HDTV.....Well, What Can You Expect? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-19-2000, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Today I visited the local Circuit City outlet to pick up a few DVDs. We have no HDTV broadcasts in the New Orleans area (except the 199 loop and 509 PPV), so 480p, DTS, DVDs is about the best we can get. I noticed a display of three large Rear Projection TVs that were attracting some attention. They each had a sign on top: "Regular TV", "Digital TV" and "High Definition TV". Most of these prospective HD customers appeared puzzled while they viewed the display, as there was NO apparent difference in picture quality of the three TVs. Instead of using the DIRECTV 199-demo channel, all three were broadcasting a local cable channel. Except for the fact that one of the units was a wide screen TV (that cost twice as much), there was absolutely no discernible difference. Of course, this display was supposed to show the superior picture quality and sound (they didn't even have the audio on!) of HDTV, but instead had a negative effect on anyone seeing it. A prospective customer would conclude that the ONLY difference in so-called HDTV was the wide screen, and certainly would not justify paying twice as much for that feature alone.

There's no question that the Broadcasters and Manufacturers are at fault for not fully supporting HDTV, but folks, if the people who sell and display these sets are so poorly trained and perhaps DON'T KNOW what HDTV really is, how can we expect Joe Consumer to join our ranks?
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post #2 of 7 Old 12-20-2000, 08:09 PM
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There is an HDTV source driving the digital sets. However, customers like to play with the sets and change the source and that's probably why you saw a local cable channel. A salesman should be able to setup the TVs the way they are supposed to be for you.
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post #3 of 7 Old 12-21-2000, 05:11 AM
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I bought all of my HD equipment without even seeing it first. My friend owns an AV store so if I didn't like it I didn't have to pay for it http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gifAnyway there is a huge difference between the 3 don't let some system that was set up by a guy who couldn't organize a 2 car parade fool you. It was so good in fact when I finally had it hooked up at 2 am I woke my wife up to come check it out! Trust me, it must be a great picture if I'm willing to risk that.

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post #4 of 7 Old 12-21-2000, 05:35 AM
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I've seen the same display at CC. Most of the time I saw it, there wasn't anything playing on the HD set! When there was, the difference wasn't noticable. It's a shame to see.

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post #5 of 7 Old 12-22-2000, 05:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks all for your comments.
I revisited the local Circuit City store yesterday and yes, the apparent HD demo (Speedway) was being shown. The picture quality IMHO of the three (Regular, Digital, and HD Wide Screen) units were still, all alike. When compared to my Sony VW10HT, the comparably priced ($5999) RP/Wide Screen looked like VHS. These salespeople (at least at this store) are clearly not paying attention to their business. Perhaps they no longer work on commission and it doesn't matter if they sell an OPP $99 TV, or a big ticket HDTV.
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-22-2000, 06:17 AM
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Sales clerks and store showrooms don't sell equipment. The systems in people's family rooms sell equipment, and it is those systems that will sell HDTV. You would not believe the comments and feedback to my new HT system (in place since October). I bought a Panasonic TAU widescreen TV, Toshiba progressive DVD player, and Boston Acoustic DD surround system. Everyone that has seen the output from this system is convinced that it does represent a step-change in technology, and worth the incremental cost versus a conventional TV ...

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post #7 of 7 Old 12-22-2000, 06:32 AM
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BTW, DirecTV (with the 199 demo loop/PPV and 509 HBO-HD) is not the only HD source you can get here. HD content is also available through Dish Network (Which I think has Showtime HD, HBO HD, and a demo loop/PPV?) and you can access the Canadian ExpressVu satellite from here which has broadcasts of the American networks HD content on one of their HD channels and a demo loop/free movie/PPV channel (Which is the only way I'm getting the SuperBowl in HD, this year.) I don't believe we can get the Canadian EchoStar signal here, though.

But all of those are satellite sources. We still have more than a year to wait before the locals broadcast anything OTA and I don't doubt that at crunch time they'll be applying for a deadline extension to push that date even further back. Welcome to the City that Care Forgot and that Forgot to Care About Technology. *sigh*


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