HDTV's Siren Call?

When it comes to defining the cutting-edge gift list for tech enthusiasts, gadget-heads, and just about any person over the age of 14, you probably couldn't do much better than to ask 1,000 computing professionals—folks who live and breathe technology—to pick their top five tech gifts.

With this in mind, several polling companies have attempted to take the high-tech pulse. Media company TechTarget recently announced the results of its holiday tech wish list poll, which asked computer professionals to pick their "Five Most Wanted" tech gifts.

Surprisingly, the "geekiest" gifts fared worst in the poll, while today's high-tech incarnations of old-tech standbys like TVs, cameras, and DVD players topped the results. The least popular selections included such true techno-gadgets as MP3 players, Nintendo's new GameCube gaming system, and the Blackberry wireless handheld devices that have been getting so much press.

The top five most popular products (in order of popularity): flat screen TV, digital camera, DVD & RW drive, digital video camera, and HDTV. At the bottom of the list were the Sega DreamCast, Apple iPod, Nintendo GameCube, infrared mouse devices, and Blackberry wireless handhelds.

Other polls are ranking DVD players as the top dog. The Consumer Electronics Association places DVD as the "fastest growing consumer electronic product of all time," having landed in more than 30% of American households according to the latest numbers.

The CEA reports that monthly shipments of DVD players surpassed those of VCRs for the first time this past September, and repeated the feat in October as stores prepared for holiday sales. The CEA's Jim Barry explains "it is a phenomenon, and it proves that picture and sound quality do count." The CEA predicts that 12.5 million DVD players will be sold this year.