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Forecast: Pay-TV Box Shipments Boom On Chinese Demand

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Electronics makers will shift a record 127 million set-top boxes for pay-TV in 2012, driven mainly by demand in China for low-value devices, according to Screen Digest. But shipments will begin falling by an annual seven million from 2013, as Far-East demand and a struggling IPTV sector tail off.

Right now, demand is still being driven by operators’ analogue-to-digital customer conversion and upgrades to boxes with built-in PVR functionality. That’s what we’ve seen in the UK, and Screen Digest says the same will happen in Brazil, Russia, India and China.

While you’d expect IPTV box shipments to rise and rise,they will see “significant decline” from 2013, from a still-small 12 million-a-year to 10 million, the analyst firm says: “The IPTV market … will continue to experience slow consumer uptake and low average revenue per customer, gradually eroding investment by major telcos.” The real IPTV market will be not in dedicated broadband TV boxes but in hybrid boxes taking both Freeview aerial signals and interactive/VOD content over broadband connections.

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