Irvine chipmaker Broadcom Corporation this morning plunked down $193 million for AMD’s digital TV business because it wants to be in every piece of the digital TV market possible “from low-end value and mid-range quality to high-end interactive platforms and panel processors,” according to the press release.
Low end? Cody Acree, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus analyst told Reuters that this could mean cheaper televisions — like 20-inch flat TVs for less than $300.
“If Broadcom gets into a lower end DTV box, it allows them to target markets like China, India and Brazil,” Acree told Reuters.
The prices of flat TVs have been falling and it’s rare to find a TV for less than $300. But they still exist. This week at Best Buy, there’s a 19-inch Dynex TV for $240. Circuit City has a 19-inch Apex LCD for $250.
**Just spoke to Broadcom’s Daniel Marotta, who heads up the company’s Broadband Communication’s Group that includes the TV unit. The company wants to offer chips for low-end TVs so customers of its high-end chips won’t have to look elsewhere for low-end lines.
“What they’d like to do is be able to reuse our software at different (priced products),” said Marotta, senior vice president and general manager of the broadband group. “Because if you don’t have the right product, they’ll go elsewhere.”
Broadcom and AMD do overlap on the high-end chips. Both offer chips that provide 3D graphics and an Internet connection to TV (for watching YouTube or your music stored on a PC). The plan is to take those advanced features and move them quickly into lower-end TVs.
“Given the very technical team we have, we want to drive that down (to lower-end TVs) as fast as we can,” he said.