Set-top boxes

Cable STBs Buck the Trend

Despite an overall decline in the global market for set-top boxes and media servers, cable set-top boxes and over-the-top (OTT) video media servers turned in another strong performance in the first quarter of 2013, according to Infonetics Research.

In its latest survey of equipment suppliers, Infonetics found that cable set-tops performed especially well in the first three months of the year, "notching modest gains in both revenue and shipments" from the fourth quarter. The research firm did not say by exactly how much cable STB and OTT media server shipments and revenues rose.

Jeff Heynen, principal analyst for broadband access and pay TV at Infonetics, credited the rise in cable STB shipments and revenues to growing demand in China, India, Latin America and other emerging markets for low-end digital boxes. The research firm notes that basic standard digital boxes accounted for 56 percent of the STBs shipped in the quarter, indicating a larger shipment mix for those markets.

At the same time, Heynen said, cable STB shipments and revenues also grew in North America. He attributed those gains to "increasing shipments of video gateways and clients."

The increases in the cable STB and OTT media sectors came in the face of an overall 5 percent sequential decline in the global market for STBs and media servers. Infonetics said STB and OTT media server revenues amounted to US$4.4 billion in the first quarter, down from $4.6 billion in the final quarter of 2012.

In the closely watched vendor rankings, Cisco Systems expanded its revenue share lead, posting its best quarter on record. Motorola Home (now part of Arris Group Inc.), Pace plc and EchoStar Corp. LLC all followed in a close contest for second place.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

gconnery 7/10/2013 | 8:47:41 PM
re: Cable STBs Buck the Trend Be careful interpreting this as a gain in cable customers in North America. As you say a lot of these could be outside NA. Even within NA a replacement cycle from SD to HD or HD to DVR or even just old failing equipment could cause a bump in STB shipments.
nuker 7/4/2013 | 11:34:51 PM
re: Cable STBs Buck the Trend Do these numbers include the white-box media servers sourced by some OTT video providers ?
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