Why Are Up To 20% OF Hi-Def Sets Returned?

Why Are Up To 20% OF Hi-Def Sets Returned?

High definition televisions keep getting cheaper and bigger. Sales are growing, especially this holiday season. There seems to be a slight problem with them: lots of people aren't all that thrilled with them once they get them home, and up to 20 percent of them are returned to the store where they were purchased. Why?

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.

"This year, returns should be closer to 10 percent as an average because retailers have learned that they have to educate buyers before they leave the store or the unit is just going to come right back to them," he said.

Bryan Burns, vice president of strategic business operations at cable network giant ESPN, said he continues to be "shocked" by the numbers of people who buy an HDTV set and never subscribe to an HD service.

Burns offered data from a recent study commissioned by ESPN and conducted by Knowledge Networks and Statistical Research Inc. that said only 64 percent of homes with an HDTV have HD programming via broadcast or cable, and that 13 percent of people who own an HD set do not know if they receive an HD signal.


For those consumers that actually understand what they're buying, there's still a problem. Refresh rates for many sets make fast moving images display poorly in HD. So maybe the salesman have to forget about dropping 1080p as a buzzword, and start talking about judder, the halo effect, and ghosting. And maybe they should show you a football game in the showroom instead of balloons going four miles an hour. I don't know about you, but I'm satisfied with the quality of my balloon racing TV images already. The Super Bowl? Not so much. 
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 All due to the LCD technology. Way too many faults if you ask me. It will definitely change when FED and OLED becomes available and affordable. But personally, I'm skipping the LCD generation. High end CRT's demolish these LCD's. The production company that created the film "300", Pixar, and Lucasarts can't be wrong in picking up Sony FW900 monitors. Even though CRT's are big, bulky, and heavy....They offer unrivaled color accuracy/quality/detail. 

 OLED and FED will truly be a dream though ^_^. Time is all we have to wait for.

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You know older sets lacked enough HD inputs. One of my neighbors has a set which is a 42" 720p Toshiba LCD model about 2-3 years old and it has 0 HDMI, 1 DVI and 2 component connections. He's got the component going from the DVD player and the cable box and the DVI port on this set doesn't work with a DVI to HDMI adapter, or a HDMI to DVI cable for some reason. Its a beautiful set but the lack of inputs is forcing an upgrade  this summer.

 Another thing which sucks is the cable/satellite providers deliver HD content that is highly compressed with lots of artifacts, the only really clean HD television I see if from over the air sources, thank god i live in a big city and can get good free OTA sources for all the major TV networks. 

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I agree that 1 of the biggest problems is the salesman not educating the consumer. Of course if the consumer don't take the time to figure out what they're buying than it's just as much they're fault too. Speaking of refresh rates, my parents were sold 1 of the best LCD's I have ever seen. It's from Samsung and boasts a whopping 120hz. The best picture I have seen by far yet. It actually looks like your watching a 3d movie almost. they got the 40" version for about 2,000 from sears.

Has there been any more word on SED technology. I read an article on it  ahile back in PC magazine but have heard nothing since then. Not that there is anyting wrong with LCD technology. It has come a long way. But of course if a unknowing customer goes into a store and buys a set that is a couple generations old, than yeah your gonna find much to be improved. One of the biggest letdowns people see imo is they don't realize what they're SD picture is gonna look like when displayed on a much larger screen. Obviously the bigger the screen the easier to notice imperfections.

Another thing to note is just like building a computer should be taylored to the needs of that user, an HDTV should be taylored for the room it's being viewed in. They're are 4 types of technologies available and each 1 has it's pro's and con's.

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 Nelson: Regarding SED, unfortunately it is now dead. It died off a year or two ago when it ran into legal issues with nanotechnology. BUT, don't fret, FED from sony is VERY similar offering the same benefits. Basically, it's a CRT in a flat panel form. It offers all the benefits of a CRT, with all the benefits of a LCD. Higher gamut displays, pure blacks, no input lags or response time issues or any of that. It's also capable of a whopping 240hz...Which will make movies look very lifelike. They also offer one factor which is just fantastic, it won't show a single dead pixel even if 20% of the field emitters fail. Talk about comforting, no more dead pixels. Here's a video on it.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ML2Cik7-7ic

 Truly fantastic stuff =D. The quality of CRT's improved upon in a flat panel form.

Here's a video based on OLED.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ufs9Wx0VXQ 

Expect these to become available and affordable in about 2 years or so, late 2010 or early 2011. =(...I know...the wait is a killer. 

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that's pretty cool. thanks for the heads up. So even if they release it in say 2 years I wouldn't buy 1 for atleast 4 though. With HDTV tech history, they tend to be way overpriced on first release and have a few bugs to be worked out. Remeber the burn in's for plasma's and the ghosting for lcd's. I am sure there will be something they will have to work out with the 2nd or 3rd genereation of this tech.

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 The timeline I stated is with that involved. Expect to see OLED surface late into 2009 in more availabily and sizes hopefully. Or early 2010...Late 2010 prices should drop a decent amount, and into 2011 even more. I agree though, I don't like to adopt early...I feel sorry and somewhat laugh at those who picked up the first HDTV sets that were capable of 480p only. Adopting way too early in certain technologies is really not the way to go. Unless you spend water like money and have a lot of it. =P

But yea, 2nd generation and 3rd would be the best route imo...But it'll be quite a ways away. 

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