AMSTERDAM If you still think that mobile TV is designed for cell phones, you're stuck in the Stone Age.
While still hopeful for massive mobile phone design wins, mobile TV chip suppliers have already moved on, looking elsewhere for potential homes for their products -- especially outside the cellular phone realm where too many stakeholders are gridlocked and the technology stagnant. ( see: Dying is easy, mobile TV is hard )
New design-in opportunities range from digital photo frames, boon boxes and MP3 players to notebooks and portable navigation systems, according to Alon Ironi, CEO of Siano Mobile Silicon.
|AvMap's Geosat 6 Phone TV, based on Siano's leading mobile TV receiver and antenna chips, offers mobile TV, advanced GPS navigation, a tri-band GSM phone, alcohol test and multimedia player functions. It will be outfitted in Peugeot sports cars.|
Although each of these new opportunities will never represent a design socket as huge as that of mobile handsets, Ironi said, "Our vision is mobile TV everywhere. Every portable device featuring an LCD screen should have a digital TV."
Cynics, beware. Dismissing Ironi's "TV everywhere" tagline as just "new spin" for mobile TV understates the potential. Siano, a private company whose financial figures are not publicly available, is expecting the company's sales to "grow by seven times this year over the previous year," claimed Siano's CEO.
Ironi attributes this growth to a large number of a variety of consumer electronics devices. "Mobile digital TV is getting broadly into different types of infotainment devices," he said.
Siano is disclosing this week at the IBC convention here several new customer products. They include: A Motorola-branded video-touch personal TV media player offering GPS capabilities and DVB-H mobile TV receiver; a GPS and DVB-T combo device by CoShip, China's largest manufacturer of digital TV; an in-car device called Geosat 6 Phone TV, developed by AvMap, which will be outfitted in Peugeot sports cars; and Hauppauge's new USB "mini stick" offering DVB-T-based digital TV service.
Siano's CEO noted that such consumer portable products all share "practically the same size and the same features." The underlying threads linking these mobile devices are similar, he said, which makes it easy to integrate mobile TV.
Siano's scorecard on mobile TV standards
While chasing C.E. design wins, Ironi is also keeping a watchful eye on the global mobile phone market. He traces mobile TV phone market trends by ranking the hottest mobile TV standards "most likely to create a growth opportunity for Siano."