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Hi-Def Surprise: Widespread Consumers Unhappiness With HDTVs

The dirty little secret of HDTV is that as many as 20 percent of sets are returned to the retail outlets in some areas.

EE Times via InformationWeek, by Dylan McGrath, December 24, 2007:

Fueled by rapidly declining average selling prices, an exploding supply of content and a vigorous consumer appetite, growth in high-definition television sales continues to accelerate this holiday season. But beyond the robust growth, glitzy new high-end displays and marketing frenzy lurks the dirty little secret of HDTV: An unsettling number of sets are returned to the retail outlets where they are purchased - as many as two in ten (20 percent) in some areas during the 2006 holiday season, according to one analyst, James L. McQuivey of Forrester Research Inc. (Cambridge, Mass.).

Industry insiders say there are many factors behind this phenomenon, including still-maturing technology and consumer confusion about HD. Many sets were returned last year by people who wanted to buy a large TV but didn't realize they were buying an HDTV, McQuivey said. They got it home, plugged it into their standard-definition cable service and were dissatisfied.

Title: InformationWeekly

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unsunghero283504d ago (Edited 3504d ago )

My personal guess is that a ton of people take home HDTVs, plug in a Wii or non-upscaling DVD player, and then (rightfully) say "Hey, that looks like crap" and then return it. I remember going to Fry's the other day and seeing this 96" native 1080P HDTV with a standard DVD player plugged in, and dear God it looked terrible.

IMO the entire HDTV organization needs an overhaul. The market needs to be more consumer-friendly, because before then the sale of Wiis, SDTVs, and old DVDs will continue to flourish and innovation will be discouraged.

MK_Red3504d ago

True, I even know a friend that plugged PS2 in a huge HDTV without and tried a DVD and said why it looks so bad.
Most of those people are definitly using Wii or other non-scaling stuff on their TVs.

Guwapo773503d ago

I went to my BX (Air Force's department store) last week and saw the PS3 hooked to a 720p JVC with RCA cables. I couldn't believe how bad Motorstorm looked. I had to call a floor salesman over to tell them the problem. Ya'll seriously need to fix this if ya'll wish to sell more PS3s. Right next to it they had a Xbox 360 connected to a HDTV via HDMI cables. The difference was night and day.

ReBurn3503d ago

My personal guess is that your personal guess is wrong. My personal guess is that because there is a lack of standardization among displays that it leads to a lot of problems, particularly the low-end sets. SD content looks a lot better on some sets than others, and since the majority of programming is still in SD people think that HD displays are just crappy looking. Several people I know don't like the black bars on the side of the screen when watching SD stuff.

I do agree that a good upscaling DVD player is a must for an HDTV, though. Progressive scan looks ok on smaller sets, but it only goes so far on large displays.

ITR3503d ago

I recently watched Directv on a new 1080p MITS 73" and all the channels in 1080i look sweet for the most part, but then you see those eye sore looking 4:3, 480p channels and they just look damn ugly.

Not enough HD channels for me to buy DTV or Dish right now.
Maybe in about 3-6 months.

redninja3501d ago

I wonder how legitimate these statistics are though. It says "as many as two in ten" were returned; why didn't they just say one in five?

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 3501d ago
actas1233504d ago

I agree with the above post, plus don't forget that the reguler TV cable channels look like crap on HDTVs

Tsalagi3504d ago

Unless you have an older CRT HDTV. They do 480P/1080i so SDTV is normal looking.

ScentlessApprentice73504d ago

Cases like this will undoubtably shine a negative light on the HD market for the people who don't know their stuff when it comes to HD technology. People better study up on all of this because HD is going to become the standard a lot sooner than we all think.

Before I obtained my Samsung 56" DLP HDTV I never fully understood the need for HD Formats like Blu-Ray but after playing my old Terminator 2 dvd on my brand new Samsung I saw how horrible conventional dvds look on HDTV's.

The PS3 upscales PS2 software to HD very well. Resident Evil 4 played on a PS3 looks almost next-gen on my TV.

Close_Second3504d ago

...SD signals look like sh*t on HD display devices but what really yanks my chain is the fact that most HD displays are not native 1080p. This is the biggest issue not pointed out to the consumer. Most devices are 1080p compatible but feature a max res of around 1300 x 780 or something like that.

They need to clearly state if its native 720p or 1080p on the device and not hide it through marketing bullsh*t.

Jdash243504d ago

when i was shopping for an hdtv, at walmart every single hdtv highest display was 720p

and at kmart......they didnt even mark what each tv native resolution

finally i ended up getting a 32" sony bravia

BloodySinner3504d ago

Also, what these retailers don't tell consumers is that you need an HD receiver to view certain channels in HD.

actas1233503d ago

If you get the HD package your cable company will provide you with the receiver for free... But for over the air signal your HDTV has to have an ATSC tuner in order to receive HD channels, other wise you also have to buy the tuner. Most TVs, say 98%, of them have the ASTC tuner integrated already.

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