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HD Talk The place to discuss HD DVD, Blu-ray and all other forms and formats of HD and HDTV.

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Old 09-25-07, 09:15 AM   #1
baracine
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Format Wars: So I was in Bay Bloor Radio the other week...

I walked in on instinct in Toronto's most prestigious home electronics emporium, the store that won't let you buy it unless you understand why the product you bought is superior to the competition, the store that sends audio geeks to your home to connect the wires on your new home theatre system, guys who always refuse a beer but sometimes accept ice tea, if it's made with real mint...



I felt I was weakening in my resistance to the new formats and might be tempted by a DVD player that played both HD formats as well as SD discs. To my surprise, the salesman told me they don't sell any HD player and will not sell any until the format war was over. He told me the retail industry is just as misinformed as the general public on the issue, that the new players are not making any significant inroads and that the best advice they can give their clients is just to wait and see as long as it will take for something significant to happen, whenever that will be.

It was the first instance in my life that I have witnessed a retail store foregoing profit on principle...
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Old 09-25-07, 10:16 AM   #2
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I'm not sure that they're actually forgoing a whole lot of profit, in this case.
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Old 09-25-07, 10:35 AM   #3
baracine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theWitcher
I'm not sure that they're actually forgoing a whole lot of profit, in this case.
Well, they did refuse my money...
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Old 09-25-07, 10:38 AM   #4
Josh Z
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baracine
It was the first instance in my life that I have witnessed a retail store foregoing profit on principle...
All their stubbornness really does is deprive their customers of all the very nice High Definition content they could be watching right now.
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Old 09-25-07, 11:34 AM   #5
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Thank God the store knows better than there customers. Those crazy fools would buy anything they put on the shelf.
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Old 09-25-07, 11:37 AM   #6
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I'm willing to bet this place sold their fair share of SACD and DVD-A players without the same advice being doled out.
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Old 09-25-07, 11:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckNaked2k
I'm willing to bet this place sold their fair share of SACD and DVD-A players without the same advice being doled out.
To be fair though, perhaps that's why they're hesitant to sell HD disc players.

Not that I agree, as there are many differences between the two format wars with different media, but some people see them as parallels.
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Old 09-25-07, 11:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drexl
To be fair though, perhaps that's why they're hesitant to sell HD disc players.

Not that I agree, as there are many differences between the two format wars with different media, but some people see them as parallels.
The salesman actually told me there was still some bad blood left from the original VHS/Betamax wars and that the management was not willing to go through that again as it was not compatible with their policy of "client satisfaction at all costs".
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Old 09-25-07, 12:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z
All their stubbornness really does is deprive their customers of all the very nice High Definition content they could be watching right now.
+1, Z.
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Old 09-25-07, 12:48 PM   #10
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Actually I can understand where this store is coming from.

You sell a piece of equipment to a customer, you make that sale, but if the piece of hardware becomes obsolete in 12-18 months, you have burned your reputation on it.

I don't know anything about this store, but if I really was advising people on how they should put together their Home Theater setup, I would tell them to get a nice upconverting player, see how things shake out, and come back.

Now I know HD DVD players are nearing the price point of good upconverting SD players (I own a A2) but if MY reputation and knowledge was on the line, I wouldn't recommend it to customers. My A2 is slow to start up and that kinda bothers me. Right now I have 3 HD titles (from that amazon screwup) and I want to sell them. I will be buying Transformers on HD, but the rest is pretty optional
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Old 09-25-07, 12:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baracine
The salesman actually told me there was still some bad blood left from the original VHS/Betamax wars and that the management was not willing to go through that again as it was not compatible with their policy of "client satisfaction at all costs".
::
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Old 09-25-07, 01:12 PM   #12
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There's no point in having a home theatre if you don't buy into HD-DVD or Blu-ray.
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Old 09-25-07, 01:13 PM   #13
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Bullshit. There just isn't any margin for them because there are no "high-end" players for HD-DVD nor BR.

And I put that in quotes for a reason.
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Old 09-25-07, 02:45 PM   #14
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So, in terms of the format war, their advice is don't make a decision for yourself, just let the "misinformed general public" do it for you?

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Old 09-25-07, 03:26 PM   #15
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my local high-end A/V store had a slightly different take. they keep one - exactly one- blu-ray and HD DVD player in stock at any one time and only if the customer demands that they 'have to have it' then they will sell it. Otherwise, the reps said 1) HDMI is not worth the hassle. 2) wait until the format war is over.

The owner who has been an early adopter for every other audio/video technology in the last 20 years, told me he is not investing in this technology as it has too many inherent problems.. He also made the point of a well calibrated 720p system can be just as good as a high def system, and that he felt that most of his customers sit far enough away from the screen that the additional benefits of HD would be minimalized (and since he installs the chairs per the customers seating preference, I think he has some facts to back up that statement).

We can argue with these folks, but when people who make a living selling and installing high end A/V equipment in a house (and I am talking anywhere from $1k to $1M) are not pushing this technology, it does not bode well for mass adoption...
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Old 09-25-07, 03:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baracine
The salesman actually told me there was still some bad blood left from the original VHS/Betamax wars and that the management was not willing to go through that again as it was not compatible with their policy of "client satisfaction at all costs".
I don't know how anyone with a dedicated home theater can be "satisfied" by Standard Definition when there's a ton of HD content available now.
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Old 09-25-07, 04:16 PM   #17
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Gotta love the niche market retail stores. Which is why I buy most of my stuff online. Saves me hours of relief from hearing the mythical explanations about products and why they are or are not carried at that particular store.

baracine,

You should sneak an HD DVD player (or BD player) in there and hook it up to one of their 65" HDTVs. Play an HD title (as long as it isn't Bram Stoker's Dracula--sorry couldn't resist), then sit in that comfortable couch, lean back with your iced tea in hand, and say, "Yeahhhhh. Better just wait for them high-def wars to end, aye? Nothing to see here people. Move along."
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Old 09-25-07, 04:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z
I don't know how anyone with a dedicated home theater can be "satisfied" by Standard Definition when there's a ton of HD content available now.
My boss makes 7 figures, drives a $100k sports car, has a dedicated theater room, and hasn't bought Blu-ray or HD DVD because he's waiting to see what direction it goes in. Some people just don't have much desire for multiple formats. Call him stupid, but it doesn't make him the minority. I know lots of people that refuse to enter the market because they're scared of making the "wrong" choice. It's dumb but that's the kind of decisions people are making.
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Old 09-25-07, 04:22 PM   #19
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Reminds me of the loyal VHS crowd who refused to admit DVD was here to stay. Oh well. What's really unfortunate, is the unassuming consumer believe's this crap.
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Old 09-25-07, 04:31 PM   #20
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Is there something I'm not getting here? A high-end A/V store doesn't sell High Definition players? Even if both formats went up in flames right now, you still have a bunch of great titles for viewing right now. I have both formats now and if one went defunct tomorrow, I have enough movies for it that it was worth purchasing. It's funny to think that you can get a better HD setup from Wal-mart than from this store. I just think it is very strange. Then again, I'm not a business owner. To each his own.
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Old 09-25-07, 04:44 PM   #21
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As someone who used to shop at these kinds of places it is sad to see. You have the owner or owners who have a slant on technology, and decide to force it on the consumers who come into their store. I have to wonder why they are even selling HDTVs.

There is HDTV content on the air, but most content is nothing like you would see coming out of an HD player (although some HD sports channels are rather close). I'm surprised they wouldn't be resisting OTA HD as well, because the various HD broadcasts and how they differ greatly are also a problem which needs to be standardized (If anything we'll have one HD format before this happens...).

They might as well just stick to selling CRTs and DVD players and giving up on HD altogether, because while insane, it would be more prudent than going half-way, and selling an HDTV to someone, then saying, "Oh, but we don't sell HD DVD or BD players, because, ummmm, wellll, the formats haven't been figured out yet, and we're waiting until there is one format..."
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Last edited by DVD Polizei; 09-25-07 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 09-25-07, 05:18 PM   #22
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If they were really interested in customer satisfaction, they'd read up on the players, stock the ones they think are the best, and then tell interested customers that there is a format war, so buyer beware. Anything else is just stubbornness and snobbery.
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Old 09-25-07, 05:19 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve
He also made the point of a well calibrated 720p system can be just as good as a high def system
I don't know how much I'd listen to this guy if he doesn't know or realize that 720p is high definition.
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Old 09-25-07, 05:21 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bee_01
I know lots of people that refuse to enter the market because they're scared of making the "wrong" choice. It's dumb but that's the kind of decisions people are making.
Aren't we at the point where we've come to realize that these movies we buy are for right now? I used to justify all my DVD spending by telling myself that I would be able to watch these movies up through my retirement. And while they may hold true for some movies, there will always be a better format.
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Old 09-25-07, 06:58 PM   #25
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I'm surprised people still shop at Bay Bloor Radio, as I've always found their prices to be ridiculous.
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