Set-Top Boxes to defy economy?

By Robert Briel | February 3, 2009 | 07:59 UK

Despite the economic downturn, set-top box shipments will see almost 10% growth over the previous year according to IMS Research. Stephen Froehlich, an analyst in the company’s consumer electronics research group, commented in a statement, “Television remains one of the most economic forms of entertainment available and is traditionally one of the last expenses to be cut in tough times, making set-top boxes one of the few growth areas to be found in consumer electronics at the moment.”
Austin, Texas based IMS Research expects the growth of digital TV households to continue as digital services become available to new markets. Digital TV services, including HD, are also providing consumers the option of staying home to watch movies and sporting events, rather than paying for tickets and concessions at the theater or sports field. IMS Research is forecasting that worldwide digital TV households will still see 20% growth over 2008.
Froehlich continues, “Not only are North American and Western European households keeping their subscriptions, developing countries have seen unprecedented adoption of digital pay-TV services in the last half of 2008.
“However, there is a downside. Annual set-top revenues are already near their peak, which we are forecasting to be $19 billion in 2011 while prices of most types of set-top box are expected to decline by more than 10% each year. While there are some very real opportunities out there for suppliers to this market, they are getting harder and harder to find.”