Set -Top Box Vendors and DBS Providers Tap Digital TV Market's Growth, Observes ABI

Both cable set-top box (STB) manufacturers and direct broadcast satellite (DBS) providers, appear well positioned to draw upon consumers' appetite for CE products, according to technology research firm ABI.

Contact: Jake Wengroff

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Set -Top Box Vendors and DBS Providers Tap Digital TV Market's Growth, Observes ABI

OYSTER BAY, N.Y. - - January 14, 2004 - - The consumer electronics industry, with its market value exceeding $100 billion annually, is attracting companies from various industry sectors seeking new opportunities. Among them, both cable set -top box (STB) manufacturers and direct broadcast satellite (DBS) providers, appear well positioned to draw upon consumers' appetite for CE products, according to technology research firm ABI. Thanks to their ability to bundle products and services, these companies are able to cater to consumers' needs unlike other industries actively pursuing this market.

"Both STB providers and DBS operators have a better chance at competing in the digital television (DTV) market than PC vendors such as Dell, HP and Gateway," explains Vamsi Sistla, ABI's Director of Broadband Research, "With sales of LCD TVs alone reaching $18 billion in 2004, this market is hard to ignore, explaining the rise in competition in the market."

In this age of convergence and brand extensions, DTV is perhaps the last segment to join the bandwagon. Many STB vendors, such as Thomson, Pioneer, Samsung, Sony and LG, also market DTV products. There are three main STB players, however - - Motorola, Scientific -Atlanta and Pace Micro - - that have not yet done so, though last week Motorola announced its plans to finally enter the DTV market. Further influencing STB vendors' decision to enter the DTV market is the "Plug and Play" agreement between the CE industry and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. This agreement calls for bundling certain functionality of the digital cable boxes into consumers' televisions.

DBS providers, on the other hand, supply their own satellite receiver boxes and are also candidates for entry into the digital TV market. This week, EchoStar Communications Corp. announced plans to sell self -branded HDTV sets for $999, bundled with their HD DVR receiver boxes that retailed for $399 in the past as a standalone product.

Continues Sistla: "It should be noted that STB providers and DBS operators, just like the PC vendors, are stamping their brand onto DTVs manufactured by third -party OEMs. These non -CE players, who are trying to cash in on their brand recognition and existing industry relationships, must reduce their dependence on OEMs in order to compete more effectively against the leading CE vendors in the long run."

Coverage of digital STB, digital satellite receiver, and IP STB shipments is available through ABI's Digital Set -Top Box Quarterly Service (STBS). The information service provides timely data on the market for advanced digital set -top boxes used in CATV, DBS, and video -over -DSL markets. This service examines the global trends in shipments, revenues, and penetration of advanced features for various distribution networks, including digital cable, DBS, terrestrial, and DSL and IP -based networks.

About ABI
ABI is a N.Y. -based technology market research firm founded in 1990. ABI publishes market research and technology intelligence on the wireless, automotive, electronics, broadband and energy industries. Details can be found on the web at abiresearch.com or by calling 516 -624 -3113.


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