PC-TV tuners facing challenges

Uptake of PC-TV tuners will grow but the technology faces challenges from a wide variety of other options, according to a new report.
Research firm In-Stat is forecasting 30.8 million sales of PC-TV tuners annually by 2012, with a total retail value of US$1.7 billion. Western Europe and Japan lead the way, although China and India will also present strong growth opportunities. In-Stat is also expecting a surge in North America in 2009 when analogue TV is cut off and new mobile digital broadcast TV services are introduced by major US TV stations.

Analogue PC-TV tuner sales are falling as a proportion of the total, down from 60.1% in 2005 to 48.3% in 2006 and then to 39.7% in 2007.

But there are challenges ahead. Gerry Kaufhold, In-Stat analyst, says: “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."