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Well it finnally looks like the price of HDTV tuners may come down. Here is the full article.


Samsung introduces chip set for U.S. HDTV market


By Yoshiko Hara


EE Times

January 20, 2004 (11:12 a.m. ET)


LAS VEGAS — Samsung Electronics has introduced a two-chip solution for digital HDTV and digital HD set-top box applications.


The chip set includes an MPEG2 decoder dubbed S5H2010 and digital TV central processing unit, S3C2800. Samsung's first digital HDTV solution, which is already used in its domestic TV sets, including a 55-inch projection HDTV, wireless HDTV and wireless LCD TVs, targets low- to mid-range priced HDTV sets and HD set tops.


Prices for products in this price range are expected to drop drastically this year to the range of $25 to $30, said Steve Y.H. Noh, a manager at Samsung Semiconductor Inc.


The chip set integrates the main functions necessary for a HD set tops or HDTV for better picture quality and provides a graphical user interface with digital outputs of 1080i, 720p and 480p. It does not support 1080p or a dual HD stream, which are now becoming standard features for high-end HDTV sets.


Samsung's chip set integrates a 200-MHz ARM920T 32-bit RISC processor core, an HD-capable MPEG2 decoder, transport demultiplexer, a 2D graphic engine, a proprietary display processor engine, an NTSC/PAL encoder, smart card interface and PCI.


It was fabricated using a 0.18-micron process, and is available now in production quantities to consumer electronics manufacturers in the United States and South Korea, Samsung said.


Samsung said it intends to expand its chip solutions to higher-end products, and is also aiming for a more price-competitive range.


"There is a huge market opportunity for digital TVs and the set-top box market," Noh said. Market leaders include ST Microelectronics, ATI, Broadcom, Conexant and Zoran. "Samsung wants to be the leading provider of HDTV solutions."


The complete article at EEtimes. Subscription Required.
http://www.eetimes.com/sys/news/OEG20040120S0016
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bdraw
The chip ... targets low- to mid-range priced HDTV sets and HD set tops.


Prices for products in this price range are expected to drop drastically this year to the range of $25 to $30, said Steve Y.H. Noh, a manager at Samsung Semiconductor Inc.

Really!? So that means we will be able to buy stand-alone HDTV sets, complete with integrated tuners for $30? I find that hard to believe, since you can't even buy a regular old NTSC set for that. Perhaps a STB in that price range, but not HDTV sets....


But hey, I'll take a $30 STB!! This sounds really encouraging... Maybe the general public will actually migrate to HDTV now.
 

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That's not what the article said, though.

Read it again. It does NOT say the chipset is $30.


It says products (NOT the chipset, PRODUCTS) in the mid to low price range are expected to drop their prices dramatically to the $25 to $30 price range.


A $30 chipset isn't really all that cheap, and by itself would NOT result in drastic price drop for products that use them....


Current STB chipsets are probably already in that price range, I'd imagine.


I think the article's wording is probably bad. There's no way we can expect a $30 STB. What it _probably_ means is that this chipset will contribute only $25-$30 to the cost these products. (manufacturer's base cost for the chipset would probably be around 1/3 of this...) But given that DVD players, VCRs etc, sell for under $100, perhaps a STB could be manufactured to sell for $100-$200... I guess that would be relatively "dramatic"...


Here is a link to info on the Samsung site:
http://www.samsung.com/Products/Semi...0000031514.htm
 

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I find $30 pricing for STB at little hard to believe -- at least in the near term. More than likely that $30 is OEM pricing for supplying a tuner module (not a stand alone product). You are right the chipsets are already probably around $30, but by the time you put that into a module (with all the supporting circuitry) that prices probably ballons to at least $100.
 

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I see now this article is from EE Times; it is more or less a trade magazine. I believe they used to send me free copies it at work. Anyhow that would explain things. Articles in those magazine often use term "product" to refer to a chipset or OEM module -- not stand alone consumer products.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by STL
I find $30 pricing for STB at little hard to believe -- at least in the near term. More than likely that $30 is OEM pricing for supplying a tuner module (not a stand alone product). You are right the chipsets are already probably around $30, but by the time you put that into a module (with all the supporting circuitry) that prices probably ballons to at least $100.
Yes, I agree. But I would reiterate that if this were the case, then $30 price for the CHIPSET is not DRAMATICALLY cheaper than current chipsets. "Dramatic" typically implies at least 1/2, usually orders of magnitude (1/10) differences. $30 for the chipset would not be that dramatic...


You can currently buy STBs for $350. I would guess that STBs that used $30 chipsets would have to sell for at least $200-$250. This is also NOT dramatically cheaper, in my mind...


Also, I would actually EXPECT the STBs to eventually be very inexpensive. Maybe not in the near future, but eventually. Look at DVD players. You can buy them for $70 or so, and these are actually more complex in some ways.. They have a lot of mechanical parts that tend to be expensive. Transport systems, lasers, etc...


If they can put pretty much ALL the guts of a STB into 2 chips, then the price SHOULD get pretty darn cheap.... What else is on these things? You don't need any buttons on the unit, no display.... Just some connectors and a remote.... It CAN get pretty cheap...
 

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potus,

Don't read too much into the article. Sometime their "articles" are nothing more than advertistments usually written by the PR department of the company with the new product. And those guys are known to making a big deal out of nothing. Their use of the term "dramatic" could be nothing more than a marketing play -- not to mention it is a very subjective term. Furthermore, when you say you can buy a STB for $350 I don't believe you aren't talking MSRP like I was. Part of the reason DVD players have become SO cheap is due to the very high volume of sales, and we won't see those kind of sales figures for these digital OTA tuners for at least another couple years. Again, I am all but sure that article is NOT talking about $30 digital OTA STBs.
 

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From: http://www.samsung.com/Products/Semi...0000031514.htm


"The company’s new S5H2010 MPEG-2 decoder and S3C2800 Digital TV central processing unit (CPU) chipset offers a cost competitive solution allowing consumer electronics manufacturers to deliver low to mid-range price points that will DRIVE WIDE ADOPTION of HDTVs and HD STBs."


This seems to imply REALLY inexpensive STBs... There is NO WAY STB prices greater than $100 or so will "drive wide adoption of HDTVs and HD STBs". I know most people on this forum wouldn't bat an eye at much higher prices, but "wide adoption" means almost EVERYONE with a TV buys one, not just videophiles. Heck, even with DVD players now well under $100, I'm not even sure we have "wide adoption" there.... Blockbuster still seems to carry a healthy supply of VHS titles..
 

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Again this new quote of from Samsung's marketing department. I don't put much faith in the marketing hype.


So you really don't think HD STB sales would greatly increase if it's street priced dropped from $350 to $150? I beg to differ! Futhermore, you might not consider DVD players widely adopted, but I've read many an article touting their high sales figures and wide adoption. Based on what I have read they are far outselling VCRs and are on at least a third of all american households. I found a NY Post article that says, "DVD players began to outsell VCRs in September of 2001" and then later adds during the holiday season of 2001 DVD players won the sales battle by a 2 to 1 margin over VCRs. Remember back in 2001 DVD players cost over well over $100. Anyhow, how do you not consider that wide adoption?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by potus
I think the article's wording is probably bad. There's no way we can expect a $30 STB. What it _probably_ means is that this chipset will contribute only $25-$30 to the cost these products. (manufacturer's base cost for the chipset would probably be around 1/3 of this...) But given that DVD players, VCRs etc, sell for under $100, perhaps a STB could be manufactured to sell for $100-$200... I guess that would be relatively "dramatic"...
I purchased a Samsung T151 HD Tuner for $99 from CC ~1 week ago. I picked it up for $99 because it was missing a remote, but they had 1 more in box w/remote for $149. New. Now I understand the T151 is an older Sammy tuner, but I don't think CC was taking a loss on it at this price.


Brian
 

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First of all, the chipset must be the most expensive thing in the STBs otherwise there's no justification for their cost.


Secondly, $30 is a reasonable price for a chipset like this. In fact, anything less would shock me.


Third, if the chipset is $30, I would predict STBs around $100-150. Of course that's to say nothing of their reception quality. This is not Linx we're talking about. But beyond the chipset, what do you have in an STB? Connectors, DACs, capacitors, transformers, LEDs, and buttons. Not expensive stuff.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by peter0302
First of all, the chipset must be the most expensive thing in the STBs otherwise there's no justification for their cost.


Secondly, $30 is a reasonable price for a chipset like this. In fact, anything less would shock me.


Third, if the chipset is $30, I would predict STBs around $100-150. Of course that's to say nothing of their reception quality. This is not Linx we're talking about. But beyond the chipset, what do you have in an STB? Connectors, DACs, capacitors, transformers, LEDs, and buttons. Not expensive stuff.
What I find ironic is that Samsung is not introducing any new STBs (except for the TS360). You'd think they would use the cheaper chipsets for an entire line of new STBs.
 
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