Despite a trend that is seeing the functionality of set-top boxes being virtualized in smart TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices and TV-connected streaming devices, the set-top box market continues to be a resilient one.
Worldwide set-top shipments are expected to reach 273 million units in 2016, up from 269 million in 2015, according to a forecast from SNL Kagan that factors in cable, IP, satellite, digital terrestrial and 4K boxes.
In addition to an uptick in satellite boxes, cable STB shipments are also expected to increase modestly in 2016, while demand for DTT and IP STBs remains relatively flat, the research firm said.
Though unit shipments are rising, revenues are lowering due to production efficieincs and dropping component prices. With that in mind, SNL Kagan expects global STB revenues to drop 6%, to $16.4 billion.
Looking ahead, SNL Kagan expects growth of STB unit shipments to rise slightly to 275 million in 2017, and then slip in 2018 amid slowing growth of pay TV homes and the use of alternative devices such as smart TVs and streaming media devices.
With all types of STBs included, SNL Kagan said Huawei is now the world’s largest maker of set-tops, replacing Technicolor.