STB market springs back; video gateways, media players drive future growth

Monday, April 8th, 2013 
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CAMPBELL, California — Market research firm Infonetics Research released excerpts from its 4th quarter 2012 (4Q12) and year-end Set-Top Boxes and Pay TV Subscribers market share and forecast report, which tracks IP, cable, satellite, and hybrid set-top boxes (STBs) and over-the-top (OTT) media servers.


“Contrary to popular opinion, the set-top box market is alive and well,” says Julien Blin, directing analyst for consumer electronics and mobile broadband at Infonetics Research. “STB revenue grew almost 10% in 2012, a considerable rebound from a year ago, and will remain healthy in the near term as operators in China, India, and Latin America add digital services.”

Blin continues: “Video gateways and media players will be the real standouts moving forward, as North American and European cable and satellite providers transition away from digital STBs. We expect video gateways to grow from just 1% of total cable and satellite STB shipments in 2012 to 16% by 2017, and to see strong double- and triple-digit annual growth in media player shipments every year at least through then.”


  • The global set-top box (STB) market, including IP, cable, satellite, and DTT STBs, totaled $4.6 billion in 4Q12, up 3% sequentially
  • Sales of over-the-top (OTT) media servers spiked 25% in 2012, with much of the growth coming from Apple TV
  • Thanks to a 28% bump in revenue, Cisco Systems led all STB vendors for the full year 2012, edging out Motorola and Pace plc
  • Motorola’s sales declined by double digits in 2012, largely a result of new entrants in the North American market, particularly Pace and Samsung
  • Infonetics has increased its long-term STB forecast, due to updated shipment guidance from vendors and the addition of cable and satellite video gateway and media player forecasts; Infonetics expects the global STB market to grow to $26 billion in 2017