New Study Forecasts 100% Growth for Digital Cable Set-Top Box Market in 2001

The results of a recent study released by TechTrends last week reveal that consumer electronics manufacturers are poised to take significant market share from traditional set-top box makers. TechTrends reports that, by next year, half of North America's leading cable operators will deploy digital set-top boxes from Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer or Sony, at the expense of Motorola and Scientific-Atlanta.

According to TechTrends' research, Motorola and Scientific-Atlanta will command a combined 92% of North American digital cable set-top box deployments in 2000. In 2001, however, their combined share will decline to 70%, as deployment increases of more than 800% boost the collective market share of Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer and Sony from 5% to 25%.

The company's Todd D. Wiener explains: "OpenCable, the U.S. standard for set-top box interoperability, is helping to shift the balance of power away from traditional set-top box makers. Now, consumer electronics manufacturers have an unprecedented opportunity to develop digital set-top boxes for the cable industry and challenge the market dominance of Motorola and Scientific-Atlanta."

The new study, entitled "Digital Cable Set-Top Boxes: North American Deployments in 2000-2001," finds that in 2001, set-top boxes from consumer electronics companies will constitute a large portion of many cable operators' overall deployments. For example, the data predict that Cablevision's deployments of digital cable set-top boxes will grow by 600% in 2001, the largest increase of any operator. Nearly all of this increase will result from the company's commitment to deploy a large number of Sony set-top boxes in New York.

Wiener adds that "cable operators understand the importance of acquiring customers at retail. That's one reason why they prefer to deal with vendors who have strong brand recognition and retail clout. In the future, traditional set-top box makers like Scientific-Atlanta may have a disadvantage, since most consumers and retailers are unfamiliar with them."

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