Week In Geek: Has LCD won the HD form factor battle?

By Jonathan Blum and Seth Elkin

Summer is here, and we just came off a big sports weekend, with the Indianapolis 500 in HD and the baseball season getting heated up everywhere, with the possible exception of Yankee Stadium. And in the perverse world of consumer electronics, however thoughts start turning to the holiday shopping season. Magazines must make their shopping guides now. So vendors are showing their final line adjustments over next month for 2007.

Here is what we are seeing:

1) It’s an LCD world.

The growing dominance of liquid crystal displays in the TV market. In the past year, 1080p has become the prevailing format and the prices continue to drop. And there’s plenty of development on the horizon with LCD technology. The rise of LCD seems to portend bad things for plasma screens, which we think is unfortunate. We like plasma a lot but its window for gaining market share seems to be closing.

2) Wii rules?

Nintendo recently announced that it will sell 35 million Wii consoles in the U.S. in the next five years. That makes the Wii the dominant platform by about 30 percent, assuming the Xbox360 and the Playstation 3 don’t magically become more popular. And, of the three next-generation gaming consoles, the Wii has the most room for development, particularly in the near term. As game makers learn the ins and outs of designing games for the Wii’s motion-sensitive control system, the console should only become more popular. And the Wii cuts across all age groups. Adults who don’t have the patience for complicated controllers with too many buttons should enjoy story-driven games, like The Godfather, on the Wii. We should start seeing a lot of Wii peripherals, including some for the sports games. Check out a pair of Wii boxing gloves.

3) The iPhone will be the hot present. And Apple the hot company.

But the big mover this holiday season will be Apple. The iPhone is about to launch. AppleTV is out there already, and we expect a nice marketing push, as content providers sell shows and movies via iTunes that AppleTV users can watch on their televisions. And Apple computers will continue taking a bite out of the PC market as Microsoft Office 2007 comes to the Mac. Somewhere Steve Jobs is smiling. Apple is poised for a huge Holiday 2007.

In other tech news, check out the new Blackberry Curve from AT&T … The Microsoft Surface – how futuristic… Digital picture frames were big sellers for Mother’s Day ….
Google and Yahoo control 86 percent of the search market.

And finally, play some Double Wires.

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