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I don't know that the showrooms will disappear as long as there are people with "new money" to spend. The showrooms will probably change.


Look at what has happened with audio. You can buy very excellent audio equipment quite reasonably (Denon, Yamaha, Outlaw for example). Yet, audio stores sell very expensive gear, and there still seems to be a market for it.


You really have to strain to tell the difference between a $3k Denon and a $15k Macintosh amplification system IMHO. Still, people will pay for the Mac.


Much the same situation exists for high-end audio as for projection in terms of getting advice and demonstrations. If you want a demonstration of an amplifier, it will be an expensive piece that you are shown. No one is going to take the time to show you a $3k Denon much less a $1k Outlaw.


When I asked a salesman at one local store if they carried the IScan DVDO, he explained that they didn't because it would cannibalize their Faroudja sales. Talk about candor!


All of the mid-hi stores around here (Palo Alto CA) have either closed or converted themselves to very high end, generally by-appointment custom installation shops.


I occasionally take my wife to these places to let her see how overpriced this equipment is, hoping she will find me reasonable by comparision. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif To her credit, she does.

 

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I think the high-end stores will simply have to provide better service and ways to show the better service.


For example, let's say that they show the projector in its uncalibrated out-of-the-box state, and then also show what it could look like after calibration. I'm willing to bet that a LOT of people would be willing to pay extra money for the calibration to be done for them.


Even if calibration took a grand total of 10 minutes, I'm willing to bet that the dealers could get a LOT of money for it. There are a ton of people who aren't enthusiasts and won't know how to make the picture look its best or they don't want to be bothered with it. However, these same people will be able to clearly see that the picture with the dealer's tweaks looks a lot better than the out-of-the-box look, and they will want the better looking picture.


The dealer then has a nice selling point. Yes, you can buy over the internet, but look at how bad the picture will be.


Then again, after all of the dealer demos that I've seen that were amazingly poorly setup, maybe this is isn't such a great selling point. The demos that I have seen have always convinced me that they really don't want to sell their equipment.


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Brian
 

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I see that most high end dealers are doing well. I use two (one in Raleigh and one in Virginia Beach) and they both seem to be doing well.


They seem to thrive on the people that are coming in and doing a entire HT as part of a new house or as a major project to the existing house. It used to be pools, now I think it's HT.


So, while I have been under whelmed at times by high end dealers I see no slack in high end dealers businesses.


More of a threat is the economy rather than web sales.


I think one has to have a little experience to do what many on this forum do. That profile does not fit most people.


Chuck
 

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for projectors?


With more and more companies reviewing projectors. The market shifting toward digital projection, and a HUGE variance on price between what you can get on the internet vs high-end salon, is the Showroom doomed?


What percentage of the market share do they still command? or, are they dead before they got started with digital projection?
 
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