Shipments of digital terrestrial (DTT) and satellite (DTH) set-top boxes to China, India, and the US accounted for more than 60 per cent of total worldwide STB shipments in 2008, and are expected to reach 70 per cent of worldwide shipments in 2009, according to IMS Research. Rapid expansion of the Chinese and Indian DTH platforms and analogue terrestrial switch-off in the US are pushing sales of FTA satellite equipment and digital-to-analogue (D/A) converter boxes.

Delay of the US’s analogue terrestrial switch-off date from January to June 2009 extended the uptake period for D/A converter boxes. Americans have purchased close to 34 million boxes with the help of Government-provided coupons. New estimates put the number of active analogue TVs in the US and Canada at more than 110 million, which ensures demand for new equipment will continue through Canada’s switch-off date of August 2011. DTT boxes shipped to the US will account for more than 20 per cent of global STB shipments in 2008 and 2009.

Though demand for DTT STBs in the US will dissipate over the next 18 months, uptake of DTH services in China and India is forecast to increase through at least 2010. In 2008, China’s expansion of rural FTA DTH coverage resulted in shipments of close to 20 million new DTH STBs, accounting for more than 10 per cent of STB shipments worldwide. In 2008, shipments of STBs for the Indian pay-DTH platform topped 6 million, or more than 3 per cent of worldwide STB shipments. The platform is expected to account for more than 4 per cent of STB shipments worldwide in 2009.