Last month, Broadcom, a global leader in semiconductor technology, made two moves that signal a shift in their focus and in the video market.
First, Broadcom acquired NetLogic Microsystems in what the New York Times called a “bid to capitalize on the world’s surging data needs.” Second, Broadcom decided to shut down its digital TV operations.
The moves follow a shift in consumer demands away from traditional DTV and toward mobile, multi-device solutions for their content. DTV is becoming a commodity, low margin business and not a key differentiator.
With these moves, Broadcom is making a strategic push into semiconductor chips for advanced networking devices. With NetLogic, Broadcom gains a portfolio of patents and technology that complements its vast chip business for consumer devices like cell phones and set-top boxes. Essentially, Broadcom is moving away from the TV and toward mobile devices as a chief source of content.
More recently, Intel also announced that it is going to “wind down” its DTV business; relocating its resources to “ultrabooks,” smartphones and tablets – which it calls “top corporate imperatives”. Intel also announced an increased focus on IP-based content delivery networks. Clearly, they too believe that the future of the video market lives in multi-device, IP-based solutions.
So where does that leave the TV?
It’s probably more accurate to ask, where does that leave whatever the TV will become? There will always be a market for large, high definition screens, but the way content arrives in that screen is changing. WHDI is part of that change. While Broadcom, Intel and others innovate in mobile devices, WHDI keeps them all connected. Content can come to any device in the house and be mirrored on the TV; with WHDI, content is never locked on one device. WHDI frees users and their content – access it on any device and bring it to any display. Isn’t that what we all want?