Sigma Designs keeps an eye on the Chinese market with a new set-top box

Sigma Designs®, Inc. today announced that its REALmagic® EM8400 next-generation progressive DVD player and advanced digital set-top box reference designs will be launched in China at venues in Beijing, Shenzhen, and Shanghai.

Sigma will present its EM8400 chip at the International IC conference and exhibition in these three cities. The purpose of the presentation is to explain to China engineers Sigma’s state-of-the-art architecture for progressive scan decoders and how this architecture can be designed into various consumer applications such as the next-generation Venus set-top box and other TV-PC convergence appliances for Internet access, web browsing, DVD playback, and video on demand.

The video quality and resolution of today’s DVD titles significantly exceed the capabilities of today’s typical television technology. This year, new television sets and DVD players will emerge to take advantage of the advanced capabilities found in today’s DVD titles. DVD encompasses more than 20 years of improvements in audio/visual research and technology. The results are absolutely stunning. Dataquest has stated that growth in the DVD player market will be significant. Dataquest projects that the market will grow to more than 35 million units in 2003 from approximately five million units in 1999, with a five-year CAGR of 64.6%. An important factor in the acceptance of DVD in the consumer marketplace is the support of major movie studios. Today, more than 4,000 movie titles are available on DVD.

The fastest-growing market for DVD players is China. In 1998, the Chinese government adopted the SVCD standard to replace VideoCD in China. Dataquest states that the DVD standard will overtake the VCD/SVCD market in China in the near future. DVD consumption in China is expected to exceed ten million units in 2003 from approximately one million in 1999. China is the world’s largest potential consumption base for DVD players, with a CAGR of 50% projected by Dataquest for 2000-2003. DVD player production for China in 2000 is estimated at three million units.

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