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Curiously, Foxconn's Coming HDTV will include a Set Top Box

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A new Asian report published late yesterday stated that the Foxconn Technology Group showed off a brilliant 70-inch 4k2k LCD HDTV along with other 40 and 60 inch models last week at a Taiwan based display tradeshow. The twist to this story that happened to catch my eye was that each HDTV will be shipping with a set-top-box.

While Foxconn's 70-inch 4k2k LCD TV model is scheduled to be shipped in the second quarter of 2014 at an unseemly price of US$23,333, their release of a 70-inch full-HD LCD TV are expected to be shipped by the end of the month at a more reasonable $2,000 US. Each TV will come with a set-top-box. Is it me or is this a new twist or trend coming our way?


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The Tech-On report claims that the video data used for the exhibit is compressed in the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC format. Its pixel count and frame rate are 3,840 x 2,160 and 29.97fps, respectively. Also, the logo of Innolux Corp, a TFT LCD panel maker of the Foxconn Technology Group, was shown on the video.


While there's absolutely no connection to Apple in the report, the mere mention of including a set-top-box with every TV in sync with the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC format did raise a curious eyebrow.


While Foxconn's set-top-box will likely be something homegrown for the Taiwanese market, I still thought it wouldn't hurt to throw this news into the wind, just in case there's a slim chance that Apple's little Apple TV unit will be considered now or in the future. Yes it's a longshot at best – a stretch of the imagination for sure – and yet it would go a long way in helping to keep Apple's business in general going Foxconn's way in the future. Could we expect a hot summer surprise? I highly doubt it, but it's definitely food for thought for down the road.


It should be noted that back in May of this year there were rumors of Hon Hai, the owner of Foxconn, working secretly with Apple on a real HDTV. So the Apple TV set-top-box angle as a marketing test of sorts would be most interesting indeed if it ever came to be.


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In general I can imagine no better way to break into and differentiate in the television market without sacrificing margin than having a close partnership with Apple for most of your UI and software which is where a lot of the development cost is incurred.

The rest of the go-to-market strategy is foggy. Who owns the content rights in Taiwan? Do cable companies serve as a "dumb pipe" for internet or do they actually have power over consumers that they would not want to cede to Apple? Is Apple TV an international product and will it work fine in foreign cable markets such as those in Taiwan? All questions that you could research to have a view on this.

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