Monday, 19 July 2010

Set-top box switchover

A new report published by IMS research this week shows that 200 million set-top boxes (STBs) were shipped during 2009, an increase of 50 million from the previous year.

This has been partly attributed to the analogue switch-off in the US. Although the report suggests that potential growth has been inhibited by the credit crunch and a decrease in disposable income people have available to invest in new technologies.

Sales are expected to continue to increase globally in 2010, with digital cable and satellite projects to roll out in both China and Europe. We also expect to see an increase in sales here in the UK with the digital switchover fast approaching, as we saw last week May was the first month on record that no analogue TV sets were sold in Britain.

As consumers increasingly demand more from their set-top box than just traditional broadcast content, device manufacturers must rise to the challenge to deliver new, applications and services to stand out in a crowded market. Content is of course key, but must be combined with a powerful underlying platform to deliver the new services. The user interface (UI) will need to evolve in tandem with this growth. Simplicity is vital for the new, converged UI in order for viewers to easily navigate this wealth of new content.

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