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

Posted: 07.25.03
User base expected to almost double by 2004

TIBURON, 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 Web.

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.