Berlin, June 30, 2010
The European market for digital set-top boxes is set to rise by an estimated 9.6 per cent to 2.2 billion euros in 2010 according to the European Information Technology Observatory (EITO). The number of sold devices is expected to increase by 6.3 per cent to 32 million compared to the previous year. “The market for digital set-top boxes is driven by new technological trends in television: TV reception digitisation, high-definition television and integrated Internet and TV”, says EITO chairman Bruno Lamborghini. Set-top boxes are a simple way of experiencing the new world of TV, even with older TV sets.
The market for set-top boxes has been developing very differently this year in the five biggest EU countries. The most growth has been seen in France. According to EITO, the market volume in France is growing by an estimated 86 per cent to 320 million euros. The German market is predicted to increase by 38 per cent to 720 million euros; the Italian market 29 per cent to 500 million euros. The UK and Spain, on the other hand, should expect a drop in revenues of 32 per cent – down to 160 million euros and 105 million, respectively. The main reason for this is that the digitisation of television reception in these countries has already been completed to a large extent.
In the past year, analogue television reception by aerial was switched off in many European countries, leaving only digital terrestrial reception. It is this that has led to the record growth in set-top box sales. Sales in the EU went up by 32 per cent over 2008. The market is extremely volatile in terms of time and location.
Currently in 2010, three other developments are supporting the demand for set-top boxes along with the switch to digital receivers. First, television and the Internet have merged to form what is termed “hybrid TV”. This technology transfers specially prepared content from the Web to televisions. Second, the spread of high-definition imagery (HDTV) via cable and satellite has been accelerated, particularly as a result of the Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup. Third, combination devices with digital set-top boxes and hard-disk recorders are currently very popular. These devices receive digital TV signals and can easily record TV broadcasts.
Since 1993, the European Information Technology Observatory (www.eito.com) offers high quality and up-to-date information on European and global markets for information technology, telecommunications and consumer electronics. The EITO is managed by Bitkom Research GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of BITKOM, the Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media in Germany. EITO collaborates with leading market research institutes including IDATE, IDC and GfK, and research activities of the EITO Task Force are supported by the European Commission and the OECD. EITO is sponsored by CeBIT, Deutsche Telekom, KPMG, Messe München, Red.es and Telecom Italia.