Joe Consumer Doesn’t Need HDTV
Boy, did I get some eye openers this Christmas. Talking to my family, I decided to ask some probing questions and just take in the perspective that non-enthusiasts had regarding high definition, flat panels and the world of home theater in general. What I found was a mix between disturbing and humorous.
People are being forced into HD. They could just about care less…
Some interesting “observations” from my stealth investigative reporting:
- People care more about matching their existing furniture than anything else when deciding the size of the screen they will get
- No one. Let me reiterate: NO ONE understands the difference between plasma and LCD or how to tell the difference (this was the #1 question I got asked by almost everyone)
- Of those who aren’t furniture restricted, SIZE is the #1 (and often ONLY) important factor in buying a new television
- No one understands high-definition television as it pertains to resolution, aspect ratio or what they need to get it
- Most people think DVD looks great and don’t have the imagination to conceptualize anything better
- Most of my family still buy DVDs and do not use NetFlix or Blockbuster Online
- Everyone thinks “big screen” is some kind of understood term with a real number/size attached to it, rather than a subjective size one has to determine for themselves
- Surround sound is “hard” and anyone with 5.1, regardless of quality or configuration, is amazing.
As I said, this was somewhat humorous but also disturbing. I think the lesson learned is that, left to their own devices, most people would be watching standard definition on 32-inch CRT screens and happy. The consumer electronics industry should be congratulated (in a capitalist success sort of way) for bringing new technology to market so quickly and all but forcing consumers to buy it. I’ll just hope some of the advice I gave was well-received. Perhaps we’ll see when I ask the same probing questions next year…