By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
El Segundo, Calif. — The global market for connectable set-top boxes (STBs) is expected to surge by 91 percent from 2012 through 2017, driven by a number of factors including the adoption of multimedia home gateways (MHGs), according to an IHS study.
The IHS study, titled: “Set-Top Box Market Monitor report from IHS” projects worldwide shipments of connectable STBs to rise to 125.6 million units in 2017, up from 65.8 million in 2012.
A total of 45 percent of all STBs shipped in 2017 will be connectable, up from 26 percent in 2012.
The research firm defines a connectable STB as a set-top box that can be linked to an Internet protocol (IP) network, typically integrate an Ethernet port or Wi-Fi and are typically distributed by pay-TV operators including cable, satellite and IPTV providers.
“Consumers increasingly are demanding connectivity from their electronics devices, and STBs are playing a central role in the networking of products,” said Daniel Simmons, senior principal STB analyst at IHS. “Connected STBs perform all kinds of useful functions, including distributing digital video recorder (DVR) streams to televisions in multiple rooms, as well as delivering video on demand (VoD) and web content to various platforms.”
According to IHS, MHGs and thin clients for cable systems will represent a major growth driver for connectable STBs and will account for 25 percent of connectable box shipments between 2013 and 2017.
An MHG is a converged STB/residential gateway device that directly processes video signals for all IP distribution and routing to multiple client devices within a home.
In 2013, IPTV pay-TV operators will account for the largest share of the connectable STB market, with 39 percent of shipments.
North America is at present the largest market for connectable pay-TV STBs, accounting for an estimated 41 percent share of global shipments in 2013. The region is expected to retain its global lead through 2017.
“In mature pay-TV markets like North America, operators are seeing IP-based services as an opportunity to differentiate their products, and this is driving shipments,” said Wajahat Abbassi, STB analyst for IHS.
However, Asia-Pacific is expected to experience the fastest growth during the period from 2012 to 2017, with shipments expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.2 percent.
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