TV tuners for personal computers have never been truly popular due to various reasons, however, as the shift to digital TV happens, this market will get a boost, believes In-Stat market research firm. Still, with availability of certain new services the market of PC TV tuners may not get a boost for some time, notes the researcher.
The adoption of digital PC TV tuners will accelerate in Europe as Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT) services continue to expand there. Asia, China and India will present strong growth opportunities, North America is expected to see a surge during 2009, when analog TV is cut off, and new mobile digital broadcast TV (MDTV) services are introduced by major U.S. TV stations. The high-tech market research firm cautions that the uptake of PC TV tuners is not guaranteed, as they face challenges from a wide variety of options, consumers now have to use computers to gather and view a wide range of video content.
“The challenges to PC-TV tuner adoption include easy-to-use Cable, TelcoTV, and satellite TV services that provide high quality Video-on-Demand, Internet distributed video content, IPTV services, and mobile broadband, such as 3G, WiFi, and WiMAX. While some European cable and satellite operators allow the use of digital PC-TV tuners with conditional access to receive premium content, the US market will take some time to implement CableLab’s tru2way technology. Microsoft also needs to improve their internal support for multiple tuners in a PC,” says Gerry Kaufhold, In-Stat analyst.
It is interesting to note that in 2005, 60.1% of PC TV tuners shipped were analog, but the analog tuner market share dropped to 48.3% in 2006, and then to 39.7% in 2007, which means that the vast majority of PC TV tuners available on the market today are, in fact, digital.
According to In-Stat, by 2012, there will be 30.8 million PC TV tuners sold annually, with a total retail value of $1.7 billion. The firm also claims that Western Europe and Japan lead in the uptake of digital PC-TV tuners.