Digital era stirs TV, set-top box makers

Corporate February 06, 2014 00:00


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WITH the debut of digital terrestrial TV fast approaching in April, some major manufacturers and distributors of digital TV sets and set-top boxes plan to put more products on store shelves. LG Electronics (Thailand) will launch 27 models of TV receiver

“By next quarter, the company plans to increase the number of iDTVs to 42 models with screen sizes ranging from 30-105 inches to meet the needs of consumers across all segments,” Nipon Wongsaengarunsri, head of home entertainment and home appliances, said yesterday.
Currently, LG has 15 iDTV models with screens ranging from 32-60 inches.
Nipon believes that the transition to the digital terrestrial era driven by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and the Fifa World Cup Finals in Brazil from June-July would be the main factors to boost sales of its TVs this year. The company projects an increase in sales of 10 per cent to 550,000 TVs this year, including smart TVs and iDTVs.
“We estimate that buyers will spend more money as they want to have a bigger screen with better picture quality like ultra high definition or organic light-emitting diode technology and smart features like built-in memory for recording desired TV programmes. The company expects to see a 20-per-cent surge in revenue,” he said.
LG targets smart TVs and iDTVs at 90 per cent of total sales this year, up from 60 per cent last year. The rest will come from old-fashioned cathode ray tube TVs. To build public awareness of its new line-up, the company is earmarking Bt200 million on advertising and marketing promotions throughout the year. 
Planet Communication Asia, a leading manufacturer of telecommunications equipment and digital TV set-top boxes, yesterday launched the DTR-T2A set-top box for digital video broadcasting-terrestrial second generation (DVB-T2) service. It is priced at Bt1,495. 
“The company expects that it can gain 3-5 per cent of the total industry. Sales of new models of digital TV set-top boxes will help boost revenue by 15-20 per cent this year,” said Prapat Rathlertkarn, president and CEO. 
Another major driver of digital equipment sales is the discount coupon that the NBTC will give away to 22 million households to help speed up the transition to digital terrestrial TV. 
Samart Corporation has introduced 30,000 digital TV set-top boxes worth Bt1,155 each, produced by its subsidiary Samart Engineering, a manufacturer of television antennas and related equipment. 
Samart Engineering plans sell three million boxes worth Bt3 billion this year, mainly equipment related to digital TV.
Kasikorn Research Center forecasts that manufacturers and distributors of digital TV converters such as iDTVs and set-top boxes would enjoy huge growth in revenue from sales to end-consumers. 
The segment will see Bt40.25 billion-Bt44.5 billion in sales this year. Digital-TV converters have been deployed into the market since early this quarter, bringing in Bt5.2 billion in sales.

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