Digital Set-Top Sector Poised for Growth

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The digital set-top-box market will top $5.3 billion in sales by 2005, one
analysis said.

In three years' time, the installed base of digital set-top boxes will exceed
53 million, according to the latest research from Multimedia Research Group
Inc.

The research firm found that incremental digital services -- such as
video-on-demand, subscription VOD, personal video recorders and advanced
electronic program guides -- will help to spark the growth.

Sales stemming from these services are expected to reach $31 billion by 2005.
These services are helping cable operators to fend off the threat posed by
digital satellite.

'Never before have we seen the bandwidth gains for digital cable distribution
that we've witnessed since 1996, when major hybrid fiber-coax cable-network
upgrades began,' analyst Chris Schwafel said.

The research firm predicted that most new digital-cable subscriptions will
come from North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia.

The 'Home Gateway 2002: Worldwide Cable Market Forecast for Digital Set-Top
& Related VOD, PVR & ITV Services -- 2002-2005' study also offers
scenarios on how cable operators can reach profitability in 12 to 18 months by
adding SVOD, VOD and PVR services.

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