Retail is strange, isnt it?

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  • JonMarsh
    Mad Max Moderator
    • Aug 2000
    • 15209

    Retail is strange, isnt it?

    Today I took off from work (mostly) to get caught up with a few things around the home- most of which I didn't- but that's another story.

    Decided to try to pick up some new DVD releases (yes, this IS widescreen related- just takes me a while to get to the point)- and since CostCo didn't have a couple I wanted, I dropped by the nearby Best Buy. I did find the DVD's I wanted, at a good price, but also I took some time to peruse the TV section- curious to see what they had in Hi Def.

    Well, they had one display that looked particularly nice- the 38" RCA 16X9 direct view (see, there's the "beef"), which on the Hi Def feed being routed to all the "big" sets in the store (mostly std. and Hi Def RPTV's) looked down right "film like" (ouch, OK, overused phrase- so sue me). Lot's of fine detail, no edge enhancement, rather like the best DVD's on my CRT setup, but actually more detail. Very photographic, but moving pictures. Which is what HD should be. On sale, $3699. Believe me, I wouldn't mind having one of those in my bedroom. On the other sets displayed there, with typical "store" contrast settings (maxed) and convergence (none!), the picture was, to put it kindly, puppy poop.

    Well, one of the "Sales Associates" noticed that I was looking at this set and the spec placard with something other than the usual glazed over vapidity the other lookieloos were exhibiting, so he ambled over and asked if there was any information I want. To whit, I asked what HDTV STB's they offered for sale, and which they were using for the store feed. His response was hilarious.

    "We've been sold out since Christmas time- HDTV STB's aren't available right now- we're waiting for the second generation boxes to come out- we here it's going to be a couple of more months. Whate kind of set do you have? You know, most of the STB's aren't compatible with most of the sets. Also, they won't have HD on cable for at least 5 years, so there's not really any point in messing with it. You should really just get a regular satelite rig- there's lots more channels, and the picture is good enough on most TV's."

    Well, it's hardly a wonder that most of my friends at work don't have a clue what HD is about, or why Hi Def could change their viewing habits or desires.

    Have a great weekend, everyone!

    -Jon




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  • Huskerduck
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Oct 2000
    • 129

    #2
    Hilarious arent they?
    Ive actually sat in Best Buy and done mini quick tweaks to their Pioneer HD Widescreens just so people get a better look (the Best Buy here runs the DirecTvs channel 199 demo loop and it looks amazing on the right set)

    I was trying to talk the guys into showing the NCAA Mens Final 4 & Championship Game next week, as well as the Masters the following week and they responded " We cant get that in HD here"
    I chuckled as I looked at the DTC-100 that was the STB feeding all the HD sets and I said " get your cheapest antenna and hook it up to antenna A and aim it in that direction, and just prop it up (Ive tested several people within blocks of the store and we just laid the antenna on their kitchen table and received all the DTV stations)

    If they would do this simple thing ( I explained I would do it for free, and would take me about 5 minutes) HD widescreens would be flying out of the store, the only problem is they were'nt sure of Displaying a sporting event was lawful and I said " Sports Bars do it all the time"

    The lack of information of the salesman in the DTV Station areas ( this Particular Best buy is in Salem OR....over 50 miles from Portlands DTV Towers) is very unnecessary and a huge reason of the slow turnout.

    I thought the 38" RCAs had been re-called but RCA Thompson must have fixed their problems or Best Buy is just trying to unload things because they are so un-informed.

    As far as DVDs go I always buy my DVDs at Best Buy because they run that $14.99 special for the first week, last week was Ben Hur and Almost Famous
    The last DVD I bought off the Net in about 6 months was the Region 0 "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and before that was "Jaws DTS" otherwise Best Buy is the Ticket!




    Mark


    Ducks Meager Theater
    Mark


    Ducks Meager Theater

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    • JonMarsh
      Mad Max Moderator
      • Aug 2000
      • 15209

      #3
      So familiar, so familiar.

      But, I guess it's what's to be expected when retail people are paid what they are- on the otherhand, a strong corporate training program and a little planning could do some amazing things for their success. As it is, they succeed, I think, in spite of themselves! Which means they're very vulnerable to a more agile, better planning competitor.

      My DVD purchasing starts at CostCo, then those that aren't available there, it's Best Buy and Target- the latter has some surprisingly good prices on occasion, and you're quite familiar with what Best Buy does pricewise. When you can get $15 to $17 pricing locally, buying on the net doesn't make sense, cost wise.

      The problem about letting a guy like you or me loose in a Best Buy, is that in one weekend we could totally change the presentation and results from their "high end" set area, but it would leave the bruised ego's of a lot of Sales Guys in our wake- and part of how I've seen these guys cope with their jobs, is their belief that they really are some kind of expert.

      But, that RCA really is a nice looking set- I hope it's there because they've gotten the "bugs" out with the shadow mask problem. The one I saw really did look quite nice, better than the last example at Good Guys.

      Regards,

      Jon




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      • Huskerduck
        Moderator Emeritus
        • Oct 2000
        • 129

        #4
        Even worse is a Mid-Hi end store here called Video Only that sells HD widescreens and wont hook up ANY STB nor will they sell STBs and their excuse last year was CODFM vs 8VSB, and now they are using DFAST as their new reason as if too say they think THEY will be held liable if for some reason copyright becomes an issue.

        While they have the clunky, soft focus Hitachis they also carry some upper model HD Toshibas which they run Demo DVDs via a Progressive scan player which looks very nice but not as nice as a 1080i or 720p that they could be displaying.

        Its very nice that the owners are looking out for my best interest but had I bought into the hype of " we're not sure, so lets wait" I would have missed a TON of great HDTV ( mainly because we have CBS, PBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX in 480p all DTV for the last year)

        Sure the main viewing of an HD widscreen is used for Movies via progressive DVD but I could list an entire page of HD content I've viewed and will continue to view atleast the rest of this year so I feel Im not out 1 dime even If DFAST becomes the standard (this will only effect Movie channels in my opinion anyway, Ive already seen it months before this medium and with better sound as in DTS) because I can sell My set to one of the many who said if I get rid of it they would take it off my hands for 1/2 price and by that time I'll have had 2 years on it anyway ( by the end of this year its probably addition time for dedicated theater anyway and the 65"ers will be on my mind (maybe 1 with 9" guns)

        It really irks me off when the people that provide HD content say " We'll provide more when more HDTVs sell" yet there's only a couple Manufacturers really trying to sell HDTV and those are Mitsubishi, RCA and Panasonic which all sponser HDTV programming and if the MPAA would understand the fact that people would need 300 gig hard drives and the time to bootleg their product that we can buy for $19.99 on a DVD anyway (they make comparisons to Napster........Come on Hollywood do you really think a 2 minute MP3 song compares to a 2 hour HD Movie????) would someone profit from Bootlegging HD movies??????? I would love to see that




        Mark


        Ducks Meager Theater
        Mark


        Ducks Meager Theater

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        • Lexman
          Super Senior Member
          • Jun 2000
          • 1777

          #5
          Good read guys. Tell me, do you have to be a moderator to post over here?

          I would like to see the troops get more into this video thing. You know, it is kind of important!

          Yeah, the general assistance level at these places is just point em to the cheapest, or what they think everybody else buys, and let it go at that. If it's expensive or to much trouble, forget it.

          I would love to go progressive someday, both player and projection TV. HD of course. Just not in the budget yet. dangit.

          Lex

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          • JonMarsh
            Mad Max Moderator
            • Aug 2000
            • 15209

            #6
            Yes, the idea of bootleg HD movies, or even DVD is pretty funny- it costs more for the available blank storage medium than buying the movie itself!

            My wandering around Best Buy was partly stimulated by curiousity to see if I could spot a Samsung SIRT150 in the wilds of the East Bay. Now, before you laugh, let me say that I've never thought of Samsung as a bastion of high tech product development in the past- until this last year, when I did a new survey of flat panel display monitors for PC's. I ended up concluding one of the best available ones, because of image quality, build quality, and how well the scaler worked going from one res to another, was a Samsung 770TFT, a 17" 1280X1024 model, which in all regards except an extra inch of diagonal display is better than my NEC 18" flat panel. And now they've introduced a 24" widescreen flat panel display that has me drooling.

            Anyway, the little Samsung SIRT150 has me interested because it's OTA only, can output component or RGB, and supports converting all outputs to 1080i, 720p, or 480p. Well, who knows?

            And the funniest thing of all, my local radio shack in the center of town, by the old Safeway store, has the DTC-100. While Best Buy doesn't. Go figure!

            We have a Video Only store out in Dublin, CA; it's like you describe; for somethings, they have good prices, but, for example, when DVD came out, they wouldn't get in a high end player like the S7000 Sony. And the Hitachi sets *are* pretty bad!

            But that RCA 38" HD in Best Buy has a tuner built in. We were back there for a bit yesterday; it's some of the bigger Pioneers and Toshiba's *could* give it a run for the money, if they were set up righ, but they aren't. Some of them had over 3/16" misconvergence on some parts of the screen.

            Regards,

            Jon




            Earth First!
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            Comment

            • Lexman
              Super Senior Member
              • Jun 2000
              • 1777

              #7
              Yes Jon, RCA is on the move. They have some cutting edge displays offering HD in widescreen tube sets with built in DirecTV receivers in them now! This isn't the old dog and phono thing here folks.

              Lex

              Comment

              • Robbie
                Senior Member
                • Aug 2000
                • 256

                #8
                Maybe this thread should have been called "Clueless in Retail". Went to Sears the other day to see what they had. All they had was the 43" HD Hitachi. The guy was trying to tell me the picture would be better on the 36" direct view. I'll give him that all they had was cable or some such since we don't have OTA TV anything. But still... Some knowledge would be helpful to newbies. I will give the local TV/Appliance store credit, They at least run the DISH HD TV Feed and can explain the difference. Hovever discount stores seem to have much less information than anyone else.

                Robbie

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                • Andrew Pratt
                  Moderator Emeritus
                  • Aug 2000
                  • 16507

                  #9
                  yeah video displays in retail stores are a hoot I have personally fixed a few DVD players that were feeding a wide screen set...almost all of them are set to 4:3 mode:O I had one sales guy tell me he'd being trying to get a good image on their widescreen tosh for weeks but it never looked right. He swore he'd looked at all the settings on the TV but it was still out..guess he forgot to check the DVD players settings




                  Comment

                  • KennyG
                    Moderator Emeritus
                    • Sep 2000
                    • 745

                    #10
                    This is one of the reasons HD is not getting off the ground like it should...clueless sales people.
                    It's not all their fault...although you can be sure, if I was a sales person I'd know my product. Alot of the blame belongs on the head of the retail outlet for not training their people. Blame can also be placed on the industry for not have standards in place, every piece of gear works differently. Hell, something like a RPTV may take a couple days to learn all of it's idyosyncrocies (sp?) but still, when I go into these type stores all I want to know from them is "is it in stock"

                    Comment

                    • George Bellefontaine
                      Moderator Emeritus
                      • Jan 2001
                      • 7637

                      #11
                      Just think,guys. If we were in the retail business selling HT,we'd probably make a helluva living.I have been involved in marketing and sales all my working life (though not in HT) and the salesmen who always earned the most were the ones who knew their product.It is shameless how poorly trained these HT sales people are. And as Kenny says, it is just this ridiculous situation that is holding back progress in the HT field.




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