DTT STB market to peak in 2012

Editor ©RapidTVNews | 19-12-2011

New research from IMS has calculated that a high watermark has been reached for the worldwide digital terrestrial TV (DTT) industry.
In its new report looking at free to air (FTA) DTT and satellite retail STB uptake, the analyst predicts that worldwide DTT set-top box (STB) shipments will peak in 2012 at 20.5 million.

Furthermore the analyst believes that a quarter of these boxes will be shipped into Western European nations achieving analogue switch-off by the European Commission’s recommended date of 2012.
“It is extremely unlikely that we will ever see shipment numbers like we saw in 2009 when the US completed ASO,” commented John Kendall, author of the report. “More than 35 million DTT set-top boxes shipped into the US that year, however, increasing technological advancements will mitigate such a large market offering in the future,” Kendall added.
While it believes that demand for DTT HD 1-way set-top boxes is still expected to remain the market leader throughout the forecast, IMS also expects HD-DVR set-top box shipments to grow significantly over the next five years.
The analyst noted that other key future trends for the market include the increased presence of digital tuners on TV sets (iDTVs), must-carry DTT channel legislation, and the proliferation of hybrid set-top boxes.
“Using France as an example, a country with must-carry DTT legislation,” Kendall continued, “one can see a very strong trend away from the FTA DTT platform. Naturally, this is strongly affected by low ARPU IPTV offerings with set-top boxes that include DTT tuners.” Indeed IMS goes as far as to say that the FTA DTT platform in France is expected to nearly disappear by 2015.
In addition, in emerging markets like Latin America, consumers are still replacing their old CRT televisions with flat panel TV sets and it is likely that this will have an impact on set-top box shipments for FTA DTT, as many of these TV sets will include a DTT tuner.