Ten Lies in HDTV Sales

Most common lies or misconceptions told by sales at TV stores

Not all sales people are dishonest, but you are most likely to run into questionable sales representatives at the big box stores. That's why it's usually better to find smaller TV shops that specialize in giving great service if you're in the market for an HDTV. Online is a great way to learn all about HDTV before you buy.

HDTV

As a former TV technologist who is now a tech-industry writer and lifelong gizmo enthusiast, I often browse the new products in TV stores. It's a guilty pleasure of mine to listen in on a sales pitch. Sometimes I'm surprised at how eloquent a technical concept is expressed to a customer, but more often than not I over hear a confusing stream of inconsistencies. Sometimes I'm tempted to step in to warn the unsuspecting customer that they have just received erroneous or inaccurate information. The single best piece of advice I give to flummoxed customers is to write down the model number of the set they're interested in and Google it for reviews, read no less than five.

These ten lies and misconceptions about HDTV have been compiled in their order of severity:

10: True HD

True HD is what many marketers are calling 1080P these days.

9: Warranty will replace any problem with your new HDTV

You'd be very surprised what your warranty will not cover.

8: The Perfect HDTV technology

The perfect HDTV doesn't exist. There is a dizzying array of options in HDTV because each specializes in fulfilling different needs. If the "perfect" HDTV existed there would be no reason to build another.

7: All HDTV Broadcasts Look Amazing

All HDTV broadcasts are not created equally and vary wildly based on a lot of different factors. Don't expect every HD episode of your favorite show to look like that HD demo loop being played over and over at the TV store.

6: Up-converting DVD player turn DVD Video into HD quality

DVD is a 480P video technology at best. There is no 720P DVD, not even through up-conversion or up-sampling or whatever they're calling it. #6 won't argue the merits of up-conversion. Instead, it'll just state the undisputable fact that it isn't HD.

5: Use X-brand video cables for superior image quality

Lies about performance gains have been with us since the beginnings of hi-fi.

4: HDTV improves image quality of any TV program

You probably didn't just upgrade resolution with a new HDTV, you probably also went 10" - 20" bigger than anything that's ever sat in your living-room before. Stretching standard TV to 65" is going to look like crap compared to your old 27".

3: Buy now, X-HDTV technology is still years away

A corollary of "don't buy yet, X-HDTV technology is right around the corner". Buy or don't buy based on what's available today. The future is uncertain, eat dessert first.

2: The Extended Warranty is a wise decision

It's usually not. This decision should be made before you even pull out your wallet.

1: Future Proof

This corporate BS buzzword is a meaningless clich that should be abolished from our language. Stonehenge was future proof, but nobody is rushing to make HDTVs out of rock. There is no such thing as future proof in modern technology.

1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10