Set-top Boxes (STBs) are electronic devices which can be connected to television in order to enable the user to receive and view subscribed channels. STBs are widely used in various fields such as television, internet, etc., and they are capable of converting both analog and digital signals into visuals. There are several types of set-top boxes such as digital media receivers, windows media extender and digital media adapters, among others. STBs can even have functionalities to enable two way communications.
The global STB market is segmented on the basis of content, applications and types. On the basis of applications, the market is segmented into cable set-top boxes, IP set-top boxes, terrestrial set-top boxes, satellite set-top boxes and Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV set-top boxes. Terrestrial STB or Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) segment controls the largest market share. DTT offers better quality images along with lower operating costs.
By type, STBs can be categorized as television, internet and gaming, whereas on the basis of content STBs are categorised into High Definition (HD) STB and Standard Definition STB. SD segment has been the market leader for a long time, however, HD segment is expected to dominate the market in near term because of shift in consumer preference towards high definition. HD set-top box offers transmission of high resolution video content along with high quality sound output. These boxes also provide storage space to record and cache the broadcasts.
Emergence of smart TVs has enabled adoption of advanced technologies such as hybrid STBs and integrated STBs. 3D and Ultra HD STBs are also gaining popularity with the emergence of 3D and 4K televisions. Furthermore, factors such as cable digitization, consumer demand for media rich home entertainment services and increase in disposable income are expected to fuel the growth of global STB market.
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