Instat: Digital Set-top Box and PC TV Tuner Market US$3.8 billion in 2008

In-Stat/MDR are projecting that the worldwide market for digital tuners in set-top boxes and PC TV cards will be worth US$3.8 billion (€3.12 billion) by 2008.

PC TV cards are growing rapidly in popularity, due to PCs being more readily accepted as the entertainment centre of households. Many lifestyle PCs are being sold with cards preinstalled and preconfigured – and even if a PC doesn’t ship with one, the installation of a decent card will enable the owner to turn their PC into a fully functional PVR.

Consumers now expect their PC to be able to satisfy all of their entertainment needs, and television is an important aspect of this. A home entertainment computer without digital television will not be acceptable for much longer.

Motherboard manufacturers are also getting in on the act, and are producing boards with integrated tuners. Motherboards have always demonstrated a trend for integration – many features which previously required an expansion card, like 5.1 sound, RAID arrays, graphics accelerators and Bluetooth, are now built into some boards.

In-Stat predict that international growth (i.e. non-US) will be key, and that Europe will continue to lead the market for some time. Lifestyle PCs are remarkably popular in Europe, with many major brands such as Sony, HP and Shuttle doing well out of products aimed specifically it the entertainment niche. Asia is rapidly climbing into second place – will there be a time when Asia becomes the world’s largest entertainment market?



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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?