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Europe's AVC STB market to flourish, says report

Posted: 23 Apr 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Europe HD STBs? Europe HD set top boxes? AVC set-top boxes? MPEG-4 AVC chipset?

Research and Markets estimates that the market shipments for Advanced Video Codec (AVC) STBs in Europe will grow to 8 million units by 2010, amounting to nearly $700 million.

Driving this demand will be the growth of 'HD-ready' households in the 'top' 17 western European markets, which is estimated to reach 82 million in 2010. The research firm projects that 17 million out of these 82 million households will be 'HD watching' or requiring an HDTV set-top box to receive high-definition content.

Early HDTV launches in the United States have used mostly MPEG-2 video compression but majority of the HD services in the rest of the world are using MPEG-4 encoding, specifically AVC, said the firm in its report High-definition STBs and Chipsets: The European Market.

After a slow start, AVC-decoding chipsets became readily available in the second half of 2006 from manufacturers including Broadcom, Conexant, Sigma Designs, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments. Then, several manufacturers, including ADB, Amstrad, EchoStar, Humax, LG, Netgem, Pace, Philips, Sagem, Scientific Atlanta and Thomson, have deployed AVC HD STBs.

The firm added that AVC chipsets are also required in the much larger market for HD DVD players, Blu-ray Disc players and high-definition game consoles. According to Research and Markets, the European market for AVC chipsets, including those used in disc players and games consoles, will total to $344 million in 2010.

At present, the AVC chipset market is developing fast. Although many early chipset designs used an existing MPEG-2 chip with an AVC decoder added, single-chip designs are now emerging, with dual-decoding channels. Improved designs and manufacturing experience is increasing yields and reducing costs, noted the firm.

Support for home networking and secure transfer of HD content to portable devices is already being supported by chipset and STB makers, though has not been deployed by pay-TV operators.

The research firm said that chipset and STB makers are already providing support for home networking and secure transfer of HD content to portable devices, though this function has not yet been deployed by pay-TV operators. Nonetheless, Research and Markets remains positive on its outlook, projecting that HD pay TV platforms will be launched in more European countries this year. In 2006, the platforms were launched in 11 countries in the region.

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