Set-top Companies, DBS Spy CE Advantage


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Sep 8, 2003
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Consumers' Appetite Becoming More Fine-tuned

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 Allied Business Intelligence (ABI).

"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," said 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 - 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.

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 introduced plans to sell self-branded HDTV sets for $999, bundled with their HD digital video recorder receivers that retailed for $399 in the past as a standalone product.

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