Set-top boxes enjoy int'l growth

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BRUSSELS -- Global demand for digital TV set-top boxes smashed through the 100 million barrier for the first time last year, hitting sales of 102.4 million, an annual increase of 12%, according to a report by research group Strategy Analytics. By 2012, worldwide global annual sales of digital TV STBs is predicted to reach 196 million units.

The report breaks down the digital STB market into its four platforms: terrestrial TV, cable, satellite and IPTV. It says that demand for digital terrestrial TV set-top boxes demand soared by more than half in 2007, largely as a result of the impending switchover from analog TV in the U.S. and a surge in demand for subsidized boxes.

In Europe, the market has settled as consumers switch to integrated digital TV sets that do not require a set-top box.

Digital cable STB sales jumped 16% in 2007 to reach 37.1 million units, the report says. Sales will grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate of 12% through the end of 2012.

Digital Satellite STB sales rose 4% in 2007 to reach 43.4 million units, and will grow 7% annually through the end of 2012. IPTV sales, which grew 82% in 2007 to reach six million units, will grow 47% through the end of 2012.

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