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Am I Propagating the Stupidity by Not Saying Anything?

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Am I Propagating the Stupidity by Not Saying Anything?

Old 01-27-05, 10:25 PM
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Am I Propagating the Stupidity by Not Saying Anything?

I know people have discussed this before, but this was my first experience in person listening to really uninformed people discuss widescreen.

So I'm at Walmart the other day, and I decide to wander back to the DVD area to look around. As I get there, there is the blue vest-clad, creepy, gross, long-haired old guy with bad teeth helping a 30ish couple look for a copy of The Forgotten. At first, I couldn't tell if they were looking for full screen or widescreen, so being the rude eavesdropper that I am, I pretended to be looking for something as I stood by.

So anyway, whatever it was they were looking for, they couldn't find. Then the creepy old guy says they should go look along the big display area for the version of the DVD they wanted. At this point, I realize they are looking for full screen because the DVD was only available in widescreen, and the old tard says something like "for some reason, this one is only available in widescreen." The following (para)phrases then came out of the mouths of the guy and the couple:

Old guy worker: "most of what we sell is full screen" - "I don't see the point of the widescreen - I guess it's to make more money" - "I'm not spending more money on another TV" - "I don't see the big deal with HDTV either".

Couple: "All of our TVs can reformat the picture to get rid of those bars on the screen" - "our TVs are just fine" - and they continued to agree with the old guy that they didn't see the big deal with widescreen or HDTV. The weird thing was the couple looked like a semi-intelligent, upper middle class yuppie-ish couple.

I ALMOST said something like "you don't now what you're missing," but figured these people probably wouldn't get it. I was also tempted to say something like "Full screen? Why don't you go get your photos developed and then have an inch cut off each side of your pictures and tell me if that's better than them being 4x6" - but I didn't. I just kind of chuckled at their ignorance and wondered how that hillbilly was put in charge of the DVD area. I guess it was his turn in the rotation, coming in fresh from housewares. Who knows.

So am I to blame for not setting them all straight? Something tells me they probably would've argued with me or thought I was some elitist punk with money to throw away on "pointless" widescreen TV gimicks.
Old 01-27-05, 10:37 PM
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They're happy with full-screen. Let them be. I dont educate total strangers browsing for full screen dvds...unless they ask me what's the difference between wide and full. But that's just me.

Others on this board may disagree. Oh well.
Old 01-27-05, 10:41 PM
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Well - I think the difference in this case is that they didn't understand the difference. They thought it was some gimmick (that's how they and the employee sounded). And the fact that the guy working there was perpetuating the ignorance made it worse. I almost wanted to speak up just to embarrass him and show him for the fraud he is.
Old 01-27-05, 10:57 PM
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I used to want to get involved, set people straight and all that. I gave up over a year ago for the plain reason that it was getting old. it's not my job to hold everyones hand. Now family and friends....sure I speak up. A total stranger in a store? they will be just fine...sooner or later...or not at all. I wish them luck.
Old 01-28-05, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by gutwrencher
I used to want to get involved, set people straight and all that. I gave up over a year ago for the plain reason that it was getting old. it's not my job to hold everyones hand. Now family and friends....sure I speak up. A total stranger in a store? they will be just fine...sooner or later...or not at all. I wish them luck.

Exactly. Family & friends only. And even then I wont lie awake at night if, after the OAR lesson, they decide they still prefer full screen.
Old 01-28-05, 04:05 AM
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I'm sorry, but Wal-Mart isn't the place to try to educate anybody about anything. Best Buy, Circuit City, maybe. But I've never met anyone in the Wal-Mart electronics department who wanted to be enlightened about anything.
Old 01-28-05, 06:34 AM
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Even when I worked retail, I gave up on trying to convert people buying P&S DVDs to widescreen. People would come into Borders (where I worked) on Tuesday morning and ask for a title like The Day After Tomorrow (in which the special effects are the main point) in P&S and I'd have to search for a P&S copy for them (Borders was actually pretty good about widescreen -- we'd only get in a few P&S copies). Attempts to explain the benefit of widescreen fell on deaf ears with these people -- they were adamant about not liking "the black bars".
Old 01-28-05, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by DataZak
They're happy with full-screen. Let them be. I dont educate total strangers browsing for full screen dvds...unless they ask me what's the difference between wide and full. But that's just me.

Others on this board may disagree. Oh well.
Amen! I personally have always gone for widescreen, but I can care less if there are still consumers going for fullscreen movies. I also feel these widescreen eduction campaigns many feel inclined to wage border on fascism, if not simple holier-than-thou arrogance. Sheesh, there are so many other worthy causes in this world.
Old 01-28-05, 08:23 AM
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You are not propagating stupidity by not saying anything. You were at Walmart - it can't be overcome there. Just accept it and say to yourself "Serenity now".
Old 01-28-05, 09:57 AM
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You did well. I was at a meijer last week and a young woman was on her cell talking trying to pick up new releases for whoever she was talking too. She kept saying "are you sure you want it because, it's only her in WS?" While I wanted to extol the merits of WS vs.PS, she seemed absolutely knotted on having to pick up a WS version of anything. Sure, I could have "enlightened" her but why? The same info that I read about the differences between the formats are just as readily available to her. Either she has seen WS and doesn't like it or she really just prefers FS. Bottom line, they are buying titles for themselves and not for me. I'm not like the OAR Police or anything. It's unfortunate that non-OAR titles exist but they do and some folk just plain like them. I have no fear that non-OAR will win out because We (audio/videophiles)are such a vocal lot and we are not afraid to let our voices be heard when and where it counts. I've long since given up on trying to interfere with somebody elses purchasing preferences.
Old 01-28-05, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by CartRich
You are not propagating stupidity by not saying anything. You were at Walmart - it can't be overcome there. Just accept it and say to yourself "Serenity now".
Exactly what I was thinking. For some reason, that store seems to have a protective ignorance bubble surrounding it. If you tried to educate all the people in the store about the mistakes they were making, you'd never leave.

Friends and family only... plus anyone who asks the question. This couple seemed to know what they wanted (fullscreen). I'd let it go.
Old 01-28-05, 10:21 AM
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You heard some people who preferred fullscreen and you didn't do anything? You didn't lecture them or beat them up or tie them to a chair and make them watch Glitter? Or anything??

If you're not with us you're against us!! Collaborator!!
Old 01-28-05, 10:26 AM
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You should have killed them.
Old 01-28-05, 10:49 AM
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The most I might ever do in such a situation - IF the environment feels friendly toward it - is hold up a $1 bill and say "this is the shape of a theater's movie screen, right?" If they agree I go ahead, if not I give up and say "never, mind, enjoy your movie." If they agree that the shape of a movie screen is a rectangle similar to that of a dollar bill, I continue by folding in the sides to make it close to a square shape, and saying "this is what they do to a movie to make it fit a full-screen TV. That's how much of the picture gets chopped off on most movies, like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings". And then I shut up and let them make up their own mind. If that straightforward explanation doesn't work, nothing will.
Old 01-28-05, 10:53 AM
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Just to be a dissenting opinion. While I always buy movies in widescreen I don't see the big deal about HDTV either. I watch CSI and a few sitcoms broadcast in HD and while its noticeably clearer than NTSC broadcasts, its barely different from DVD movies. My 2 cents.

Back to topic, Wal-Mart sells guns right next to their censored CDs. That should tell you enough about what kind of store it is.
Old 01-28-05, 11:52 AM
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Just to be clear, I wasn't thinking of persuading them to buy widescreen....what irked me was their blatant misinterpretation of what widescreen and HDTV was. I don't care if they wanted full screen so much as not wanting them badmouthing widescreen as if it were an unnecessary gimmick. It'd be like the couple saying that they went on vacation to Delaware and had a good time, therefore, they don't see what the big deal is with Hawaii or Fiji, even though they've never been there.

As for HDTV - there is definitely a difference. While DVDs may get the picture clarity close to HDTV, standard def TV doesn't even come close. If you watched an NFL game in HD, you'd probably never look at SDTV the same again.
Old 01-28-05, 12:38 PM
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HDTV is a huge difference if you can't see it you need glasses or a new TV.
Old 01-28-05, 12:43 PM
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To each their own. They will either wake up or keep missing out.

They are not stupid just because they think differently than you. They just don't know all the facts.
Old 01-28-05, 04:04 PM
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I'm doing my part by buying and renting OAR only assuming the title is available in that format. If people want to pretend fullscreen is the way they should go, I'm no one to stop them and I leave them alone....after all, I don't want someone coming to my door with a Watchtower in hand.

Their day will come when they buy their widescreen HDTV 5 years from now and find all their DVDs have bars on the sides.

Last edited by nightmaster; 01-28-05 at 04:22 PM.
Old 01-28-05, 04:40 PM
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u should be arrested and charged with being an accsessory to DVD crime! lol nah if they would probably just buy fullscreen anyway i don't see the point in trying to change their minds. Now, if they were to ask you what you thought that would be a different story...
Old 01-28-05, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by buckee1
You did well. I was at a meijer last week and a young woman was on her cell talking trying to pick up new releases for whoever she was talking too. She kept saying "are you sure you want it because, it's only here in WS?" ...
I hate when the person who checks me out ask "you sure you want this one? It's the widescreen version" Sometimes when I say yes they will then ask if I have a widescreen TV and I'll go "You need a TV to make these work!?!" and then I 'll storm off to the TV section of the store.

Yes I am an asshat but it's really funny with an audience.
Old 01-28-05, 05:52 PM
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These kind of stories always make me remember that South Park episode where a Wal-mart opens in town...

Cartman: Look! 3 copies of Boogie Nights for $17!!!
Kyle: But why do you need three copies of the same movie?
Cartman: Because its cheapier than buying three seperately!

Cartman is basically the average Wal-Mart customer. They are so blind to the obvious and always think that they are right. Their ignorence in listening to facts, not with DVDs, but with anything conscerning purchases amazes me.

Last edited by Master Shake 05; 01-28-05 at 06:02 PM.
Old 01-28-05, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandoman
You should have killed them.


I say let them be. In 7-10 years when there are only 16x9 tvs on the market and then have the gray bars on the sides of their tv, they will wish they had bought the widescreen versions.
Old 01-28-05, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Zwerchfell
HDTV is a huge difference if you can't see it you need glasses or a new TV.
I could not agree more with this statement. I love my DVD's but HDTV is such a superior image. I had family members over for the last world series. These are people who claim to see no difference between DVD and VHS, or hear no difference between mono TV sound and my rather powerful 5.1 system. But when I switched from the standard broadcast to the HDTV signal, the room exploded with exclamations.
Old 01-28-05, 07:04 PM
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This reminds of me of the time I was trying to help my brother-in-law, who was buying a new tv, understand about widescreen and HD(he was trying to decide whether to get an WS RPTV or a regular tv). I explained it to him, and he said to me that I was wrong, so then the salesman comes over and he basically repeats what I just said and my brother-in-law looks at him and says

"Wow, I didnt know that."

Basically, I dont bother trying to help people who won't listen anymore. Interesting sidenote, he bought a WS RPTV so he came home one day with a Matrix DVD(Revolutions maybe i forget) and it was fullscreen. I asked him why he bought the full-screen, and he said "I dont know, who cares"

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