TV in PCs is a Killer App—Users Approaching 30 Million

User base expected to almost double by 2004

Robert Dow

CA—JULY 25, 2003

Once thought a novelty, then
considered something for specialized applications such as distance
learning, PCTV is becoming a “must-have” capability
as users and OEMs take advantage of the PC’s ability as an entertainment
center device. Fueled by higher performance, bigger disk drives,
faster processors and memory, today’s PCs can do it all—capture
TV, record it for later viewing, capture home videos, store and
index photos and music, and distribute it over the air or the

PCTV is a major catalyst for the age of convergence, and all
it takes a simple addition of a TV tuner card or device for a
PC to become a PCTV.

Jon Peddie Research has just completed two studies on PCTV: a
market study and a consumer study. Some of the findings are surprising.

PCTV is moving from an early adopter and hobbyist product to
a mainstream product. PC suppliers are building it into their
systems (Apple has for years).

The PCTV receiver market has been steadily growing and attracting
new viewers/users every year. The adoption of PCTV was slowed
in its early years by limited OS, CPU, memory, and graphics controller
support, and costs were likewise a challenge. Those problems have
been overcome and it’s now possible to watch TV on a PC. There
are (at least) three ways to get TV reception capability:

  • Stand-alone TV tuner add-in board
  • Integrated TV tuner and graphics controller add-in board
  • External TV tuner linked via USB or IEEE1394, or a special connector on a graphics AIB

An add-in board (AIB) basically means it is not a discrete set of
chips on the mother (system) board. An AIB can be “added” at time
of manufacture by the OEM, or at time of distribution by the reseller
(for SKU management), or by the user/consumer (after market or retrofit).
Also, with today’s advanced bus and OS structures in PCs and Apple
computers, it is possible to have more than one TV tuner in a system,
allowing the user to look at multiple channels at once (PIP—picture-in-picture)
or have cable and over the air TV.

In our recent market study, “PC TV Market Today and Future,”
we also found that:

  • The overall market size of the PC TV AIB category is small in comparison
    to some other PC accessory categories because it is not an essential
    component in the same way that a graphics AIB, mouse, display, or
    CD is. However, it has a higher CAGR (Compound Average Growth Rate)
    than any of those categories.
  • 32 companies are supplying one form or another of PCTV, with three
    companies capturing 65% of the market.
  • Total annual sales are $220 million per year and growing at a CAGR
    of 32.2%.
  • ASPs (Average Selling Price) have bottomed out and are climbing.
  • Home entertainment system will expand the market.

This Market Alert is drawn from the Jon Peddie Research report,
“PC TV Market Today and Future,” which discusses the status
of the PCTV market, suppliers, and product around the world. It closely
examines PCTV market growth and looks at key issues impacting future
PCTV growth and market development. The report also updates the TV
technology standardization process, describes the industry’s move
to HDTV strategy, and covers the industry effort to extend TV to the
PC home entertainment center. In order to provide a complete picture
of the worldwide market for PCTV, the report provides a regional look
at market totals. In addition, the report provides forecasts for worldwide
PCTV units and revenues through 2006.