RF Shorts for Feb. 20, 2014

Snapdragon 802 Smart TV Processor Shelved

In a short posting last week Jon Carvill, Qualcomm's senior director of public relations, announced on the Qualcomm blog that "Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. has decided not to commercialize the recently announced Snapdragon 802 processor as the overall demand for processors uniquely designed for smart TVs has proven to be smaller than anticipated. This decision is specific to the Snapdragon 802 processor and does not affect other products we are currently shipping in this segment."

Qualcomm announced its new ultra-HD processor for TVs and set-top boxes at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this January.

Lee Bell has some observations on Qualcomm's decision in his article Qualcomm cans Snapdragon 802 Smart TV chip due to low demand--Released and killed in just over a month on TheInquirer.net.

He writes: "Perhaps the real problem with Smart TVs in general is that they offer services that have nothing to do with TV viewing and thus are just easier to access from devices other than TVs. Families don't huddle around the television to use apps that they use all day on their smartphones, such as checking the weather. They sit down to watch live TV programming or, more recently, catch-up TV services."

U.K. Viewers Prefer TV sets to Mobile Devices
BBC News reports Viewers prefer TV sets over mobile devices. The article says, "The traditional television set is still at the heart of U.K. viewing, with only 1.5 percent of total viewing in 2013 watched via mobile platforms, figures suggest. The average viewer watched three hours and 55 minutes of TV a day last year, according to commercial TV marketing body Thinkbox. But just three and a half minutes--the equivalent of three 30-minute shows a month--was watched via mobile devices." While low, the amount of viewing on mobile platforms increased slightly from 2012.

"New screens are making TV even more convenient for viewers, but, the more we learn, the clearer it becomes that the TV set will remain our favorite way to watch TV--especially as on-demand services become more available on the best screen," said Lindsay Clay, Thinkbox’s chief executive.

Overall, the amount of "live" TV", compared to "catch-up" services, fell from 89.9 percent in 2012 to 88.7 percent in 2013, reflecting the increase in use of digital TV recorders.

The study shows that conventional TV viewing on a TV set is still important, something to keep in mind as the United States develops its next-generation broadcast platform.

Comments and RF related news items are welcome. Email me at dlung@transmitter.com.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.