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DisplaySearch Slates HD Conference

Los Angeles — DisplaySearch’s Fifth Annual HDTV Conference on Oct. 10-11 will bring representatives of some of the high-definition TV industry’s biggest companies together for combined sessions on all sources of HD content and hardware.

The event will take place at the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City.

In addition to presenting insights from leading executives, DisplaySearch, The NPD Group, Wedbush Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Kersey Strategies will present findings from HD-related market intelligence reports valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to educate attendees on segments of HD penetration and future growth opportunities.

The conferences will be designed to identify key challenges ahead and offer possible solutions. Attendees will also be able to voice their opinions through the event’s audience polling system which always makes for interesting results.

Scheduled sessions include the following:

Next-Generation DVD Format War

HD Broadcasting

HD Content Distribution 

HD Gaming

TV Market Outlook

New Display Advances

Next-Gen DVD Hardware Outlook

Enhancing the HDTV Experience

Home Connectivity

Retailer Panel

A session on new display advances will feature a talk from DisplaySearch founder and president Ross Young on where TV performance and prices are going. In addition, Dolby will discuss how it is able to dramatically improve front-of-screen LCD TV performance with its LED dimming technology.

Pioneer and the Advanced Plasma Display Coalition will discuss the evolution of plasma TVs including Pioneer’s new Kuro TVs, while Texas Instruments will discuss strategies for fending off the flat panel challenge with new DLP technologies.

The TV market outlook session will examine channel and margin shifts in the U.S. TV market, as well as new features and technologies that will improve the HD experience.

In addition, participating executives from DisplaySearch, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Sony, Syntax-Brillian and Vizio will provide forecasts on technology and product mix, price points and the hottest products this holiday season.

The Home Connectivity session will discuss new wired and wireless solutions to hook up TVs to more sources in a consumer-friendly way.

The Audio/Certification session will address advances in digital audio including virtualized and simulated surround sound techniques, video-audio synchronization, display certification and more.

Participants in these sessions include executives from AMIMON, Analog Devices, Dolby, HDMI Licensing, HP, The NPD Group, SiBeam, SRS Labs and THX.

A retailer session, which will be moderated by NPD’s Steve Baker, will feature video/entertainment merchants from Amazon, CompUSA and Sam’s Club; Dave Workman from the PRO Group; and retail analyst Matt Fassler from Goldman Sachs. Key topics will include the CE spending picture this holiday season, forecasts for top-selling items, a discussion of what has and hasn’t worked in selling next-generation DVD players, why 1080p TVs have been embraced in retail, and how to maximize attachment and service revenue.

Highlighted sessions on the ongoing blue laser disc format war will bring together both software and hardware representative from both sides.

The first, entitled The Format War is Over! No, Wait, This Just In …, will feature senior executives from Pioneer, Sony Pictures, Microsoft, Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures.

The session will examine the larger issues affecting both the progress of each format, as well as the category overall. The willingness of consumers to support two formats, and projections of when the format war will end and who will prevail, are also areas that are likely to be covered in what is anticipated to be an energetic debate between both sides. The most recent sell-through and consumer survey data will also be presented.

The second session, Next-Gen DVD Hardware Outlook, will examine the market for next-generation disc players, presenting senior executives from Sony, Toshiba, LG, Pioneer and Microsoft. The discussion will focus on factors such as pricing, historical sales, hardware functionality, interactivity and the battle against the mature standard-definition DVD player market.

The influence of the gaming console market on overall hardware sales will also be examined.

The HD broadcasting and content distribution sessions will address the recent expansion of HD content on cable and satellite to as many as 100 channels this year and 150 in 2008. Discussions will cover how this will affect the business economics, service providers and advertisers, and how cable will respond.

This will include an update on implementation plans for switched digital video technology, and a look at the impact of the February 2009 digital TV transition. Presenters will include Cox Cable, ESPN, HDNet, Imagine Communications, Kersey Strategies and TV Week.

Keynotes include film maker John Lowry from DTS, who will discuss the state of the art in image quality; Phil Rosenberg from SCEA, who will discuss the future of PlayStation3; and ESPN’s Bryan Burns, who will discuss the sports network’s evolving HDTV initiatives.

Also included will be a free tram tour at Universal Studios and raffle prizes, such as a 65-inch 1080p LCD TV. More information is available here.