TV tuner card shipments to exceed 40 million by 2011

The worldwide PC TV tuner market will grow from about 15 million units 2006 to 41 million units in 2011, according to ABI Research. Although this represents a solid growth curve, the TV tuner card market hasn't taken off quite as quickly as some industry commentators expected it to, Steve Wilson, principal consumer electronics analyst of ABI Research, said.

That has less to do with technology than with consumers' awareness of their possibilities, and broader market support from studios, operators, and the FCC, Wilson indicated. The technology is pretty much in place; the questions that need to be resolved before the market see really rapid uptake relate to the user-experience and the integration – via digital media adapters – with the rest of the consumer electronics that people have in the home, Wilson noted.

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News source: DigiTimes

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Most people do not buy a PC with a TV card built in. They add a card to a PC that already fits their need.

Probably part of that is because the PCs sold with TV tuners tend to be very media-centre focussed-- things with special media keyboards, desktop-style cases, weird outputs designed to plug into your stereo, and sky-high prices, and probably part of it is that the killer app for the TV card IMO is a little window of Scrubs in the corner of the screen while you compute.

Now, 3D acceleration moved from 'novelty' to standard. For TV cards, though, I think it's gonna be a hard road in the future. We've got two big stoppers:

-Clumsy high-def support. I can have high-def if and only if I use an aerial, only on a small subset of cards, and usually only on a very narrow range of Windows versions. My old card was failing; I was going to get a HD card, but I couldn't find one which worked with Windows 2000 for a reasonable price, so I bought a $20 SD card which is essentially the same as the one it replaced.

-Terrible software. Why is it always hard to install, ugly, and nasty controls? Why does nobody just drop back 10 yards, punt, and provide a Snapstream or the like on disc?

Until we get "good" OTA HDTV tuners with a PCIe interface with cable card "and" satellite support, I don't see this happening. I have an ATI HDTV Wonder in my PC now, and while it works alright, it could definately be better. I'd like to be able to hook up my satellite receiver to the HD input to receive my HD channels, but I won't hold my breath on that happening. I'd also like to see a "quality" HDTV tuner that utilizes PCIe as well. I was hoping the ATI Theater 650 chips would support this, but haven't heard anything about that yet.