Best Buy’s Dunn: HDTV In Its Early Stages

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All the talk at the Best Buy Holiday Media Day was about its fourth-quarter plans and projections.

But since we had the opportunity to talk with the chain’s CEO Brian Dunn this past Wednesday in New York, I asked him what product opportunities the industry may provide down the road, such as in 2010 and 2011.

Specifically, I asked if he thought CE product introductions in the near future might be more evolutionary rather than revolutionary, especially when you look back at this decade’s transition from analog to digital across all categories.

Dunn focused in on the introduction and acceptance of flat-screen TV and HDTV overall, describing it as “a once in 20- or 25-year event. Just about everyone went out and bought a new TV” as the main unit for the home.

But Dunn said that even though the digital TV transition finally took place this June, “we are just in the early innings of HDTV. Content in 1080p is just now catching up. There is demand, and will continue to be, for the second and third set in the home.”

Dunn also emphasized that the benefits of the technology, using a Flip HD camcorder for instance to video employees when he visits stores and asks questions.

He added that most TVs next year will be embedded with some type of an IP-enabled feature, giving the family room, bedroom or den “the third screen everyone talks about.”

And the Best Buy CEO said he was impressed by 3-D TV demonstrations. “3-D TVs will be out and affordable next year. And the glasses are not the ones you remember from years ago.”

He then cracked, “They are fashionable … and could provide a profitable accessory opportunity.”

I’ll probably see 3-D glasses and plenty of 3-D TVs on display - and plenty other CE technology - at the CEATEC show in Japan next week. It will be my first trip back to Japan and CEATEC since 2007. If jet lag doesn’t do me in, I’ll try to blog and file some news from the show on a regular basis.

Sayonara until then.

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