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Bob shares a rant…

September 23rd, 2007

Tom is out of the country and I am just not that angry. So, I’ll give Bob a chance to get something off his chest…

I was having a bad day at work on Friday. One of those days when you get to the office and all heck has broken loose over night. And to cap all that off, the office was out of caffeinated coffee. Not a good way to start the best day of the week.

I decided to walk to our local Starbucks (one of many within walking distance) to use a recently birthday-gifted card. Next door is an electronics giant (I won’t name names, but it claims to have the best buys,) so I thought I’d check out that new 60″ Pioneer plasma I want. As I walk in, I’m greeted by a girl at the front door with a friendly pat on the buttocks…oh wait, that was my fantasy. I walk past a line of cheap LCDs all playing HD content. Nice, but too small. I walk past the cell phones, the iPods (pausing at the new iPod nano), the Mac section, and finally arriving at the Magnolia inner-store. Up front is a 70″ Sony playing “Open Season.” Surrounding it are various HDTVs playing…standard definition content. I check out the 65″ Panasonic plasma with a bright blue screen and no remote to be found. I go in the rooms and see more HDTVs hooked up to HD players…all displaying the discs’ menu…and no remotes to be found. I can understand why they hide the remotes, but why hide the sales people? I leave Magnolia and head out to the main sales floor. I walk past three plasmas that are on sale. The first is playing the THX demo reel…in standard definition. The second has the menu for “The Fifth Element” on blu-ray…with no remote to hit play. The third is looping some sort of in-store Pioneer feed that’s stuck. More HDTVs…more menus…no remotes. I find the Pioneer plasma hanging on the wall about ten feet above my head. It’s in some sort of too bright, too colorful, too sharp mode. Although, to be fair, all the TVs are that way. I found the remote and fixed the TV’s picture. Now it looks great, but it looks drab and dark next too all the other TVs surrounding it. I guess accurate is too dull when trying to sell TVs.

As I’m standing in front of a 37″ 1080P LCD HDTV hooked up to a blu-ray player and a home theater in a box with the bass way too hot watching the standard definition side of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” blu-ray disc, I’m approached by a guy in a blue polo shirt. He asks how I’m doing, but he’s clearly on the way to a cigarette break. I ask him why they’re demonstrating blu-ray with the standard definition making-of documentary. He said he noticed that earlier. I asked if had the movie disc. He said he’d try to find it. He came back with the disc, and I handed him the other. “Why can’t they have some dude go around and make sure all the equipment is working properly?,” I ask rhetorically.

I…me…the customer…cares more about the marketing of HDTVs than the businesses that are selling them. I want the HD disc formats to survive. I want the HD players to come down in price. I want the general public to embrace this new technology. Apparently, the electronics industry doesn’t.

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  1. September 24th, 2007 at 10:17 | #1

    I bet the Bose kiosk was working, right? I mean, with that freakin’ awesome 5″ screen, and those “hidden” little speakers!… Now that’s some sound to die for.. uh, I mean, to die from! *grin*

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