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3-2-1 Countdown and the legalities of HDTV (1 Viewer)

Stacy Huff

Second Unit
Jul 13, 1999
I just read the post about knowing more than the A/V salesman and thought you guys might enjoy these stories. Now, as an initial matter, I would like to point out that I am not attempting to stereotype everybody who works in the A/V retail industry. I'm just passing along two stories I found amusing.

First the background. A few weeks ago I was hanging out in a pretty decent A/V store with my friend, who is a salesman. This particular store is one of a handful spread between Kentucky and Indiana. While I was there the store's "HD tech" guy came by to check on a few things. He's the guy that travels to all the stores and installs all of their HD hardware and keeps everybody up to date on what is going on in HD land. He seemed to be "in-the-know" with what is happening in the industry. Anyway, he said that one of the things he does is go into the Best Buys and Circuit Cities to gauge the level of knowledge on things A/V. As you'll see, it's not always good, although he explained that this biggest reason is the turnover in salespeople that those stores see. He said that on average a salesperson works for about 3 months, so there is little incentive for the store to invest money in training somebody.

But to the stories. First, while talking about HDTV he stopped me and said, "Of course, you do know it's illegal, right?" What are you talking about? I asked. It turns out that he had been in one of the stores and asked a salesperson to tell him everything he needed to know about HDTV. The salesperson stammered around a bit and then said something like, "Well, actually, you don't really want it, because really, well...it's against the law." Wow! Who knew? The best that he could figure is that the salesperson thought he was referring to hacking a DSS receiver for free pay-per-view.

The second story, though, is my favorite. He had gone into a store and asked to see the best DVD player they had. The salesperson led him to a $300 Sony. "Tell me why this one is the best you have," he said to the salesman.

"Well, this one has 3-2-1 Countdown."

"3-2-1 Countdown? What's that?"

"Well, I'm not really sure, but you know when you go to movies and at the beginning you see those numbers count down, you know 8,7,6...Well, this player lets you see that. That way you see the whole movie."

And there you have it. Go get a player with 3-2-1 Countdown so you can see the whole movie, because you ain't gettin' HDTV. It's illegal!


Jul 24, 2000
Damn Stacy you had me rolling on the floor. I know these are funny but there really are people that are that bad who are out there. I have bumped into a couple myself while working and while shopping. While in sales these stupid comments often come up when the salesperson is asked a questions he/she doesnt know the answer to. Instead of being honest and saying I dont know but I will find out they try to BS their way through it. Unfortunately for them when they are talking to someone who does know their stuff it just makes them look stupid.


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