Revision to Set -Top Box Shipments Forecasts in Response to Quiet DBS Business Model Shift

In a quiet change of tack, some Direct Broadcast Satellite providers have begun introducing STB lease or buyback schemes reminiscent of cable operators' arrangements.

Revision to Set -Top Box Shipments Forecasts in Response to Quiet DBS Business Model Shift


Oyster Bay, NY - August 16, 2006 - Direct Broadcast Satellite providers have traditionally left their customers' purchases of the required set -top box to the open retail environment. But in a quiet change of tack, some have begun introducing STB lease or buyback schemes reminiscent of cable operators' arrangements. This trend has led ABI Research to revise its STB shipment
forecasts for the immediate future.

'ABI Research's forecasts for STB shipments have been revised to reflect the new trend towards 'recycling' satellite service STBs,' notes principal analyst Michael Arden. 'Our current figures anticipate STB shipments of just 46.11 million in 2006, as opposed to 2005's figure of 50.78 million.'

By 2011, however, the forecasts are more bullish, showing a recovery to 53.72 million units. Much of that growth, says Arden, will come from shipments in Asia, Western Europe and the Middle East, and will be due to
subscriber growth as well as upgrades of existing STBs in the home, in order to support advanced video services.

Some DBS providers are positive about the numbers of STBs they expect to recycle, citing hoped -for exchange rates of 80% or more. ABI Research believes such estimates are optimistic, however, and proposes that the
average STB recycle rate will typically be closer to 30% to 40%.

'Worldwide abiresearch examines deployments of CPE, pricing, and market value, as well as related STB
middleware and STB decoders. Topical discussions in the report include an overview of the emergence of hybrid STB solutions, the adoption of MPEG -4, the changing vendor landscape resulting from mergers and acquisitions, and analysis of operator -vendor relationships. The study also contains SWOT analyses of leading vendors in each of the four video STB platforms.

Founded in 1990 and headquartered in New York, ABI Research maintains global operations supporting annual research programs, intelligence services and market reports in broadband and multimedia, RFID and M2M, wireless connectivity, mobile wireless, transportation and emerging technologies. For information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.

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