Set-top box revenue drops despite cable gains

Jeff Heynen

Jeff Heynen

Worldwide set-top box revenue dipped in Q1 2014 despite gains in the cable set-top box segment of the market, according to Infonetics Research. 

The ‘Set-Top Boxes and Pay TV Subscribers’ report claims that quarter-over-quarter STB revenue fell 3% to US$4.8 billion, with cable STB unit sales and revenues each growing by 5%.

In the coming years, the research firm forecast that the OTT media server segment would grow from 6% of global STB revenue in 1Q14 to 14% by 2018.

It also predicted that Asia Pacific would close to within 3 percentage points of North America by 2018 in terms of commanding the largest proportion of STB revenue. This will be driven by a penetration of advanced services such as HD and OTT, which will set in motion an upgrade cycle, said Infonetics.

“A boost in overall STB unit shipments this year will come from an increase in over-the-top (OTT) media servers as service providers in China and other emerging markets use these devices to deliver live streaming TV,” said Jeff Heynen, principal analyst for broadband access and pay TV at Infonetics Research.

Overall in Q1, Infonetics found that Arris was the STB market share leader for the third consecutive quarter, “benefitting from the high-definition cable STB refresh cycle underway at North American cable operators.”

“There was a pocket of strength in the set-top box market in the seasonally weak first quarter. North American cable operators stepped up spending again on top of successive sequential revenue increases as they transitioned higher-end multiplay subscribers to headed and headless video gateways and replaced aging, power-hungry standard-definition boxes with more efficient high-definition boxes,” said Heynen.