The set-top box market is expected to register a CAGR of over 6.21%, over the forecast period (2020-2025). The market is expected to witness a rising demand for STBs over the forecast period, owing to the increasing penetration of high-definition channels among consumers and the growing adoption of smart TVs.
- 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.
- Furthermore, ZTE has also announced that it may demonstrate its far-field 4K AI STB S200 that can work with voice commands. The S200 is an all-in-one home assistant with functions, like IPTV/OTT services, smart speaker, home control, home media sharing, and home networking.
- Over-the-air DVR systems are a standalone set-top box that enables the viewers to broadcast and record TV programs. Apart from DVRs, subscription-based TV services providers offer STBs to customers. Moreover, DISH, a US-based television provider, introduced AI in its latest set-top boxes.
- 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 signal and help in preventing illegal channels from being broadcasted in India.
- Moreover, as coronavirus spread and lockdown have highly impacted the film production and exhibition sector, its impact on TV broadcasters, film distribution, and distribution platform operators has been comperatively less.
Key Market Trends
Satellite Type Witnessed Rapid Growth and is Expected to Hold a Significant Share
- Satellite television is one of the most important applications of the set-top box market. One of the innovations in satellite TV is the introduction of a show-recording facility, which enables consumers to record their shows in real-time and watch it later, as per their convenience.
- India is a huge market for set-top boxes. In addition to a thriving direct-to-home satellite business, the country is nearing the end of digitization of its cable TV system, an effort that saw a massive upgrade of cable boxes across the country. For instance, India had about 69.30 million subscribers by the quarter ending in September 2019.
- According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the highest subscriber base was also recorded in 2019. In March 2019, the number of active subscribers recorded was 72.44 million.
- Apart from this, Satellite STB units are also being increasingly equipped with interactive features, like video-on-demand, electronic program guide, etc. More advanced units also provide a suite of interactive and multimedia services directly through a user television system, such as Internet browsing, email, and instant messaging, in addition to basic functionality.
- Furthermore, the market is also witnessing an integration of OTT and IPTV. ZTE, for instance, is about to launch its 4K Hybrid STB for operators. This STB has been integrated with IPTV and Google ecosystem functioning with a wide range of Google apps, like Google Music and Google Games, thereby, allowing users to access both the IPTV and OTT services at the same time. Moreover, in the United States, there is an increasing demand for IPTV and OTT, which may challenge the growth of satellite STB over the forecast period. This is aiding the growth of the market in mature markets like the United States.
North America will Hold a Significant Share of the Market Studied
- With the market saturation of Pay-TV consumers and stiff competition, vendors in the North American (a relatively mature market) region are constantly trying to add features to their STBs, like gateway abilities, security, and HD functionality.
- In January 2019, for instance, TV provider, Dish announced that the company is integrating its line of Hopper receivers with Google Assistant through the integration of smart assistant directly with its set-top boxes. This integration has been built on the DISH voice remote's existing capability to control viewing experience on TV, including navigation, search, and content selection.
- Furthermore, the growing consumption of OTT content is expected to be one of the major drivers of the market. The State of Online Video undertaken by Limelight Networks in 2019 for instance, stated that about 26% of the respondents in the United States used Roku to watch online videos on television, an increase of 5% as compared to 2018. Moreover, the survey added that 62.4% of people who watch online videos also subscribed to a cable or satellite television service.
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, as well as partnerships.
- Jan 2020 - Comcast Corp. acquired Xumo, a free, ad-supported video streaming service that is now available on multiple streaming platforms, including Comcast's own Internet-connected X1 cable boxes.
- January 2019 - TV provider DISH announced that it is integrating its Hopper line of receivers with Google Assistant, by integrating the smart assistant directly into its set-top boxes. This new integration builds on the DISH voice remote's existing ability to control the TV experience, including navigation, search, and content selection.
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