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Global Set-Top Box Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

Global Set-Top Box Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

  • October 2021
  • 152 pages
  • ID: 6179117
  • Format: PDF
  • Mordor Intelligence LLP


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The global set-top box market was valued at 228.3 million units in 2020, and it is expected to reach 309.6 million units by 2026, registering a CAGR of approximately 5.3% during the forecast period (2021-2026). The COVID-19 pandemic led to lockdowns imposed by the government to curb the spread of the virus. The lockdown imposed across countries has affected the supply chains of various telecom service providers. In September 2021, Airtel DTH arm announced plans to stop imports of high-definition set-top boxes by the end of 2021 to tackle the Covid-19 induced supply chain disruption and make locally-developed set-top boxes. A similar strategic move was witnessed by Tata Sky, Airtel’s major competitor, when it partnered with Technicolor for the domestic production of set-top boxes in India.

Key Highlights
- The government regulations mandating the installation of set-top boxes, deployment of open OS-based devices by STB vendors, and analog switch-off transition in emerging countries are further driving the demand of the STB market.
- For instance, the Government of India has made STBs compulsory through an amendment to the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act. Set-top boxes provide a better viewing experience because of digital signals and help in preventing illegal channels from being broadcasted in India.
- Further, during the pandemic, the TV viewership continued to surge, as reported by television viewership measurement agency Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC India). It stated that week 12 (March 21 to 27, 2020) saw a viewership surge by 11% compared to the pre-COVID-19 period (January 11 to 31, 2020). The average daily reach grew 62 million between the two time periods from 560 million to 622 million. Such trends are further expected to act as catalysts for the growth of the studied market.
- Technological innovations led to the development of a wide range of STBs equipped with various features. This, in turn, has made the competition fierce among the set-top-box companies. Digital video recording is one of the most desired features, as it enables the viewers to watch and record their favorite shows. Moreover, with 5G in the pipeline across a majority of the countries, allied market players are encompassing allied features to make the STB compatible for 5G networks.
- In October 2020, ZTE launched the first 5G converged set-top box with a gigabit gateway and router. The company partnered with China Unicom to launch the set-top box, which can work on 5G connectivity in the coastal and mountainous region using converged gateway, multipoint AP, and mesh protocol in the downlink. The converged set-top box is equipped with a chip and supports AVS 2.0, HEVC, and ultra-high-definition video decoding. It offers rich interfaces and indicators such as HDMI and USB.
- The demand for better picture resolution, in line with the increase in the sales of high-definition TVs, is also pushing the growth of the market for the set-top box, which delivers HD and UHD content. According to Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the sales of 4K UHD TV sales increased from 91.5 million in 2018 to 108 million in 2019. Also, according to the organization, 4K UHD TVs accounted for almost 50% of new TVs sold in 2020.
- IPTV set-top box is expected to gain traction in the market. With IPTV set-top boxes, the users get more quality content compared to traditional TVs and other options. These boxes feature a lot of specifications and support HD and 4K resolution support. In July 2021, all-Asian satellite television and radio operator Astro launched an IPTV box, which offers international and local content without a satellite dish.

Key Market Trends

HD Resolution held the largest market share

- Full HD resolution means there are true 1920 pixels in width and 1080 pixels in height. A Standard Definition set-top box can typically access standard definition channels, while a High Definition set-top box can show both standard definition and high-definition channels.
- Another important fact is that HD transmissions have a 16:9 – wide aspect ratio instead of SD, which has a 4:3 aspect ratio that leaves the two black margins on modern wide TV screens.
- According to Full HD specifications, the horizontal resolution is at 1920 pixels equal to “32 degrees” when converted into the horizontal field of view(FOV), which is narrower than half of the maximum horizontal field of view. This forces a slightly compacted image compared to UHD resolutions.
- HD has become the new standard as 1080-pixel monitors flooded the market over the last five years. The increased demand for reliable content and the ability of HD STBs to be connected to monitors and TVs makes them a versatile addition to viewing experiences.
- The addition of different platforms onto conventional STBs is allowing them to reach a wider audience. For instance, Vodafone TV added Facebook Watch to their STB in October 2021 in Europe to intensify their expansion into the region with HD content.
- Most STBs maintain HD content as their median product in the market, with lower ends typically featuring SD and the higher ends moving towards 4K and 8K content. The rise of Blu-ray technology allowed HD media to grow and made it a staple in the industry. Within STB plans, HD quality streaming is typically offered with SD at a slightly higher price.
- HD STBs also transitioned the market from earlier used VGA cables to HDMI cables that allowed for the transfer of both audio and video through a single cable. The biggest difference against analog TVs is that HD set-top boxes can receive more channels.

North America will Hold a Significant Share of the Market Studied

- North America has remained at the forefront of technology adoption. The region is at a considerable saturation point in the set-top box (STB) market. However, the regional vendors are constantly taking initiatives to add innovative features by market upgrades to keep up with the growth of the market and customer requirements.
- The decline of the pay-TV services has led to players, like MobiTV, introducing set-top box free IPTV services in the country. Due to the market saturation of pay-TV consumers and stiff competition, the vendors in North America (a relatively mature market) are constantly trying to add features to their STBs, such as gateway abilities, security, and HD functionality.
- In August 2021, CommScope, a global home network solutions provider, was selected by Evoca to provide their subscribers with the latest generation of set-top solutions equipped by Android TV with integrated dual multimode ATSC 3.0 and ATSC 1.0 tuners, marking one of the first times for this technology combination to be made available for general consumer use.
- With the advancements in technology, the growing focus on better quality videos, and powerful interfaces with technology are the major factors driving the growth of the set-top box market in the region.
- The decrease was also due to a reduction in the number of cable TV subscribers. The weighted average annual energy consumption for new boxes amounted to 64 kilowatt-hours (kWh) or less in 2020, an estimated USD 2.2 billion in energy savings for consumers.
- With the decrease in cable TV subscriptions, as reported by a second annual Future of TV consumer survey, American households, approximately 27% of US cable TV subscribers are planning to cut their subscriptions by the end of 2021. A survey was conducted from December 4-8, 2020, with a sample size of 2,105 adults in the US by The Trade Desk.

Competitive Landscape

The television industry has been witnessing a myriad of changes over the past several years, and it has become more diverse than ever. The players are innovating continuously and increasingly seeking market expansion through various strategic mergers and acquisitions, and partnerships.

- SEP 2021- Technicolor deployed next-generation Android TV set-top boxes (STBs) for TIM to provide Italian households with access to premium services offered by broadcasters and over-the-top (OTT) providers, including Netflix Amazon, Infinity, Disney+, and DAZN. The STBs are based upon Technicolor Connected Home’s JADE platform, which includes Wi-Fi 6 and Android ten and ready-to-add-on accessories such as personal video recorders or far-field voice. As part of this deployment, Technicolor Connected Home will also roll out a software upgrade to enable access to new services for existing customers in TIM’s current installed base.
- JULY 2021- Sagemcom released its new IP/DVB-T2 Ultra HD Set-top Box for TIM, which is based on the Broadcom BCM72180, a 24k DMIPS quad-core SoC with embedded Wi-Fi 6 and AV1 decoding capabilities. With TIMvision, TIMmusic, TIMgames, Dazn, and Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and YouTube. The gadget allows users access to TIM’s whole entertainment offerings.
- MAY 2021- Gospell established a partnership with Antriksh Digital Solution LLP, a professional digital television and broadcasting product solution provider in India. The collaboration aims to make DRM receivers more easily accessible for the consumer and cater to the growing need for DRM products in India. Gospell may offer consulting, integration, and customization services for Antriksh Digital in India. In the coming months, Gospell may also provide Antriksh Digital with customized DRM products.

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