Top Ten Lies in HDTV Sales - Lies 1 & 2
Lies are spun in consumer electronics sales for a variety of reasons: sometimes it's to make the sale and sometimes it's just well meaning ignorance. Protect yourself from misinformation with GizmoCafe's guide to HDTV.
2: Extended Warranty is a wise decision: Insuring your new purchase is never a bad idea. It's only a bad idea to be pressured into it by a sales person at a big box store just after making the purchase. If a new HDTV is in your future, decide if you want an extended warranty before you buy. Do not make the decision while your credit card is being swiped by Skip, the kid with ill-fitting trousers and spiky hair whose boss is going to yell at him if doesn't push the extended warranty on you.
The best information gathered so far is that most HDTVs survive the first three years without incident of repair. This is especially true for LCD panels. According to Consumer Reports information published in 2006, any micro-display (DLP, LCD rear projectors and LCoS) is the most likely to fail in the first three years. Plasma has a low failure rate, but is an expensive repair no matter what goes wrong.
Don't simply take it on Skip's word that the company will replace any HDTV outright, no matter what goes wrong. Stores like Best Buy, Future Shop and Circuit City routinely send TVs and parts out for repair. Learn the facts about the extended warranty before you buy.
1: Future Proof: The dirtiest but most well meaning lie is the whole concept of future proof buying. As a general rule, you should never buy any technology with the expectation of compatibility with a future release. Such predictions almost always prove wrong. Nothing fills me with scorn more than hearing the phrase "future proof" bandied about by sales droids at the local big box store. It goes right there with the phrase "obsolete in a few years."
The concept requires that one first resigns to planned obsolescence. You must accept that a new product will be "obsolete in a few years." It's the worst example of how marketing has succeeded in turning us into perpetual consumers. Most of the time consumer electronics technology that is so called obsolete is no more obsolete than last years car.
If you believe your 720P HDTV is obsolete because it cannot display the 1080P images of a new disk technology. congratulations, Sony's marketing department has won. You can now turn in your right to be an individual.
Buying established technology means you're not only a smart consumer, but that you get the most reasonable price for the most reliable products. Today, HDTV is a fixed pixel display technology capable of 720P. Make sure you have an HDMI input, but a DVI input will suffice. If you have extra money to spend on the new HDTV, get a flat panel such as plasma or LCD only because they've proven more reliable than rear projection. Front projectors are a great choice, but you must have a good understanding that you're getting a display device and not a TV.