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LG 55" C9 OLED, Yamaha RX-A660, Monoprice 5.1.2 Speakers, WMC HTPC, TiVo Bolt, X1
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Series spurs HDTV interest: Sales speed when ticket expense make sets cheap by comparison

From the Boston Herald, By Jennifer Heldt Powell

Monday, October 25, 2004

One ticket to a Fenway World Series game or a high-definition television set?

It may be a tough call, but the television will outlast the game and its crisp, clear picture makes it almost as good as being there, say those hawking the devices.

Judging by television sales in recent days, plenty of people agree.

``Any time any great sporting event comes, we get a good response for TV sales,'' said Jose Lopez, manager of Cambridge Soundworks at the Cambridgeside Galleria.

Although it's been available for several years, HDTV has only recently moved toward center stage.By the end of last year, 7 million American homes had sets, according to Yankee Group analysts. That is expected to jump to 12 million by the end of this year.

Events such as the World Series spur sales and raise the profile of the high-tech boob tubes.

``It really is an opportunity for all these companies . . . to try and push this, because obviously people in Boston care a lot about who wins this World Series,'' said Yankee Group analyst Aditya Kishore.

The sets provide the capability of getting high definition television signals, but that's not enough. Consumers also have to get the signals, which usually means an extra input box and a higher fee to the cable or satellite company.

Only 5 million households were actually watching HDTV by the end of last year.

That is expected to jump to more than 8 million this year.

To satisfy eager fans, Tweeter Home Entertainment Group offered quick delivery and on-site cable converters.

``Once they saw people coming in, they wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to get the HDTV set into the house for the first game,'' said Tweeter spokesman Scott Bauman.

The televisions start at about $1,300 and run up quickly from there depending on specific type and size. But the picture is remarkably better than on traditional sets, proponents say.

``You feel as if you're in the ballpark. You see the players so vividly that if he's got pimples, you can count them. You can see the color of his eyes,'' said Marc Goldstein, owner of Marc's Standard Television & Appliance in Quincy.

He said he isn't offering any World Series specials because he claims he already has the best price in the region.

Cambridge Soundworks has been offering Red Sox ticket-holders 10 percent off all season long. The promotion has gone well, helped by the extended season, Lopez said.

When deciding whether to see the Series live or on a new TV, remember: ``The only thing left if you go to the game is a ticket stub,'' he said.

And the New England Patriots season is just gearing up.

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I think it's funny how the tv set study was conducted by the "Yankee Group"
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