Cable Set-Top Shipments, Revenues Rise in Q1

The set-top market slumped in 2013 as global revenues dipped 10%, but the market rebounded a bit in the first quarter of 2014 as cable device shipments and revenues both rose amid upgrades to more capable models, Infonetics Research found in its latest set-top report.

Although worldwide set-top box revenues declined 3%, to $4.8 billion, in the first quarter of 2014 versus the previous quarter, cable set-top-related revenues and unit shipments both climbed 5% during the recent period, Infonetics said in a report that tracks IP, cable, satellite and digital terrestrial set-tops, as well as over-the-top (OTT) media servers.

Jeff Heynen, Infonetics’ principal analyst for broadband access and pay TV, attributed the cable box  boost partly to swaps and upgrades. “North American cable operators stepped up spending again on top of successive sequential revenue increases as they transitioned higher-end multiplay subscribers to headed and headless video gateways and replaced aging, power-hungry standard-definition boxes with more efficient high-definition boxes,” he said, in a statement

He expects overall STB unit shipments to rise this year thanks in part to an increase in over-the-top media servers as service providers in China and other emerging markets use them to deliver live streaming TV.

While North American still commands the largest portion of STB revenue, the Asia Pacific region will close to within 3 percentage points by 2018, Heynen predicted.

He also estimated that OTT boxes contributed $300 million in revenues in the first quarter, or 6% of global STB revenues. He expects that figure to grow to 14% by 2018.

Arris, which acquired Motorola Home last April, stayed atop the global STB market for a third-consecutive quarter, with 13% of the revenue share, up 3% from the prior quarter. U.K.-based set-top maker Pace was close behind, with a 12% share, followed by Cisco Systems, Samsung, and EchoStar, according to Infonetics.

For the report, Infonetics also tracked ADB, Apple, Changhong, Coship, DVN, Huawei, Humax, Jiuzhou, Kingvon, Netgem, Roku, Sagemcom, Skyworth Digital, Technicolor, and ZTE, among others.