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STB market bounces back

Global sales of set-top boxes rose 3% sequentially in the fourth quarter of 2012 to reach US$ 4.6bn, according to US firm Infonetics Research, which predicts that video gateways and media players will drive future much of the future growth.

Annual STB revenues for 2012 rose nearly 10%, a “considerable rebound” from a year previously, according to Julien Blin, directing analyst for consumer electronics and mobile broadband at Infonetics Research, who adds that they will remain healthy in the near term as operators in China, India, and Latin America add digital services.

Blin adds: “Video gateways and media players will be the real standouts moving forward, as North American and European cable and satellite providers transition away from digital STBs.

“We expect video gateways to grow from just 1% of total cable and satellite STB shipments in 2012 to 16% by 2017, and to see strong double- and triple-digit annual growth in media player shipments every year at least through then.”

Thanks to a 28% bump in revenue, Cisco reportedly led all STB vendors for the full year 2012, edging out rivals Motorola and Pace. Motorola’s sales declined by double digits in 2012, largely due to new entrants in the North American market, particularly Pace and Samsung.

Infonetics has now increased its long-term STB forecast due to updated shipment guidance from vendors, and now expects the global market to grow to US$ 26bn in 2017.

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