Picture Worth a Thousand Bucks


Halleluja! I went into a Best Buy in my neighborhood this weekend to buy a splitter for my cable and, to my surprise and delight, they seemed to have finally gotten it.

"It' is how to market HDTV so that people might actually want to buy it.

One of my pet peeves for several years has been the stores, including this one, that used leaky or low-res feeds to their sets so that the pictures on these large-screen babies looked like the picture you get with one of those giant lenses they used to try to sell you for $49.95 that are supposed to turn your 27-inch set into a 50-inch screen.

Yeah, like you can really see "everything" with those X-Ray Specs too.

Anyway, the sets that only a couple months ago looked like the blurry 20-year-old large-screen sets in Salvation Army thrift stores this time were displaying crisp beautiful pictur that made me want to shell out four figures, rather than blurry ones that made me keep my wallet in my pocket and wonder what all the fuss was about.

Then there was a Blue-Ray (or is it Blu-Ray?) demonstration that knocked me out. Are we going to have a Beta vs. VHS redux over DVD formats?

The biggest driver of HDTVs will be retailers who make a sharp picture a priority. Sounds like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many stores still use a bad picture to try to sell a great set.

By John Eggerton