Inaugural HDTV Forum Sells Out: HDTV Considered Inevitable and Biggest Event in History of TVs

Over 290 people attended the inaugural event which included over 40 presentations and panel discussions on the creation and distribution of HDTV content.

Marina del Rey, California, November 18, 2003 - The HDTV Forum: Enabling HDTV from the Factory to the Home was welcomed by the TV industry last week in Marina del Rey, California selling out and bringing together leading executives throughout the TV food chain. Over 290 people attended the inaugural event which included over 40 presentations and panel discussions on the creation and distribution of HDTV content, all TV display and electronics technologies, experience and challenges from the online and retail channel and market forecasts.

The event was sponsored by market research firms DisplaySearch and Insight Media as well as the Consumer Electronics Association and also included a small exhibition area. The proceedings are now available on CD.

According to DisplaySearch president Ross Young, "We hoped that by bringing together the entire TV food chain, we would accelerate awareness regarding the benefits and status of HDTV technology and programming in order to minimize the chicken and egg problem that has impacted this technology and help fuel growth. It was important for TV manufacturers, panel/tube/engine/IC manufacturers and resellers to learn of the networks and movie studios commitment to HDTV content. At the same time, it was important for the networks and movie studios to learn of the TV manufacturers ambitious plans to sell a lot more HDTVs. With the FCC digital tuner mandate upheld by the US Court of Appeals, the digital cable 'Plug & Play' agreement accepted by the FCC, and the FCC defining the 'Broadcast Flag' encoding rules regarding content protection, everything now appears to be in place for rapid HDTV content and TV growth. As was discussed during the conference, the rapid growth of HDTV is now inevitable."

"The HDTV Forum appears to have been a watershed of information, while providing a great platform for dialog for all those that attended," said Chris Chinnock, president of Insight Media. "This sentiment was echoed by many as noted below."

`I have been to so many forums that I now have limited expectations,` says Toshiba`s Marketing VP, Scott Ramirez. `But I was very pleased to see and hear the high caliber of both the speakers and attendees at the HDTV Forum. It was a most worthwhile event.`

Key highlights from the conference included:

Keynote Jim Sanduski, Samsung Electronics VP of Marketing, provided five important predictions for the HDTV industry including the expected "tipping point" result of the Plug & Play agreement on HDTV adoption, the impact of cable and satellite competition, what content will prove to be the "killer app", the importance of recording devices and the impact of new form factors. He also issued requests to broadcasters and suggestions to the FCC and Congress, arguing that the transition to HDTV is the largest and most important in the history of the TV industry due to its impact on resolution, aspect ratio, sound, form factor and expected time to saturation.

CEA's Sean Wargo's data suggested that consumers are aware of some HDTV terminology, but are still quite confused about what it really is. This was echoed by numerous speakers including those from Best Buy.
A wealth of HD content is currently being aired, with a lot more coming each month. But again, consumers and many others in the retail chain are not well educated about this.

HDTV is here, it's real and now moving beyond the "tipping point", but HDNet's Karl Miesenbach embarrassed attendees after a show of hands revealed only a small, perhaps 5% ownership of HDTV sets.
Top network executives Martin Franks (CBS) and Hal Protter (WB) offered insightful comments and observations about the problems that still exist with reception and the selling of HDTV services and systems. But they also reinterated their commitment to HDTV.
Warner Brothers executive Annette Bouso revealed they have the largest high definition film library in the world with all releases since 1997 created in the 1080p format.
Pete Putman and other speakers provided a clear understanding of the effects of compression on the quality of the received HDTV signal and how these signals are manipulated by broadcast, satellite and cable operators.

Best Buy's Andrea Kimmel and Stewart Meyer shared their experience with Best Buy's HDTV customers and explained their strategy for simplifying the HDTV shopping experience.

Gateway executive Erik Gerson broke down their PDP TV shipments by channel (retail vs. phone vs. online) and by numerous demographic parameters within each channel. He also revealed that its PDP TV products are attracting new customers to Gateway.

CRT TVs are expected to remain the market leader on a unit basis through 2007 in all size segments except 40"+ due to growth in emerging markets.

Microdisplay -based RPTVs are growing rapidly, but supply chain shortages are limiting sales. Growth will be rapid in the near term as they displace CRT -RPTVs, which could fall to as little as 15% of all RPTVs by 2007 in North America. LCOS is viewed by many as becoming significant in the market in a couple of years as it will offer superior image quality, 1080p resolutions and perhaps, single -chip architectures. DLP looks to be the main RPTV technology as the polysilicon LCD outlook looks mixed.
Samsung and CMO revealed that they intend to spend $16 billion and $9 billion on new LCD TV panel capacity. Sharp continues to introduce enabling technologies that boost its LCD TV performance. DisplaySearch expects LCD TVs to lead in HDTV unit shipments by 2006.
PDP suppliers are making significant progress in improving lifetimes and minimizing burn -in with 60K hour lifetimes now quoted by two suppliers. PDP suppliers remain optimistic on their growth despite massive investments in TFT LCDs focused on the 30" and larger TV market.

Consumer front projection products will increase steadily, but opinions differ dramatically about the size of this emerging segment. HP went out on a limb suggesting they might supply 1M projectors a month to consumers in the not too distant future.

The HDTV Forum attracted an all -star cast of senior -level presenters from the industry`s top companies. These included ABC, ATI Technologies, BBC, Best Buy, Brillian Corporation, CBS Network, CEA, Chi Mei Optoelectronics, ClairVoyante Laboratories, Coretronic, DisplaySearch, Echostar, Gateway, HDNet, Hewlett -Packard, iFire, InFocus, Insight Media, Joe Kane Productions, LG.Philips LCD, Motorola, National Semiconductor, OCLI, Pixelworks, Runco, Samsung Electronics, Samsung SDI, Sharp, Silicon Image, Silicon Monitor, Sony Electronics, Texas Instruments, Thomson/RCA, Toshiba, USDC, Warner Brothers, WB Network and Zoran.

Sponsors included ATI Technologies, CustomRetailer, Dealerscope, HighDef Magazine, High Definition Television Association of America (HDTVAA), Pixelworks, Residential Systems, Sony, USDC, Widescreen Review and Zoran.

For more information on the proceedings, which are available for $795, please contact Annmarie Gabisch from Insight Media at 203 -831 -8464 or

About Insight Media

Insight Media (Norwalk, CT) is a full -service market research company specializing in the microdisplay industry. It publishes the well -respected industry newsletters, Microdisplay Report and Projection Monthly, as well as specialized custom and multi -client reports on microdisplay technology, products, markets and companies. Visit for more information.

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