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Cable TV digitization setting up the platform for Set Top Box (STB) market in India

March 2014

India is a home for diverse culture and more than one billion population has varied and different entertainment requirements. As of March 2013, India’s Information and Broadcasting Ministry permitted over 828 private satellite channels and more are expected to come online in coming years. Government of India mandated cable TV digitization process, which is expected to be completed by end of year 2014, across India. This digitization process is boosting the demand for set top box in India.

Digitization has improved the service chain of broadcasting industry by introducing more transparency into the system. Some of the key highlights include- revealing of subscriber base by local cable TV operator, pay as per subscribed channel and HD quality videos. Also, broadcasting companies would get access to new bandwidths for introducing new channels, and more interactive services.

India’s STB market shipments are projected to grow a CAGR of 18.0%, during 2014-19. Government mandates, emergence of smart TVs, aggressive marketing strategies of operators, and urbanization trend are the key factors that are spurring the demand for STBs in India. However, slow pace of digitization and lack of awareness can be witnessed as restraints in the Indian market.

Industry is expected to witness consolidation trend among multi-service operators and barriers for entry for new player in operator segment. Launch of HD channels, multi-screen features, two-way set top boxes, Android STB, IPTV, gaming features, and interactive features are the upcoming trends in the market. In India, STBs are primarily imported and the trend is expected to continue on account of low degree of government support and lack of technological expertise required for mass production at domestic level. However, domestic production is forecast to increase gradually by players such as Videocon and myBox. Leading players in India’s Set top box market are namely, Skyworth, Coship, Cisco, Technicolor, and Changhong.

Standard Definition (SD) based STBs accounted for more than 72% of the total market shipments, due to their low cost and compatibility with conventional television sets. However, with the launch of HD TVs, HD channels and declining prices, the penetration of HD based STBs are expected to increase in the forecast period.

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