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HDTV Insider Newsletter Issue 13 is a sad day for HD.


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#1 of 11 OFFLINE   AllenD

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Posted July 06 2001 - 05:22 AM

I just got done reading Gary Merson's latest newsletter and boy am I depressed. The uninitiated masses who go to these shops will never buy into HDTV. And what's broadcaster's #1 complaint when asked why they're not broadcasting in HD? "NOT ENOUGH VIEWERS." Round and round we go...

I'll add to his newsletter that the other local chain stores are a little better, read not perfect, when it comes to their HDTV knowledge. Ken Cranes' salepeople actually know about OTA, they even sell an antenna, and other means of HD broadcast. Their environment is not the best, but sets are converged, but in torch mode, running off an RCA DTC-100 and a distribution amplifier. But on the negative side, they also told me Mits sets can display all HD resolution up to 720p. And they're very condascending people, IMO. For what reason, I don't know.

Good Guys has to be at the top of the heap. Their showroom is dark, remotes are available, and salesmen are enthusiastic, and knowledgeable when it comes to HD. They also have asked if I wanted to see 480p on an HD set, and offered to hook one up if I wanted to. Naturally, I accepted. Although only a few set had an RCA or ProScan displaying HD content, and you can see what a 480i satellite broadcast looks like upconverted by an internal doubler. But the deal breaker for both chains is they do not negotiate the bottom line: PRICES!

One thing's for sure. Gary Merson's newletter is accurate that national chain stores need more properly trained salespeople if HD is to succeed.

What are your thoughts and expriences?

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#2 of 11 OFFLINE   MickeS

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Posted July 06 2001 - 06:07 AM

I just finished reading the newsletter, and Gary's experiences match mine perfectly. I've been to 2 CC and 2 BB stores, and in none of the 4 stores was I given accurate information about HDTV content and technology (not about much else either, for that matter).

The way the TV's are set up at the BB stores here is a better than the CC at least. At CC, often they do not even use the HD input to the set, they just display the HD promos as 480i... Posted Image At BB, they display it properly, and it shows a huge improvement over the NTSC sets they have on the floor. Unfortunately, the salespeople don't know much about HD, so someone looking for help is in the wrong place.

Like I said though, this is not just a problem with HDTV, it's a problem with pretty much any technology these chains sell: they don't train the staff enough. I don't think they'll treat HDTV differently; they'll keep selling whatever technology is out there, and I don't think they care if they sell NTSC or ATSC sets.

/Mike
/Mike

#3 of 11 OFFLINE   Eric Harrison

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Posted July 06 2001 - 07:24 AM

My experiences mirrored those of others exactly. Sears, BB, Circuit City, and the regional store here in Cleveland, B&B appliance, none of the sales people had a clue what they were talking about. The only stores that have an idea of what HDTV is all about are the high end stores. Unfortunately, J6P is not going to shop at a high end store. And unfortunately, these masses of people are going to be the ones who drive the HDTV market. If they cannot be sold on HDTV without knowledgeable sales people to do that, whats the incentive to buy into it?

#4 of 11 OFFLINE   Bruce Hedtke

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Posted July 07 2001 - 08:23 AM

There should large signs outside of Circuit City and Best Buy that say "If you are interested in HD or HDTV, please visit a different store. We Can't Help You". They would acheive the same degree of success.

Therein lies the problem. I've seen and heard people in CC or BB looking at HD moniters and proclaiming that they didn't know what the fuss was about. It didn't look worth a $3,000 upgrade. And they were right. When stores set up a HDTV using composite inputs off a progressive scan player, you know they have their heads up their collective asses. And it's true that a CC customer probably won't visit a high end store. It's simple mathmatics. High end=sticker shock. But, I have yet to take a freind or colleague to an upscale dealer and have them say "I don't see the difference." Overwhelmingly, they are awe-stricken. They have never seen a picture so clear and sharp and detailed. They want one, today. But, HDTV's are still pricey and it is keeping alot of potential customers away.

Bruce

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#5 of 11 OFFLINE   Howard Williams

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Posted July 07 2001 - 12:30 PM

When will people learn. Shop and get all your questions answered (correctly or incorrectly, either way get them confirmed via the internet at HTF or hometheaterspot.com) and get some hands on exposure at the local/semilocal High-End Shop and then buy via the internet and save tons of money. Yeah, this sucks if you're Mr. High End Store Owner but if your the average to above average consumer that wants to get the most bang for their hard earned buck, it's the only way to go. Don't get me started.

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#6 of 11 OFFLINE   GregK

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Posted July 07 2001 - 02:29 PM

Flashback: I remember checking out the HDTV monitors at
Best Buy and overheard a prospective buyer ask a salesman
about an HDTV monitor rated at 1080 lines of resolution.
The salesman replied that the set comes close to 1000
lines (probably true) but that it doesn't matter, because
HDTV doesn't go over 700 lines of resolution. Now I've
heard many a line of crap.. and normally steer clear of
salesman's yarns, but this time I intervened. "HDTV
does up to 1080 lines interlaced." I said, to which
the salesman said, "Our top people versed in HDTV have
told us 700 lines is the best HDTV gets." Luckily I was
able to tell him where I worked: "I'm an engineer for
the local ABC affiliate, and we have had to be planning
for HDTV for some time now, and I can assure you the HDTV
format can indeed broadcast 1080 lines of interlaced
video." ..Then the backpedaling began.



#7 of 11 OFFLINE   AllenD

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Posted July 10 2001 - 06:14 AM

How about manufacturers taking the responsibility of educating these salespeople. If they want their product sold, they should be represented properly. Take Ken Crane's for example: Last year, I walked in and asked a salesman "What resolution are the Mitsubishis capable of displaying?" His response was "All of them." I ask again "Even 720p?" SM: "Yes." This is where my confusion began. But luckily I have access to HTF and The Spot to ask around for the right info, and sure enough I was right to be alarmed by the salesman's response. (Technically, he's correct but the STB converts a signal to it's native display resolution, not the tv, which he never explained to me after all the hours I spent on his sales floor.)

Sears salespeople didn't even know the Mits Platinum Series had a 65" model since they only display the 55"! For crying out loud, a salesman's own paycheck, their own livelihood depends on commission. And what brings you more commission? A higher ticket priced item, like the 65807 over the 55807 and they didn't even know the 65" existed! Posted Image

What percent of the population own a computer? 25%? 30%? Maybe 50%? If J6P is lucky, he has a friend who can educate him about HDTV. If J6P can't access the right info through the net, friends, or more importantly, a salesman; then HD will never become standard for broadcasters for another 10 years!

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[Edited last by AllenD on July 10, 2001 at 01:22 PM]

#8 of 11 OFFLINE   Nathan_F

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Posted July 10 2001 - 09:37 AM

I was fortunate with my experience at BB. The salesman knew a fair amount about HDTV itself and specs on the sets they carried (Tosh, Sony, Pioneer) and the ones they didn't (Mitsu, Elite). I was pretty shocked. He was even a daytime department manager. But then I found out he had only been there a month Posted Image I guess he hadn't been tainted yet! Posted Image

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#9 of 11 OFFLINE   Gary Merson

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Posted July 17 2001 - 12:29 AM

The next issue will be out soon, so if you still want to receive the current issue for free, go towww.hdtvinsider.com

#10 of 11 OFFLINE   Gregory Pauswinski

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Posted July 17 2001 - 12:46 AM

Keep up the great work Gary! I always look forward to reading your latest newsletter. Posted Image

Gregory

#11 of 11 OFFLINE   JakeR

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Posted July 17 2001 - 03:54 AM

Unfortunately, that's the way it is for chain stores. Speaking of Sears, I know for a fact they provide their employees with sufficient training materials. Associates get monthly training guides and updates on model upgrades, glossaries of terms, etc. But it's up to the individual to follow up on them. They frequently don't, as a place like Sears, Best Buy, etc. is just part-time work after school or a supplement to one's "real" job.






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