Thank you all for the support over the years...I recently purchased a new large-screen TV from Costco, and I love it.
I wrote up an article on my experiences TV shopping in 2014 (after selling them for a year or two) that my regional paper pick up and ran with. I figured you all may be interested in reading my tale...and even relating to it. Feel free to check it out, or read it copied below: http://libn.com/youngisland/2014/07/...ce-of-selling/
A few years ago, I sold televisions in the home theater department of a yellow-and-blue, big-box electronics store.
There, I had a manager who taught me the old-school fundamentals of sales (if it were up to me, every recent graduate should be forced to work in a sales position). We weren’t commissioned, so I took it upon myself to be as honest as possible.
“You want the Panasonic Plasma? P.C. Richard
has it down the road for $100 bucks less – do yourself the favor and get it.”
“All the HDMI cables are the same. Hell, you can use a coat hanger with the right connection and get a clear picture,” or, “Don’t buy the 55-inch LCD with 60Hz. It’s crap.”
It seems that honesty resonated with my fellow Long Islanders, because people came back and looked for me for their electronics needs. I enjoyed selling home theater, and the fact that the big-box store took the time to train me in the finer points of anti-judder and edge-lit versus full-array LED TVs made it all the better. Now, much to my fiancée’s consternation, I know way too much about home theater (or at least I think do), which made our recent TV shopping an event.
Inspired by both my brother and cousins purchase of large flat screens, I made the pitch to upgrade the Murdocco family television to my superior. As LIBN recently reported
, large panel TVs are the bee’s knees thanks to lowered prices on 60-inch sets and up, and why not join the trend? I requested a change-of-zone variance to upgrade from our 46-inch LED to a 60-inch plasma, within a modest budget. Upon hearing my svelte phrasing, she rolled her eyes and said, “Go do whatever you want.”
You see, as a former home theater Willy Loman, I had specific needs and criteria that I wanted in a television: large size and good contrast. Since my days selling, I always liked Plasma. I selected a 60″ Samsung
plasma that our local Costco
had in stock.
I did my diligent research on the AVS forums (picture some of the nerdiest sectors of the Internet and magnify that image by 1,000), read CNET
until my eyes bled and drove my significant other to the brink of madness. Another week had passed. In fairness, what lady in her mid-20s wouldn’t want to hear about the perks of 600Hz refresh and inky black levels that rival the darkest of souls? She already puts up with car talk, guitar talk, and of course, those topic’s sexy, out-of-town cousin, zoning talk, so this shouldn’t have been any different.
Next on my research orgy was a site visit to gaze upon the product under consideration. Next to the LEDs, my go-to Samsung plasma was dim; very, very dim. The screen was so reflective, I was able to see my Ibanez Guitars T-shirt in all of its glory. The screen seemed small too. The LED models from Samsung, Sharp and Sony shone brightly, with their vivid, searing colors and overly thin bezels calling to me. I began to doubt my selection. I left the warehouse empty-handed. I went to our go-to electronics guy with my uncle, and yet again came up empty-handed. Eh – it wasn’t the best picture I told myself. My research odyssey continued as my future wife’s patience grew thin.
“We now must consider LEDs,” I proclaimed to both her and the dog. She rolled her eyes yet again.
Getting lured by the siren’s song of LED was a rookie mistake though. You see, plasma is a dying technology, making now the time to buy one before they are gone forever. The marketplace never embraced the flat panel tech thanks to various problems from launch: screen burn-in, dimmer pictures, incessant buzzing, increased energy usage, etc. These negatives were offset by the better motion processing and contrast. Since the early days, the tech has evolved, making the tech slimmer, brighter and most importantly – cheaper than comparable LCD/LED models. The consumer marketplace was bamboozled by television manufacturers that pushed LCDs – yes they are brighter, but they just don’t hold a candle to Plasma in terms of picture quality. Only now, 15 years later, do LEDs come close to the images a plasma can produce under ideal conditions. The next generation OLEDs finally surpass the image quality found on a Pioneer Elite KURO, the top-of-the-line plasma… from 2006.
Much like Luke confronting Darth Vader, I had to remember my training. Two weeks had passed since that fateful trip to Costco, where those damn LEDs lured me astray. We had just cleaned up after dinner and I made the call.
“We’re buying a TV!” We rushed to the store in my in-law’s borrowed SUV, scooped up the massive box and got home in 20 minutes. Ah ha! Mission accomplished.
The plasma, the first TV I looked at from all those weeks ago, is now in our possession. It now sits on our television stand, casting a warm, properly calibrated glow over the family. It’s huge. The screen’s reflection isn’t a problem, and the picture is very bright.
Long story short: If you see a TV you like this weekend that’s huge and cheap, just buy it. Even the “worst” televisions today are far better than those on sale from 2008. You’ll save your future spouse tons of aggravation, and you probably won’t notice any of the differences they talk about on the forums or in reviews anyway.