DisplaySearch’s 5th Annual HDTV Conference on October 10-11 looks to be its most interesting HD event to date, as they have combined sessions on all sources of HD content, including presentations on all types of HD hardware.

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Sessions include:

* 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

In addition to leading executives covering these topics, DisplaySearch, The NPD Group, Wedbush Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Kersey Strategies will excerpt from HD-related market intelligence and insight valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars which should educate attendees as to where HD penetration is today and where it is going in the future. Key challenges will be identified and solutions will be offered. Attendees will also be able to voice their opinions through the event’s audience polling system which always makes for interesting results.

Also of interest to many will be the sessions on the TV market:

* The New Display Advances Session 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. Also, Pioneer and the APDC will discuss the evolution of plasma TVs including Pioneer’s new remarkable Kuro TVs and Texas Instruments will discuss how they plan to fend off the flat panel challenge with its DLP RPTVs.

* The TV market outlook session will examine channel and margin shifts in the US 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 their forecasts for the future regarding 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.

* The retailer session will be moderated by NPD’s Steve Baker and will feature video/entertainment merchants from Amazon, CompUSA and Sam’s Club, the always insightful Dave Workman from the PRO Group and leading retail analyst Matt Fassler from Goldman Sachs. They will discuss the CE spending picture this holiday season, what products are likely to be the best sellers, 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, etc.

Of course, the ongoing blue laser disc format war will be a major topic and they have brought them to the table from both the content and hardware side as described below:

* The first, entitled “The Format War is Over! No, Wait, This Just In…,” features top executives from both sides of the battle, with 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 delve more specifically into the market for next generation disc players and will field 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. Additionally, the influence of the gaming console market on overall hardware sales will also be examined. Overall, the two panels should provide a comprehensive amount of coverage and plenty of lively debate over the continuing struggle between Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD.

Also of interest are the HD Broadcasting and Content Distribution sessions, which will address the recent expansion of HD content on cable and satellite to as many as 100 channels this year and 150 in 2008. How is this change affecting the economics for broadcasters, service providers and advertisers? How will cable respond? When can new switched digital video technology be implemented? Also under discussion will be the status and outlook for the digital transition in February 2009. Is it at risk? Presenters in these sessions 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 terms of image quality, Phil Rosenberg from SCEA who will discuss the outlook for the PlayStation 3 and ESPN’s Bryan Burns who will discuss their plans.

This should be an excellent event and also includes a free tram tour at Universal Studios and raffle prizes such as a 65″ 1080p LCD TV. For more information, please visit www.displaysearch.com/hdtv2007.