My Best Boy Experience (alarming for HD DVD survival) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 173 Old 06-23-2006, 08:56 PM - Thread Starter
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So I go into Best Buy in Pleasant Hill, CA to check out Blu Ray and HD DVD once again. I see the Blu Ray player in their "Magnolia" home theater setup connected to a 50inch Elite Plasma.

After fiddling with the TV for a while, we couldn't get it working so I ask the Magnolia Rep (operations not sales) assisting me, to show me HD DVD which I assumed would be displayed in a similar manner. Certainly not the case. At the end of an isle, the HD DVD setup is connected to a Westinghouse 37inch and enough bright lights around it to give you a nice tan. This guy was really cool about everything and liked idea of comparing the 2 units on the same screen so he brought along the Samsung.

Arriving at the isle we discover that the HD DVD player is hooked up via componenet and playing the demo disc. We connect the Blu Ray player and it comes on. We go into setup to select 1080p but it's grayed out. It'll only allow 1080i for the Westinghouse (anyone know why?). Well, whatever.....we select 1080i and start the movie which happened to be House of Flying Daggers. I take the remote and jump right into an action scene towards the middlee of the film where the girl is in the middle of the bamboo forest and getting attacked.

About 2 mins into it, the Magnolia rep starts laughing "wow, this sucks." I couldn't help but agree. During this time, a tall sales person with an Eastern European accent who'd been watching us for a bit, comes over with a completely different reaction "beautiful...best picture I've seen." We both just nod our head "sure." After about 10mins of watching this mess, we properly connect the HD DVD player via HDMI and start the demo. I asked them to play a movie but he tells me "we're not allowed" so I calmly state that I'll BUY the movie and let's see it. "Can't." Nothing I said was good enough let me, an obvious buyer, play a real movie. Needless to say, even in such horrid display conditions, the HD DVD blew away the Blu Ray.

Our Borat starts panicking and going "ooooohh. you HAVE to see the blu ray on the Elite. It's not designed for LCD's...." he proceeds to pull the HDMI cable from the HD DVD set, takes it, goes and hooks the Blu Ray up to the Elite as I go back over there. We now have it hooked up on a $5000+ display with much better lighting and still the picture looks slightly better but easily dwarfed by the HD broadcasts going around on the different displays.

Borat for the life of him cannot get over how wonderful the picture is so I ask him to bring over the HD DVD player, hook it up and lets see it. I'll buy a movie, yet still, No go! So Borat finally leaves after another 10mins of trying to sell me the Samsung. In the mean time the Magnolia Rep is still very honest and tries to find me an A1 somewhere. Unfortunately not the case.

So we talk a bit and it turns our that BB has clearly stated that they are to promote Blu Ray due to the high margins. They're also told to NOT play actual movies in the Toshiba and do not directly compare both players.

The highlight: They sold 1 Samsung and it was returned. They have 2 more but have gathered no interest. HD DVD players keep getting inquired about and generally people get quite frustrated about trying to be steered away each time.

___________________________________________________________


The alarming thing is that if one of the biggest shops is going to treat HD DVD like this, then it's too much work for word of mouth to spread the news. In SOME positive light, I went to Fry's afterwards and they gave HD DVD the proper treatment so it was in a display room playing Phantom of the Opera and it looked beautiful, coupled with a Samsung flat panel. He told me he had one in stock and I asked for it but then it turns out the sold the last one earlier that day. :( :( :(
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post #2 of 173 Old 06-23-2006, 09:11 PM
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Sounds like a common theme on this forum. Sony probably slipped BB a few bucks to prominatly display BR and keep HD DVD "down".
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post #3 of 173 Old 06-23-2006, 09:14 PM
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Yeah man Blu-Ray is really not impressing me for all the extra bucks u have to pay for it...rather have my hd-dvd
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post #4 of 173 Old 06-23-2006, 09:29 PM
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These stories are sickening imo.
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post #5 of 173 Old 06-23-2006, 09:38 PM
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This is getting down right ridiculous! Unfreakinbelievable sales tactics going on. I can't stand Sony for these types of things just like this that they pull. It's gonna be the exact same things when the supposed super awesome ps3 comes out, even though the xbox 360 is really awesome and I think will be better.

Hi-Def is where it's at
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post #6 of 173 Old 06-23-2006, 09:39 PM
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Would you rather sell something on a 30% margin @ $499.99 or a sell something for $a 999.99 @ a 30% margin? I don't know about you, but $300.00 worth of profit sounds better than a $149.00 dollar profit.
The BB by my house set the BR display back in the box. I would say have the Magnolia people don't care what they sell as long as they sell. The other half are adament BR Fanboys. I had one so pissed off that he ran away. I mean he RAN away mad. It was hilarios.
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post #7 of 173 Old 06-23-2006, 09:43 PM
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Such desperate measures I believe bodes well for HD-DVD survival, as the very fact that they have to go to such lengths to rig it for Blu ray - tells us HD-DVD (as it stands now) is winning this battle
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post #8 of 173 Old 06-23-2006, 09:48 PM
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Display space has to be rented in stores such as BB. So, it's obvious that Sony is paying more money for a larger display.

If they really wanted to sell Blu-ray more heres is how to do it:

Put an HD DVD player in an enclosed display case and connect it to a good monitor. Put a Blu-ray player on the top shelf exposed. Secretly play the HD DVD movie or demo while telling people it's really the Blu-ray player.

Maybe Sony will pay them to do that, too.
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post #9 of 173 Old 06-23-2006, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricwhite
Display space has to be rented in stores such as BB. So, it's obvious that Sony is paying more money for a larger display.

If they really wanted to sell Blu-ray more heres is how to do it:

Put an HD DVD player in an enclosed display case and connect it to a good monitor. Put a Blu-ray player on the top shelf exposed. Secretly play the HD DVD movie or demo while telling people it's really the Blu-ray player.

Maybe Sony will pay them to do that, too.
LOL! That is exactly what I told the BB Drones.
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post #10 of 173 Old 06-23-2006, 09:55 PM
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Amazing. No competition from HD DVD and BR can sit with their thumb up their ass and tell people it is good and they'll believe it. I'm surprised that even fans of BR can't see the logic. Competition breeds a better product.

It's the job of the salesman to give honest and accurate product info and let the customer decide if it fits their needs.
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post #11 of 173 Old 06-23-2006, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paintit77
Would you rather sell something on a 30% margin @ $499.99 or a sell something for $a 999.99 @ a 30% margin? I don't know about you, but $300.00 worth of profit sounds better than a $149.00 dollar profit.
The BB by my house set the BR display back in the box. I would say have the Magnolia people don't care what they sell as long as they sell. The other half are adament BR Fanboys. I had one so pissed off that he ran away. I mean he RAN away mad. It was hilarios.
But won't you sell 4 times as many product when they are half the cost of the other? It's a douple dip win for HD DVD as the lower the cost the larger the segment of society can afford.
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post #12 of 173 Old 06-23-2006, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HorrorScope
But won't you sell 4 times as many product when they are half the cost of the other?
That logic might be valid if the stores had the players to sell. My local BB has only received three Toshiba players since the launch in mid April and they sold those in one day. They do however maintain a good supply of HD DVD movies.
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post #13 of 173 Old 06-23-2006, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricwhite
Display space has to be rented in stores such as BB. So, it's obvious that Sony is paying more money for a larger display.

If they really wanted to sell Blu-ray more heres is how to do it:

Put an HD DVD player in an enclosed display case and connect it to a good monitor. Put a Blu-ray player on the top shelf exposed. Secretly play the HD DVD movie or demo while telling people it's really the Blu-ray player.

Maybe Sony will pay them to do that, too.
You will notice in other threads, reports of precisely this behavior (Making the customer believe its a Blu ray running the disc, when its an HD-DVD player) are being alleged to be occurring at certain Best Buy locations
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post #14 of 173 Old 06-23-2006, 10:09 PM
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From the various threads I've read, it looks like the experiences at BB have been pretty different depending on where you visit. I work in HT in a BB in Indianapolis, and we decided to put the HD DVD player right next to the BD player, both on 1080p sets, both running supplied demo discs. The A1 blows away the Samsung quite easily. We are lucky that we don't have the endcap in our store that is supposed to hold the display. We just put them up in our dimmer big screen area. I would like to say we sell a lot, but everyone in the area is cheap and only want HD upconverts (but don't want to pay for an HDMI cable - even the cheapest one). We have an A1 in stock if anyone in the area is looking for one.

Anyway, we compare both equally. Even our employees like making excuses for BD, like that the movie in the player is too old (5th element). I think BD has been overhyped.
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post #15 of 173 Old 06-23-2006, 10:16 PM - Thread Starter
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dmits,

Thanks for giving both format a fair shake and in-turn letting the consumer decide what's best for them. Much appreciated.
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post #16 of 173 Old 06-23-2006, 11:05 PM
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You think thats bad? My Best Buy doesn't even have the Toshiba player hooked up to a TV. It's just randomly sitting in the AV cables section of the store next to the standard 20" tvs.
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post #17 of 173 Old 06-23-2006, 11:11 PM
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My Best Buy doesn't even carry the Toshiba. We have a standalone Magnolia store that sells them, but they're backordered until August. I understand that if there's a Magnolia in town Best Buy might not get the most advanced A/V stuff, but they sell HD-DVDs in the store, why not some players?

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post #18 of 173 Old 06-23-2006, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmits41
From the various threads I've read, it looks like the experiences at BB have been pretty different depending on where you visit. I work in HT in a BB in Indianapolis, and we decided to put the HD DVD player right next to the BD player, both on 1080p sets, both running supplied demo discs. The A1 blows away the Samsung quite easily. We are lucky that we don't have the endcap in our store that is supposed to hold the display. We just put them up in our dimmer big screen area. I would like to say we sell a lot, but everyone in the area is cheap and only want HD upconverts (but don't want to pay for an HDMI cable - even the cheapest one). We have an A1 in stock if anyone in the area is looking for one.

Anyway, we compare both equally. Even our employees like making excuses for BD, like that the movie in the player is too old (5th element). I think BD has been overhyped.
This is the same situation at the Best Buy near me. Though the marketing favors Blu-ray (Blue Samsung cardboard above the TV) they have the Toshiba and the Samsung sitting right next to each other with the Samsung playing TFE and the Toshiba a demo.

Though neither unit is setup on an ideal monitor (its the 42" Westy obviously not tweaked to great effect) or in a great location and while neither unit displayed a "WOW" picture, the HD DVD was CLEARLY better and in some cases (Kong, Charlie) the picture was outstanding.

TFE was very soft and really didn't look HD to me or the salesman who was demoing both units for me.

I'm going to check out a local Circuit City hopefully tomorrow.

Oh and yes, I was also given the "too old" comment in relation to TFE. Something along of the lines of "The Fifth Element is an older FILM movie. If it were digital, like Underworld: Evolution, the picture would be a lot better". But the salesman was cool. He wasn't really trying to get me to buy the Samsung, he was just trying to reassure me that Blu-ray is capable of much more than this.

You can read my initial reactions of their Blu-ray/HD DVD display here.
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post #19 of 173 Old 06-23-2006, 11:28 PM
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None of these chain stores will ever have a good setup for these demos. Most don't know how, and they all turn up the brightness to make it look better to Joe 6-Pack.

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post #20 of 173 Old 06-23-2006, 11:29 PM
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That is weird. I know my BB is in the process getting a theater like area built, and the guy told me they plan to have both the HD-DVD players and BR players displayed next to each other.

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So long HD-DVD, I will miss you no matter how much I complained about Combo Discs.
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post #21 of 173 Old 06-23-2006, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Kain
That is weird. I know my BB is in the process getting a theater like area built, and the guy told me they plan to have both the HD-DVD players and BR players displayed next to each other.
That would be great.

The sad thing is that my BB DOES have a theater area. And two pretty great HDTV's in a dim setting (one more so than the other). The Sony 60" SXRD and a Pioneer Plasma 50" I believe.

But both are showing local Cable HDTV.

Like I said, the Blu-ray and HD DVD units are both running on a Westinghouse 42" LCD 1080p set.
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post #22 of 173 Old 06-24-2006, 02:58 AM
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MAN! These stores and salesmen need a big ol' can of WHOOPSASS reality opened on them!
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post #23 of 173 Old 06-24-2006, 04:24 AM
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Gosh, this explains what I saw at one of the Atlanta BB stores. Not even quite as good, since at least your store was showing BR on an Elite. This store is in Kennesaw and has a built-in Magnolia. Neither HD-DVD or BR has been shown in the Magnolia section.

The store had the Samsung player connected to a Samsung DLP in the SAME end cap spot they previously had the Toshiba. They were playing the menu part of House of Flying Daggers, no kidding, no demo, no movie, just the menus.

The Toshiba was nowhere to be found and there was a totally empty end cap in the next aisle. When I asked a sales associate where the HD was, he took me to the aisle with the standard DVD players, and there it was sitting there connected to NOTHING, on the same shelf as the $100 DVD players. When I asked him why they didn't put it in the empty aisle next to the BR display, he said the manager wanted the Toshiba in the DVD aisle. Unbelievable!!!! Or so I thought. Now it makes sense.

Cheap-ass sales tactics! I was considering buying a few HD/BR's while I was there, but was disgusted enough to not give them the money. F*** 'em! I'll buy discs online and a BR player from a reputable HT dealer. I already did on the Tosh, since everytime I went into the BB, they were out.

BTW-When I selected play on House of Flying Daggers, I watched it for several minutes, and it did look soft, not much different than DVD.

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post #24 of 173 Old 06-24-2006, 04:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JET99
Such desperate measures I believe bodes well for HD-DVD survival, as the very fact that they have to go to such lengths to rig it for Blu ray - tells us HD-DVD (as it stands now) is winning this battle
Jet, I believe you are correct on this.

Multiple BB managers have told me that interest in HD DVD has gone up since the BD launch and one even said the bigger and better the screen they play BD on the worse the review it gets!

OTOH, he is afraid to put HD DVD on a top tier display since they don't have supply!

HD DVD right now has a hardware supply problem. If they start shipping to BB, the Samsung will be history. BD on the other hand has a software and content problem.

What is funny is that I used to go to Tweeter and other places in the past and any place that had a good HD DVD set up I would see people gathering around admiring the picture. OTOH I see people totally ignoring BD displays since the PQ seems to be worse that the regular HD loop playing in these stores. Just my impression.

I believe the best bet that BD now has is to convince stores to either remove their HD DVD demos or to set the player resolution to 720p. One as I reported yesterday was even playing SD DVD on their HD DVD player demo :eek:
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post #25 of 173 Old 06-24-2006, 04:38 AM
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better margins or not, BB/CC aren't making anything when the BR players are not moving off the shelf. they aren't going anywhere here. toshiba's HD DVD player has been sold out since April. at BB here, they've set up the samsung BR player on a samsung LCD, where the toshiba was previously hooked up to the westinghouse. they are using a SD DVD to showcase BR. no one in the store seems to know anything about BR, but there is an employee working the register that is really excited about HD DVD.

i think it won't be until next year before we see a fair and somewhat informed retail environment for either of these formats.
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post #26 of 173 Old 06-24-2006, 04:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmits41
From the various threads I've read, it looks like the experiences at BB have been pretty different depending on where you visit. I work in HT in a BB in Indianapolis, and we decided to put the HD DVD player right next to the BD player, both on 1080p sets, both running supplied demo discs. The A1 blows away the Samsung quite easily. We are lucky that we don't have the endcap in our store that is supposed to hold the display. We just put them up in our dimmer big screen area. I would like to say we sell a lot, but everyone in the area is cheap and only want HD upconverts (but don't want to pay for an HDMI cable - even the cheapest one). We have an A1 in stock if anyone in the area is looking for one.

Anyway, we compare both equally. Even our employees like making excuses for BD, like that the movie in the player is too old (5th element). I think BD has been overhyped.
Thanks...both the BB in Tyson's Corner and Reston, VA are in my neighborhood and both are fair in their displays of both HD DVD and BD. There are a couple a little further away where things are a little different (like playing SD DVD on the A-1 demo).
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post #27 of 173 Old 06-24-2006, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricwhite
Display space has to be rented in stores such as BB. So, it's obvious that Sony is paying more money for a larger display.

If they really wanted to sell Blu-ray more heres is how to do it:

Put an HD DVD player in an enclosed display case and connect it to a good monitor. Put a Blu-ray player on the top shelf exposed. Secretly play the HD DVD movie or demo while telling people it's really the Blu-ray player.

Maybe Sony will pay them to do that, too.
Wondering what they will do when the customer wants to buy the BluRay player along with the Serenity HD-DVD (or whichever HD-DVD movie they are playing)!

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post #28 of 173 Old 06-24-2006, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertR1
So we talk a bit and it turns our that BB has clearly stated that they are to promote Blu Ray due to the high margins. They're also told to NOT play actual movies in the Toshiba and do not directly compare both players.

The alarming thing is that if one of the biggest shops is going to treat HD DVD like this, then it's too much work for word of mouth to spread the news.
Almost sounds like some form of 'restraint of trade'. Amazing, but not too surprising. So is it Sony, the higher profit margins or a combination of both? Either way it's not good for HD DVD. I'll say this, my 2 encounters with my BB resulted in a different experience. Two different salesguys made no bones about it, they both freely admitted that HD DVD was far superior at this point in time.

Of course one attributed it to BR's poor implementation of "mpeg4", but you can't expect these guys to have all their facts straight.

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post #29 of 173 Old 06-24-2006, 07:50 AM
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You would think that it would be a whole lot easier to sell two $500 players over one $1000 player. Toshiba just needs to get more players out there and take advantage of Sony's delays. Once people have one of these in hand, I'm sure most will think twice before shelling out another $1,000.
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post #30 of 173 Old 06-24-2006, 08:01 AM
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i was at fry's in anaheim, ca yesterday buying a power conditioner. saw the samsung playing House of Flying Daggers on a large samsung display. ask the salesman if they are selling well and he said they sold one. the image looked really bad to me.

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