Worldwide total set-top box shipments grew 13.7% in 2011 compared to the previous year, while revenue was nearly flat, up less than 1%, to US$13.3 billion (€10 billion). Global set-top box unit shipments grew faster (up 6%) than revenue (up 3.8%) between the third and fourth quarters of 2011. Growth in high definition and DVR sales helped keep average selling prices from declining too quickly, according to the report.
Motorola, Echostar, Pace and Cisco were the top vendors in terms of global set-top revenue share in the fourth quarter of 2011.
The report forecasts that IP set-top boxes and hybrid IP/DTT unit shipments will grow the strongest among the various types of set-top boxes over the next five years, increasing their share of the total market.
A second Infonetics report, Video-on-Demand and Encoder Equipment and Video Subscribers, found that following annual declines in 2009 and 2010, during the global recession, the VOD and streaming content servers and video encoders market grew 6% in 2011 to US$803 million, with all major world regions except EMEA increasing spending.
Sequentially from the third to the fourth quarters, the overall market was up 4% and up 6% year-on-year. The report forecasts double-digit percent revenue increases in the global video infrastructure market in 2012, with a cumulative US$1.9 billion being spent on standard and high definition MPEG-4 video encoders over the next five years, from 2012 to 2016.
Huawei led the global VOD server market in the fourth quarter 2011 and for the overall year, with Motorola and ZTE vying for top sport for global VOD revenue in the fourth quarter.
“Two of the most interesting trends in the video equipment and set-top box markets are, firstly, across the board, pay TV operators continue to increase their investments in MPEG-4 encoders to reduce bandwidth requirements for their broadcast channels and VOD streams, and secondly, despite healthy STB unit growth in 2011, revenue was nearly flat, reflecting the growth of lower-cost STBs in emerging markets, particularly China, combined with the increased competition we’re seeing in the more mature markets,” noted Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband access and video at Infonetics Research.