrestrial television (DTT), direct broadcast satellite (DBS) and cable, will then begin a gradual decline.

STB revenues show a different pattern, according to ABI Research. While revenue from STBs will experience a state of decline through next year, it will begin to recover by 2010 and remain fairly stable through 2013, said ABI Research principal analyst Robert Clark.

Sales of basic STBs have already been falling for some time, and now HD-only and PVR-only STBs are also showing the first signs of downturn, according to the research group.

The decline in shipments after 2012 is due in part to the expected completion, in most developed countries, of the transition to all-digital television broadcasting. On the revenue side, IPTV has been the most affected of all the pay-TV platforms by the current dip.

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