Half of world’s STBs destined for Asia-Pacific next year

There will be 220mn set-top boxes shipped in 2013, with Asia-Pacific accounting for around 50% of them, says a new study from US firm ABI Research.

The report adds that a jump in cable and satellite set-top box shipments in the APAC region is being driven by cable digitisation in India and China, as well as China’s rollout of digital satellite boxes to its rural households.

“Digital transitions are bringing consumers access to hundreds of international channels and a few HD services for the first time,” said Sam Rosen, practice director of TV & video at ABI Research. ”Asia-Pacific and Eastern Europe’s growth in set-top box units will outstrip those of the rest of the world in the next five years.”

The research firm adds that many STB manufacturers are looking to decrease bill of material (BOM) costs by using in-house CAS solutions and low cost SoCs which have been optimised with lower-powered CPUs that support HD video, but only simpler graphical user interfaces.

“China has a robust ecosystem of set-top box manufacturers, coupled with CAS vendors China Digital TV and Sumavision”, adds Mr. Rosen. “Meanwhile, India is struggling to enable an ecosystem of local manufacturers, as well as to get adequate supply of boxes to meet an unrealistic digitisation timeframe.”

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