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Buying a DTV set - OUCH!  

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Just how, exactly, do ANY Digital TV sets get sold in the first place??!

I've not actually shopped for a TV set in the consumer marketplace since about 1983. As you can see from my sig, I work in broadcasting, so the last couple of TV's I've acquired, I've bought by giving one of my regular broadcast equipment vendors my credit card number and viola, a week later, the new TV is in my living room. The selection of the desired set was easy - I usually buy something similar to one set or another that I like at work.

MAN, I had no idea how new sets were being sold out there nowadays. Over this past weekend, I found out. I ventured out into places like Circuit City and Good Guys and Best Buy, Frys, etc. to look at Digital sets and STB's as a plain old regular consumer.

I couldn't believe the vast array of questionable information that I got. Everything from one young sales person telling me that it didn't really matter what HDTV I bought, since they all pretty much looked the same - all the way to the "informed" clerk that tried to tell me that there was no Digital on the air in this market and that I'd need satellite for that. Usually in these cases, I simply presented my business card, corrected the worst of the assumptions and misinformation (like, for instance, there's SIX stations on the air with digital in my market)

Out of about 12 salespeople that I talked to, 1 was able to give me correct, clear and good information.

My brothers and sister, I feel for you out there. We on this side of the picture tube have obviously got a LOT of work to do in helping to educate. I knew from other types of purchases in the past that not every salesperson at the local electronics stores is fully up to snuff, but this past weekend's experience convinced me that if there isn't a conspiracy of purposeful misinformation being spread around, then these poor sould are just not getting any good sales training at all.

Thank goodness for the AVS Forum.

So, I can get HD on my 1964 Philco with the rotary tuner and the four antenna screws on the back, right........?

Later,
Ed
post #2 of 3
You're going to get a LOT of agreement about clueless salespeople - it's a constant complaint, but I think we may be missing the point. The salesfolk don't get better training because the chainstores see RPTV/DTVs selling themselves without any push from the drones. I recently bought a Toshiba 50HX81 - after doing my own research, I decided on this model due to its' depth being less than others; it's the only one that would fit down my cellar stairs. So much for tech specs...

I shopped as most consumers do - "I'll take one of these." While shopping from Sears to Harvey Electronics (low/high end), I got the expected low level of info (but not outright misinfo) BUT apparently it didn't make much difference to actual sales. In every store, H/DTV stock was low or out - "I've got 36 of those coming on a truck, and 25 are sold already."

So what's the point of complaining about salesdrones when the items sell themselves? Maybe it's different in my area... Where we/you could make a difference is after the sale - letting people know how to get what they paid for. Although the 50HX81 is one of the best, it initially looked like crap, mainly on SD channels. How many purchasers suffer with this, hoping for "better times" to come? How many others see these sets and say "Not for us, honey!" After some educated (but simple, except for the SVM) tweaking, my set is almost as good as my previous 32" on "regular" channels - MUCH better on digital; can't wait for HDTV on Comcast. I would have been embarassed to show my "widescreen" to others before this, though.

As a broadcaster, just recognise that there is a big, frustrated market for information about H/DTV both before AND after the sale. Why don't most stations advertise their DTV? Why not a news series on "How to?" You may be surprised at the response!
post #3 of 3
Ed, just keep doing what you've been doing from the "other side of the tube" and us Portlanders will be mighty happy.

KPDX is one of the few Nationwide Fox stations broadcasting in the new 16:9 480p format and it looks good! :)

Thanks Ed.
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