Israeli mobile-TV chip maker Siano Mobile Silicon is planning to conquer the shores of the United States in 2012. The long-range plan is to ramp up production and then do an initial public offering in the coming year. Siano’s technology is tightly focused on the chips that provide a way for mobile devices to receive TV signals. It already has a huge presence in Latin America and China, and the United States is its next target.
The problem has been the slow adoption of mobile TV here in the United States. Although there has been lots of planning and rolling out of technology, the fact is that mobile TV, grabbing shows over the air, has had a slower climb than many companies would like. For instance, Qualcomm made a sizable investment to roll out Flo TV, but the service never really caught on.
Although adoption is booming in many parts of the world, many U.S. consumers have been slower to warm up to the new technology. Most are focused on on-demand services that allow them to download and stream specific shows for instant gratification — not an unheard-of trait in America — while digital TV is more appointment-driven, requiring consumers to flick on their smart devices at predetermined times to catch events such as sports.
However, the potential market is huge, with millions of smartphones, devices and tablets being sold weekly in the United States. There should eventually be a market for live portable broadcasts as well.
There is promise on the horizon though. MobiTV has had great traction lately and even filed for IPO last summer. Its technology lets smartphone users watch live TV. Its sales are up and the next thing for it to focus on is a robust stable of content. Once more channels and networks gravitate to mobile, it will make it easier for companies such as MobiTV and Siano to increase adoption.
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