9 July 2007
The Right Wavelength(HKTDC Electronic Components & Parts, Vol 03,2007)
|Golden Dragon High-Technology Co Ltd intends to continue to focus on tuners used mainly with consumer electronic devices|
Established in 1986, and looking to maintain its proud record, Golden Dragon High-Technology Co Ltd intends to continue to focus on tuners used mainly with consumer electronic devices.
"TV tuners have been our main line since start up," says assistant general manager Myra Mak. "Initial models were for ordinary, CRT colour television receivers and our first clients were Japanese." Today, she adds, the range includes tuners for modern LCD TVs, multimedia use and, most recently, digital applications.
"The main change in the past two decades has been in terms of size," Mak remarks. "Demand for smaller size products is increasing with advances in technology and falling prices, hence we are also working on low cost, miniature tuners to meet customers' requirements."
The firm manufactures two types of tuners: analogue and digital. "In general, analogue tuners are used for cable TV reception," Mak says, adding that in the world's major markets, the analogue versions are expected to be in demand for only a few more years. On the other hand, some developing countries will not change to digital for quite some time and so demand for analogue models is expected to continue to be quite strong in those places.
"India, for example, has a huge population, but many people cannot afford high-end TV receivers," Mak points out. "So the market there remains very good for analogue tuners. In fact, it is so good that we maintain an office there."
Digital tuners come in three categories: Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial (DVB-T) for ground reception of TV broadcasts; DVB-S, which is for reception of satellite signals, and DVB-C, which is for cable TV reception. "Currently, we offer digital DVB-T tuners and we are developing DVB-C models, but do not yet cater for satellite reception," Mak advises.
"Our digital DVB-T tuners are used as TV top boxes, so that people do not need to buy a new receiver, and these are popular in Europe, especially in the UK, Germany and France," she adds. "For modern LCD TV receivers, we offer a frequency synthesised (FS) unit and another one especially designed for two-in-one LCD models."
The immediate trend, says Mak, lies in manufacturing tuners for LCD TV receivers. "However, we might also produce the DVB-S units, especially if demand for satellite reception really takes off."
Meanwhile, the latest development in DVB transmission standards is DVB-H technology that adapts the successful DVB-T system for digital terrestrial television to the specific requirements of hand-held, battery-powered receivers. "We are looking into this possibility, of course," Mak adds.
Golden Dragon offers own-brand and OEM terms. "We do not do much OEM business at present and welcome clients to contact us," Mak says. "Our own brand name is GDC, and all products are designed, manufactured and marketed in-house."
Major markets are Europe, Asia, the US and on the mainland itself. "However, the tuners we sell on the mainland are often fitted into TV receivers destined for export," Mak notes, adding that the only major difference between markets is PAL and NTSC requirements. "We offer both."
The firm employs advanced technology manufacturing processes. "In 2003, we gained ISO 9001 certification, and our products are also CE compliant, which is an indicator of the consistently high levels of quality that we achieve," Mak states. "We can also meet RoHS requirements."
Golden Dragon sold more than 15 million tuners in 2005 and in excess of 18 million units in 2006. Production takes place at the firm's plants in Shenzhen, Dongguan and Guangxi Province on the Chinese mainland that claim a total area of about 100,000 square metres and a combined workforce of 2,000 workers. The total monthly capacity is about two million units.
"We regularly attend trade fairs in Hong Kong and, as it is a healthy part of our market, we also go to suitable European events. Apart from that, we advertise locally and overseas and on the mainland," Mak says.
"Competition comes mainly from Korea and Japan," she adds, noting that both countries, though, quote higher prices for comparable function and quality. "Even though our manufacturing processes are carried out on the mainland, only the easy tolerance capacitors and resistors are sourced there," she says. "All the important components such as ICs and diodes are sourced in Europe, Japan and Korea."
Acknowledging that competition is much keener than in earlier times, Mak says she is confident that Golden Dragon will continue to live up to its reputation for quality and service. "We intend to become even better known in the future!" she exclaims.
TEXT BY TONY HENDERSON
Golden Dragon High-Technology Co Ltd