Worldwide digital cable set-top box shipments are expected to decline 6% this year, to 44 million units, as operators in North America and Western Europe cut capital spending, according to research firm In-Stat.
In addition, low-cost digital transport adapters, or DTAs, are beginning to affect the market in North America, especially in terms of product average selling prices, In-Stat said.
However, "even with a slight decrease in unit shipments in 2009, the cable set-top box market remains both dynamic and robust," In-Stat analyst Mike Paxton said. He added that vendors will see new opportunities with cable's transition to the MPEG-4 video format and the adoption of hybrid QAM/IP set-top boxes.
Meanwhile, unit shipments to China are projected to set another record in 2009 with nearly 20 million units, according to In-Stat.
Motorola and Cisco Systems remain the top two cable set-top box manufacturers globally, while six the remaining eight companies in the top ten are from China, In-Stat said.
In-Stat is owned by Reed Business Information, which publishes Multichannel News.