Global set-top-box shipments to rise 4.3% in 2009

El Segundo, Calif. — Worldwide set-top-box shipments are set to grow to 136.7 million units in 2009, up 4.2 percent from 131.2 million in 2008, according to a report from iSuppli Corp. Shipments will rise to 201 million systems by 2013, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9 percent during the forecast period.

iSuppli attributes the growth during the current economic downturn to increased demand from Asia and products supporting high definition (HD), digital video recording (DVR) and internet protocol television (IPTV).

iSuppli’s latest report, Set-Top Boxes: An Oasis of Opportunity in a Barren Market, indicates that cable boxes have showed very strong growth, driven in particular by increasing rollouts in China and other parts of the Asia-Pacific region. IPTV STBs also continue grow, shipping over 50 percent more systems in 2008 than during the previous year. The growth of IPTV STBs nearly matched that of cable in terms of the number of systems shipped in 2008, according to the report.


“Premium boxes — like DVR-enabled STBs and HD products — will grow at a substantially higher rate than the 4.2 percent level for the overall STB market in 2009,” said Jordan Selburn, principal analyst for semiconductor design and STBs at iSuppli, in a statement.

Shipments of premium boxes in 2008 almost doubled to 22.4 million systems, said iSuppli. This segment is expected to grow 28 percent in 2009.

Among premium boxes, HD STBs are on their way to becoming the new standard in the home, according to iSuppli. Shipments of these boxes are projected to grow at a 22.8 percent CAGR between 2008 and 2013, and by the end of the forecast period will lead in market share. Contributing to this growth are HD display sales, increasing access to broadband technology and improving HD content from service providers, said iSuppli.

DVR-enabled boxes also are growing at a rapid rate and are expected to maintain a CAGR of 18 percent through 2013. The plummeting cost of hardware, especially hard disk drives (HDDs) — is making the DVR HDD a more affordable purchase for consumers, according to iSuppli. The researcher also notes that rising sales of whole-home DVRs used as in-home media servers will continue to push sales of non-DVR boxes that act as clients to a central STB containing a hard drive.