Wow...Fry's Electronics did something really great!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jonathan Burk, Sep 17, 2002.

  1. Jonathan Burk

    Jonathan Burk Second Unit

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    Last night, I was standing in the returns line at Fry's Electronics in Woodland Hills, CA. There at the front of the store, they always have a big screen tv set up with some DVD or other blaring away. I noticed they were playing Atlantis, and started watching it out of boredom. When I looked over, I saw that they had taken two Mits big screens, one a 55" 4x3 set, and the other a 65" 16x9 set, so they were roughly the same height. They had put a huge sign above the sets that said "4x3 vs. 16x9" I chuckled, as I imagined that the Atlantis picture had to be badly mangled on one of the sets; you couldn't play it on both sets and have it look good.

    But I couldn't believe it. Some enterprising sales clerk had gone through the trouble of synching two DVD players! One had the pan&scan version, the other the widescreen, with both being played on their respective sets. While I've seen countless web and video demos of the difference in my years of Laserdisc and DVD collecting, this was the most effective demonstration I had ever seen. There were about 15 people standing there watching, and I was glued to the display. The differences were so glaring and obvious, you just couldn't look away. It was like watching a tennis match, as peoples' heads bounced back and forth, comparing the cropped image with the widescreen one.

    Everyone who entered Fry's that day got a very effective education in pan&scan!
     
  2. AndrewR

    AndrewR Stunt Coordinator

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    They've been doing this for at least 3 weeks. I told one of the Sale Reps that it was a GREAT idea and they should promote whoever thought of it!


    Andrew
     
  3. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    I've seen the one in Sacramento do that too with both Shrek and Mission Impossible. Not quite a fair comparison though since the 4x3 plays the pan and scan version and the widescreen plays on a 16x9, that seems to imply you need to have a widescreen TV to see it in widescreen.
    On the other hand, I went there to shop for a new widescreen TV (which I ended up not buying because they don't make the one I want yet!) and they had Star Trek The Motion Picture playing on all the TVs in 4x3 pan and scan from some stupid movie channel! (If I buy a widescreen TV it has to show black on the sides when showing 4x3, but the only one I'd otherwise consider showed gray on the sides, which looks terrible.)
    Most of a time when a DVD has 2 separate releases, Fry's still ONLY carries the widescreen version, which is in everyone's best interest of course.
     
  4. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    its a step in the right direction, but not a very effective one. If they had BOTH 4x3 TV's THEN it'd be okay. but since they're trying to sell the 16:9 TVs, i cant blame them.
     
  5. Rob Tomlin

    Rob Tomlin Producer

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    To quote Monty Burns: "Excellent"!

    This is the type of thing the stores need to do to educate people about widescreen!
     
  6. Jason Guardiano

    Jason Guardiano Stunt Coordinator

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    I also saw this in Woodland Hills [​IMG]
     
  7. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Producer
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    They have been doing this in Wilsonville, Oregon, too.
    (Though I haven't personally been back to where
    they had this going for weeks.)
    Last time I was in (and looked), months ago,
    they were showing The Neverending Story
    in the side-by-side.
    Mark
     
  8. David_Jr

    David_Jr Supporting Actor

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    When are they coming to the east coast?
     
  9. Andrew_L

    Andrew_L Auditioning

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    Ive been seeing this too on my trips to frys...it brings a smile to my face every time i see it [​IMG]
     
  10. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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  11. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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  12. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    I may just have to swing by my local Fry's here in Fountain Valley to see if they have the same set-up.
    Now, if Best Buy and Circuit City would do this....just imagine.
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  13. John J Nelson

    John J Nelson Stunt Coordinator

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  14. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    Fountain Valley was doing this a while ago with Top Gun, which looked terrible on the 16x9 set, not being anamorphic.
     
  15. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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  16. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    They should set up a third TV, a 4:3 showing a widescreen DVD. Then people could see that even on a 4:3, they are getting the entire 16:9 image through the "wonder of black bars." [​IMG]
     
  17. Jeff D

    Jeff D Supporting Actor

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    Fry's in sunnyvale has had this setup for a while. Each time I walk past it I'm soooooooo tempted to just fix the 16:9 display which they have configured wrong. The problem was (they may have fixed it) was that they were both fed off the SAME dvd player. The player was configured for the 4:3 tv, and I've always been tempted to reconfigure the dvd player to 16:9 output just so people can really see what it's suppose to look like. (oh well, I'm not going to help them sell tv's)
     
  18. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    eh? i've been in the sac fry's multiple times these past few weeks buying stuff for my new pc. i must have missed it.

    jesse - where are they doing the display at?
     
  19. Steve Y

    Steve Y Supporting Actor

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    Hi Jeff - the Sunnyvale Fry's often has its displays set up incorrectly (I've seen the one you mention). I also noticed several times their DVD players were downconverting (!) anamorphic material onto a perfectly capable WEGA displays.

    I fixed it a couple times and it looked LEAGUES better. Not only that, but the salespeople -- or whoever sets up these displays, or perhaps the televisions are left to their defaults -- have the levels cranked up all the way to the top. So I do my mini-calibration and everyone notices except the salespeople, who are briefed mostly on payment plans and "BOSE shows".

    When I go back their displays are usually set up incorrectly again. But I MUST approve of this side-by-side widescreen display, even if it's there to sell TVs rather than promote OAR. I welcome the unintended consequence...

    ~Steve
     
  20. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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