Every so often the press latches on to the idea that the set-top is on death row. The notion is absurd for a number of reasons, but to make the point in the briefest of terms I thought I’d disclose the set-top shipment numbers that crossed my desk today for Motorola’s Q2. If nothing else, here is quantitative evidence that the set-top isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Overall, shipments of digital video set-tops grew more than 15% from Q1 to Q2, with particular spikes in both HD and DVR boxes.
- Motorola shipped 1.04 million DVRs in Q1, followed by 1.32 million DVRs in Q2.
- HD set-top shipments were at 1.37 million in Q1 before jumping to 2.02 million in Q2.
- To date, Motorola has shipped more than 78 million digital set-tops total.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great things happening with tru2way that will lead to certain cable applications being embedded into other CE devices. That’s not a bad thing for Motorola, incidentally, because it means the market for broadband services should continue to grow. But in the conceivable future there will always be a role for set-tops. After all, who wants to buy a new TV for every hardware upgrade?