My friend, Wayne Watson, turned me on to this story from USA Today’s December 29th paper:
Consumers snapped up millions of high-definition TV sets this holiday season. Now if they can only figure out how to use the darn things. More than half of HDTV owners lack the knowledge or gear to actually watch digital high-definition on their new sets, recent surveys show.
That confusion may be costly for HDTV retailers, according to the article.
Given the dent in their wallets from shelling out $2,000 or more for a TV, it can lead to “buyer’s remorse,” says Mike Vitelli, senior vice president of consumer electronics at Best Buy. HDTV returns are “notably higher” than for analog sets, he says.
One of the main problems is understanding what’s available, what do the different terms mean (like HDTV-ready), what are the differences between projection systems, LCD displays, Plasma displays and CRTs, how do you put a 5.1 surround system together, how do DVDs fit into the mix, what HD DVD systems are there, and a lot more. It isn’t as simple as it once was – but the viewing experience is so much better – it really is worth the effort to find out how to put a great system together.
To that end, Wayne, Phil Keeling and I are putting on HDTV seminars that are aimed at removing the confusion around the move to HDTV. We show examples of the different display systems, the content channels that are available and talk about how to put a system together. (One of the reasons I’m here at CES with Phil, is to stay current with what’s happening in the HDTV world.) There is a cost associated with the seminars and they are aimed at groups of 20 to 50 people. The first seminar was in Calgary in November and was a great success. Let me know if you’d be interested. (We can produce the seminars just about anywhere in North America.)
We’ll be setting up an HDTV blog in the next couple of weeks. I’ll let you know when it’s up. (It will be at noconfusion.tv)