Silicon TV tuner market to hold steady

Michelle Clancy | 16-10-2013

The market for components continues to hold steady, as worldwide shipments of silicon TV tuners into all product categories is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.8% through 2017.

Silicon TV tuners have been in high-volume shipments into TV sets since late 2009. In 2013, the industry is shipping mature fourth-generation products, and industry leaders are already ramping up fifth-generation products.

SNL Kagan has said that TV sets consume more than half of all silicon TV tuners and that by 2017, TV sets will represent 55.2% of all silicon TV tuner shipments. Satellite set-top boxes (STBs) represented about 34.1% of all shipments in 2012, but will gradually lose share to TV sets. Cable STBs provide a solid segment, but account for less than 13.2% of total shipments, and digital terrestrial STBs still have pockets of growth, but these will not last long, the firm said.

"Over the past few years, the key trend has been to improve integration of external components, which reduces system cost, improves performance and provides slightly better margins for the silicon TV tuner manufacturer," the firm said. "As cable TV operators evolve to compete with IPTV services, even low-end digital terminal adapters (DTAs) are shipping with multiple silicon TV tuners to support rapid channel change functions. Each new application creates opportunities for product differentiation by silicon TV tuner vendors.

The worldwide market for silicon TV tuners is a high-volume component business that sells to very demanding companies that manufacture a complex end-use product.

According to the analysts, the segment is analogous to the worldwide market for rotating hard disk drives (HDDs): manufacturing volumes for Silicon TV Tuners are staggering, the growth rates are reasonable, but the annual value is relatively flat. It's a highly competitive market with just a few key players jockeying for position and scrambling to gain market share. These include Silicon Labs, NXP, MaxLinear, Sony and CrestaTech.

The bottom line is that the uptake curve for silicon TV tuners still has strong unit shipment growth. However, because of an overall decline in ASPs, the worldwide annual value of this market will remain flat to slightly negative over the coming years. Regionally, there are still some strong areas of growth, particularly in the Asia-Pacific, CALA and Eastern Europe.