Parks Associates Blog

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Integrated DVB-T and Smart TVs as a Trend to Watch

I mentioned in yesterday's blog the interesting continutity between what I saw and heard at IDF and some of the netbooks shown at IFA. Now, it appears that there are some themes that will carry over from IFA and to the upcoming IBC conference, which begins on September 11. I've been getting news announcements the last week or so, and one from Avtrex caught my eye. They will be showing a product that leaverages DVB-T and brings functionality such as EPG, recording, and integrated media player capabilities to televisions (they mention DLNA support and bringing Web content such as YouTube to the television).

I saw a large number of televisions at IFA that implement DVB-T and provide advanced functionality - recording, PC-to-TV interaction, connection to Web content, etc. If a company was making TVs, it had at least one DVB-T-enabled set on display, and at least one model was a fully integrated set that included the EPG and DVR functionality.

I also thought that it was interested that were a number of mobile devices - including personal navigational devices (PND) that are using DVB-T for mobile TV applications. I came across this blog that highlights some of the navigational devices on display in Berlin. There were also a number of DVB-T radios at the show.

With the number of televisions that integrate tuner, EPG, and recording capabilities on display at IFA, it would seem that the service provider's hold on customers may be a whole lot more tenuous in Europe vis-a-vis North America. Despite tru2way deployments and the retail availability of set-top boxes here, I don't think we'll see the disappearance of the lease model for set-top boxes in the U.S. anytime soon. However, with terrestrial television much more prevalent in Western European countries than in the U.S., European consumers have much more of an option to ditch a television service provider by buying one of these smart TVs, getting their "freeview" channels, and having a broadband connection that can bring them some VoD-like content.

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