Monday, 07 March 2016 01:09

Big blow to Digital TV on mobile devices, as Siano is put into receivership

Written by 
DVB-T2 Digital TV on a mobile phone DVB-T2 Digital TV on a mobile phone
Siano Mobile Silicon, who enables mobile devices to receive digital TV, went into receivership last month after burning through $112 mio of capital. Siano along with i-mobile, launched the world’s first DVB-T2 smartphone and tablet in 2014.

The Siano situation, deals a big blow to the efforts of broadcasting digital Television to mobile devices, without the use of bandwith from telecom networks.


World’s first smartphone and tablet with DVB-T2

Siano and i-mobile presented the world’s first mobile phone and tablet, with built-in DVB-T2 receiver, at a DVB-T2 workshop in Bangkok, Thailand in March 2014.

The phone and tablet was presented just minutes after The Digital Video Broadcasting Project (DVB) Executive Director, Peter Siebert told the attendees, that no mobile devices had been made so far.

Much to his surprise (and the attendees) Siano and i-mobile then entered the stage and handed a phone sample and tablet sample to the audience.

Lack of PR and Support

Looking back, it is always easier to be smart, but the above may reveal some information, as to why Siano is in this situation today. It says a lot, that Siano and i-mobile managed to build and test a handset and tablet with built-in DVB-T2 receiver, without the DVB being aware, indicating a lack of PR and lobby skills.

At the same time, DVB, has not been aggressive enough in supporting and promoting the benefits on DVB-T2 and DVB-T2 Lite when it comes to mobile device usage.

i-Mobile released the first mobile DVB-T2 product line, two month after the sneak peek of the IQ 5.8 DTV smartphone . The product line included 3 smartphones and one tablet with the SMS4470 chip from Siano. Today all DTV smartphones, dongle and tablets from i-mobile are built with the Siano chipsets.

According to the chairman of Thailand's broadcasting committee, 2015 saw sales of 1.4 million mobile devices for receiving DVB-T2 Terrestrial Television. However, it is worth noticing that although the phones make use of the Siano chipset, some of the other brands/devices (dongles and DVB-T2-to-Wi-Fi) use a chipset from Sony or Silicon Labs.

i-mobile sold a total of 2.5 million smartphones (all versions, not only DTV) in 2015, which is 1 million less than in 2014.

With Siano out of the mobile digital TV market, it leaves an opportunity for Silicon Labs or Sony to pick up. However, the Japanese giant has so far, not even made their own Sony handset available with their own DTV chipset. All the DVB-T2 dongles available today, with the Sony chipset comes from OEM manufactures.

It is worth mentioning that Siano’s latest and smaller SMS4430 not only supports DVB-T2 and T2 Lite but also supports IDSB-T (full-seg), DVB-T, DRM and DAB/DAB+ which could have been interesting for the WorldDAB forum lobbying to make DAB/DAB+ available on mobile devices.

Searching for buyers to Siano’s assets

According to the Israeli news site Haaretz, Ronen Matari, has been appointed as Siano’s receiver by the Tel Aviv District Court, and is retaining 11 employees while searching for buyers for the company’s assets.

Siano’s investors, which include Jerusalem Venture Partners, DFJ Tamir Fishman Venture and Bessemer Venture Partners, decided not to put additional capital into the company, forcing it into insolvency in October.

Siano Mobile Silicon Ltd. was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Kfar-Netter, Israel with additional offices in the Brazil, Argentina, Korea, and China.

: Sneak peek at the smartphone IQ 5.8 DTV and tablet i-TAB DTV built with the SMS4470 chip from Siano from the DVB-T2 workshop conference in Bangkok, March 2014.


Yozzo is a Telecom Consulting Firm, based in Bangkok, Thailand. The company specializes in MVNO, Devices, Media & Broadcasting - mostly, but not limited to ASEAN. 


Yozzo on Google PlusLinkedInyozzo on twitter  yozzo-slidehare Yozzo on YouTube


Related items

  • Samsung Galaxy J2 DTV with digital TV receiver
    Samsung’s new 2016 Galaxy J2 (SM-J200BT) which is currently only available in the Philippines, comes with a built-in digital TV receiver.
  • Tough year ahead for Digital TV in Thailand
    Although Thailand’s Broadcasting Commission (NBTC) handed out 13.5 million free digital TV coupons to Thai households in 2014 and 2015, only 8.5 million redeemed the coupons.
  • Seminar - Delivery Technologies and Business Models for Mobile TV Services
    Delivery Technologies and Business Models for Mobile Television Services, is a regional seminar jointly organized by Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) and the International Telecommunication Union Asia-Pacific (ITU)
  • Smart Classroom of Tomorrow - Today
    In the remote areas of Thailand, schools often face Internet connectivity issues. Quality of educational process depends on continuous and bidirectional communication. Without connectivity and communication, the learning approach reverts to the old model of independent study, in which the students becomes autonomous and isolated, and tends to drops out.
  • DVB-T2 Lite vs. DAB+ for Digital Radio
    At Thailand’s Engineering Expo 2014, Mr. Kenneth Wenzel from Open Channel in Denmark shared the experiences gained, from being the world’s first to deploy and trial digital radio based on the new DVB-T2 profile T2-Base-Lite. The presentation proved the superiority and robustness of T2 Lite for digital radio, instead of…