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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How many of you get the online HDTV magazine? Not to be confused with Gary's HDTV Newsletter. For those that don't, it's a daily schedule of what's on and includes a comments by readers section.


I won't copy or quote due to copyright issues but here is a summary of a recent comment:


Laurie Bauer, a PR executive for Best Buy outlined her companies HDTV efforts and cited the following:


1) All their demo material is virgin 1080i, no upconversions.


2) All stores are set up for side by side comparisions of the different models and systems.



3) Viewing material is available from satellite, local player [probably a Sencore unit], and OTA if available in the area.


4) Sales people are trained to answer questions in this new technology and demonstrate the advantages.


5) Best Buy is the most comitted electronics chain store to HDTV.


Well she get's out a lot doesn't she! She may be correct in statement five but that's not saying much.


No surpirse there were a few rebuttels to her comments and they weren't very complementary. Now before we pounce on her let's try a different approach. Perhaps this is the corporate directive. It may come from the CEO himself. The store managers could just be ignoring it and consider it another corporate hair-brained idea they don't need. We should EMAIL her and let her know this it's not happening. In fact her company is being embrrassed by the lack of knowledge and misinformation her sales force is promoting.


It wouldn't be the first time a company's senior management announced a grand plan and found out at the next share holders meeting nothing happened.


Perhaps with enough feedback we can help get this fixed. Then Good Guys and CC will be forced to follow the leader.
 

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I read that report(I subscribe) and wondered what Best Buy She(or he) was talking about. Certainly not the ones in Charlotte. Ignoring the comments about the hardware, the salespeople don't have a clue. If they find one that does, they probably put him or her in charge of the computer department!

BT
 

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In defence of Best Buy, I must say that my local store has a decent selection of mid price HD sets setup for side by side comparison and showing D* demo loop, Clips from the local CBS OTA offerings and some Sencore stuff. The sets while not professionally setup, still give a good showing for HD and clearly outclass any of the analog sets in their showroom (which are being fed downconverts of the same material). The salespeople could use some better training on the technology, but im sure its hard to motivate part time high school and college kids in these retail positions. IMHO, Best Buy definitely has the best selection of the retail chains in my area, and has an acceptable display setup. What we really should be complaining about is why the FCC and congress are not ramming public service announcements down our throat via the networks and explaining to joe sixpack about this drastic change to television and how the new technology works. This wold not only educate, but stimulate interest in HD.
 

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You guys should see the setups in N.Y. Best Buys. Yes, they have what looks like a variation of the demo loop on DTV, but it looks like it was first recorded on VHS (at the EP speed). I can't imagine anyone even considering a HDTV purchase after seeing this atrocity.


However, the Wiz chain here in N.Y. does a fine job (at some of their locations) in properly displaying HD. Their sets are not calibrated, but at least it is a 1080i feed.
 

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My local BB gets a few points for progress....Tuesday I was there and for the first time they appeared to be using a high def demo loop--and it was on all the TV's. This is the first HD Ive seen at this store, so maybe BB really is trying to upgrade their service in this area. The enthusiastic teen salesperson was still a little mis-informed, tho.
 

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I live in NYC and I have to agree with Ken. The Wiz definitely does a better job in showing HD material thenBest Buy by far.
 

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I like Best Buy as a place to shop (when I know what I want) just because they've never hassled me on a return.


HOWEVER, the HDTV display in their West LA store is a joke -- unless you love Modigliani paintings! Most of the displays ARE running HDTV demos; but they're running 16:9 material in a 4:3 aspect ratio -- so the great unwashed all come away from the display thinking that HDTV makes everyone look tall and thin.


Like most American executives, this spokesperson from Best Buy has (A.) NO IDEA what the hell is going on in their stores and/or (B.) is just plain lying to reinforce the corporate baloney.
 

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I have to chime in to support Best Buy. When I was shopping for my HDTV, I went to many different stores (Good Guys, Fry's Electronics, Sears, Video Only, etc.) and Best Buy was the *only* one that was showing HD material on their HDTVs in all stores visited. Good Guys did have some HD material in *some* stores. Fry's had HD material on only one HDTV. Most of the places were feeding DVD output.


Regarding the knowledge of the sales staff, I think you all have expectations that are way too high. If the sales person wasn't clueless, do you think he'd be working retail for near minimum wage? Anyone that can find AVS forum and post on it is probably more knowledgeable than the sales staff. Personally, that is fine with me as it keeps the retail mark-up low. One of my favorite places to shop is CostCo with virtually zero sales staff.


The other end is far worse . . . there is little I hate more than a pushy clueless commission-driven sales person that will spew misinformation to try make a sale. It was really annoying when I went to Fry's with my tape measurer to measure various HDTVs . . . the sale guys were pushing other customers out of the way to "help" me. Get out of my face!


If you want good advice, read an AV magazine, read AVSforum, but stay away from sales people.


(My apologies to those knowledgeable sales people out there . . . I know some of you do exist but you are few and far between. If you are a knowledgeable sales person, may I suggest finding a more lucrative career.)
 

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Local BB here in Cambridge, MA is terrible.


I think they use OTA analog feed to drive all their sets, and the singal isn't clear to begin with. Furthermore, none of the sets are calibrated, and some were set so poorly. For example, they had an open-box return Tosh 40H80 on the showfloor, and it was so, so outta-whack that the menu meandered outta the screen!


Finally, they the sets stacked in rows, and we all know how all RPTVs are very sensitive to vertical positioning regarding brightness. So, of course, the sets on the second row (which is near eye-level, standing up) appear to be brighter.


There is a Cambridge Soundworks store in the same mall, and they do a better job. Sometimes, they are showing a Sencore driven sequence on a XBR400. They also have a Tau 36" incher to compare it to. Otherwise they run bicentennial man on DVD.


The best I've been to is the Wiz near Paramus, NJ. That place has MOST of the commerically available plasmas on display.


MMafia


[This message has been edited by MonkeyMafia (edited 03-24-2001).]
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by boblinds:
I like Best Buy as a place to shop (when I know what I want) just because they've never hassled me on a return.


HOWEVER, the HDTV display in their West LA store is a joke -- unless you love Modigliani paintings! Most of the displays ARE running HDTV demos; but they're running 16:9 material in a 4:3 aspect ratio -- so the great unwashed all come away from the display thinking that HDTV makes everyone look tall and thin.


Like most American executives, this spokesperson from Best Buy has (A.) NO IDEA what the hell is going on in their stores and/or (B.) is just plain lying to reinforce the corporate baloney.
I've visited the West LA store on a number of occasions and I completely agree with your observations. It's sad to see how many unnecessary impediments exist to the advancement of HDTV. I have and love the Panasonic 56" HDTV. But a while back I saw one at this store that was so out of convergence, I never would have purchased it, especially if I wasn't somewhat savvy as to the fact that this could be easily corrected. The sales people in the HDTV section look like they are in high school and frequently don' have the most rudimentary knowledge of HDTV.


When a corporate representative delivers a rebuttal proclaiming how good Best Buys is at demonstrating and promoting HDTV and I know how untrue that statement is, I just have to laugh and cry at the same time. And this doesn't just go for Best Buys. Other chains such as the Good Guys also seem to go out of their way NOT to sell HDTVs with inexperienced and unknowledgeable sales people and poorly calibrated sets. Yes, there are a few sales people who really know their stuff. But they are few and far between. If the sales of HDTVs is to progress, this must change.




------------------

(The original Jerry G, not the new member named Jerry_G)
 

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None of the chain stores are helping build this market. But I think that Best Buy is doing about the best of the lot.


Like others on this forum, I live in Palo Alto, but generally take the time to go into electronics stores wherever I go.


Best Buy actually has HDTV material running. Some of the machines are poorly set up, but some actually work.


I got the best explanations about DirectTV's HD services and installation at Best Buy than from any of the chain stores (I admit it--I was testing). Still not enough to do an install, but closer than anyone else.


Other stores seem to almost hide HDTV.


I think we are missing something about retail in these discussions. The nature of the business is to MOVE PRODUCT. When the customer comes into the store, you want to get him to buy something (anything!) ASAP. The present state of HDTV is in fact an impediment to sales: confusions over standards and equipment, lack of programming, antenna installation issues, copyright hassles, all of these add up to dissonance which can only serve to delay sales.


Better to sell an RPTV and a DVD player quickly than to try to make a convert to HDTV!


This is a sorry state of affairs but I am afraid that is what is going on.

 

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Mike,


I can definitley feel for you in this situation, however I would have to agree with the store as far as not accepting the return. I do see a problem with the manager calling you a liar though. This is why I always try to check the contents of the product before I get home if at all possible.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Pinkerton:
I have to put in my $0.02 here.


I no longer shop at BestBuy because they hassled me on a return, and the store manager called me a liar to my face. I was returning a Palm Vx I bought back east over xmas, but in the box was only a palm V. Someone, it appears, bought both, swapped the units and returned the V in the Vx box.
If you buy open box, you have to be very careful! I bought an open box DTC-100 from Best Buy a few weeks back. I took the box to the service counter and the technician and I both opened the box and rumaged through everything. We discovered that the Hu card was missing. If I hadn't caught this right in the store, I would have been out a couple of hundred bucks. Open Box == Buyer Beware


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PC Boards Repaired Here!

-- (Ignore the Name) --


[This message has been edited by SmokeBringer (edited 03-25-2001).]
 

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I think the problem with all of the big box stores, including Best Buy is that they quality varies widely from store to store and from day to day. My local BB seems to be doing a good job of running the HD demo loop, and displaying HD in a fairly positive format. The sales guys also have a basic knowledge of HDTV, but aren't experts. I'd give the store a grade of B for their HD efforts.


At the same time that same store had TiVo displayed on in the best position in the store, the endcap right in front of you when you walk in the door. The sad part, was that for THREE DAYS in a row, that TiVo had the same screen that just said "acquiring satellite signal". I asked two sales guys if they could fix it and they had no clue.


One of the toughest parts of retail management (from the corporate HQ perspective) is to have your stores look the same and keeping all of the equipment working. Imagine if you let a few hundred people walk through your home theater everyday and push all the buttons and turn all the knobs!!!!


Remember, most of the employees in these stores aren't exactly highly paid, or the most technically sophisticated. But it seems as if a large part of the buying public just wants the cheapest price. It's rare that you have a great store with knowledgable employees, working equipment, great demos AND the lowest price. That's a tough combination.



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Steve

Visit our dedicated home theater, The City Cinema.
 

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Ill give you a Best Buy Deal!, I bought my Toshiba 56H80 from a local PC Richards here on Long Island, below 2700.00, that Sunday in the Best Buy ad in the local papers NATION WIDE PRESIDENT WEEKEND SUPER SPECIAL! $3500.00

I rest my case.

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STOP DVI/HDCP AND DFAST
 

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Perhaps someone could start a poll thread asking for input/ratings on Big Box retailers by region with grades for things like display quality and price, tabulate the results and make a faq out of it.
 

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I was in Best Buy in Westbury Long Island yesterday morning. I was disappointed to find that they were running the same DVD through ALL of the TV's on display in the store.


Since they were running the same signal through both starndar and widescreen TV's, the DVD player had to be set up wron for one of the formats. You guessed it, it was set up for 4:3. Therefor this anamorphic DVD had bigger letterbox bars on the widrecreen sets than it did on the standard sets.


I can't believe that anyone who didn't already know better would even consider buying a widescreen set if this were what they were shown when shopping.
 

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First let me say that I feel that Best Buy has the most HDTVs on display of any mass electronics retailer. They are in fact doing one of the better jobs of displaying HDTV. That said, I decided to test the Best Buy in Porter Ranch (San Fernando Valley), CA two hours ago.


There are of course no complete HDTVs for sale and the HDTV ready models are on the opposite side of the store from the HDTV receivers in the DBS section (They had 2 DTC-100 in boxes and a place for a Panesonic but not even a shelf model there). I decided to see if the sales people would help a customer put together an actual HDTV system.


I stood in front of the Toshiba 56H80 and asked the sales person, "What does HDTV ready mean?" The answer was "Ready for HDTV. You don't need a box, at about $600, to receive HD like HBO, Jay Leno, and PBS." Then he points to a 4x3 HDTV ready television and says, "Most people are buying those because they don't streach the non-HD. The non-HD is streached on the other one and it looks funny."


This is typical of other places I have been. It is not possible for a person to get the information to actually buy a HDTV from a mass market electronics retailer.


They were playing a HBO demo which I assume was Direct TV's demo channel. The widescreen had the channel normal and the 4x3 TVs had the widescreen squished into the 4x3 screen. This in my opinion gave the impression that widescreen was the same picture just streached. In my opinion they should show widescreen on widescreen TVs and 4x3 on 4x3 TVs. If they must show widescreen on 4x3 TVs they should either crop it or letterbox it.


By the way I have a Toshiba TW65X81, a Dish 6000, and a Sony 5.1 sound system and I love it.


Rick
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Pinkerton:



Needless to say, I'm never going to best buy when I next drop $5K on a HDTV and I recommend that none of you patronize them as well.


--Mike

[This message has been edited by Mike Pinkerton (edited 03-24-2001).]
I'm with you, Mike. Either the internet or CC for me. I'm not even going to go over the 1 1/2 year battle with them over my microwave ($550) and the manager none helping attitude.


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What is popular is not always right.

What is right is not always popular.

It is better to be quiet and thought a fool than to speak and remove all

doubt.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Corey140:
I'm with you, Mike. Either the internet or CC for me. I'm not even going to go over the 1 1/2 year battle with them over my microwave ($550) and the manager none helping attitude.

I'm still boycotting Circuit City for the whole DIVX scam. GoodGuys, or Online for me.
 
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