In the Spring of 1999, I started to look for a new 32" television. I
figured I'd visit a couple of stores, make my decision, and buy. After all,
I'm hip to all the audio lingo, how different can this video stuff be?
Boy, was I wrong.
The stores were confusing as hell. All kinds of different options, with accompanying wide variations in price. All the posts on the TV-related USENET groups I searched through with dejanews were littered with unfamiliar model numbers - and EVERYBODY referred to their TVs by the model numbers.
Here's what you need to know
What I finally didI bought a Toshiba CX32H60 from Best Buy when they were getting rid of them. At the time, it was their 32" TV that sat just below the "Cinema Series" in the model line. This thing shared the same picture tube as the Cinema Series stuff, but they cut corners on the speakers and audio electronics. Who cares? I bought the thing to look at, not listen to! I have the set tuned to the "movie" mode. Colors are film-like, but someday I'd like to run a test disc on this thing. It has S-Video, component and RCA composite video inputs, and two antenna inputs.
The Best Buy purchasing experience was almost mind altering. The "Best Buy guy", lets call him him "Bob", made it very clear to me that they didn't work on commission at Best Buy. Bob mentioned a service plan while we were out on the floor, and I shrugged it off. Everything seemed to be going fine, until Bob went to ring in my service plan. "Wait," I stopped him, "I don't need the service plan."
"But just a minute ago you said you wanted it."
"Well, I don't think I really need it."
"What, do you have buyer's remorse now?"
"Uhh... no. I really don't need the service plan."
We went back and forth like that, and somewhere in there I said: "I'd really like to buy this TV, but if you can't sell it to me, I'll go buy it somewhere else."
Bob responds, "We don't work off of commission here! Go ahead." [This is, I think, why they don't work off of commission. They get all the fun of a high-pressure sales tactic, but with none of the responsibility]
Bob continues, "You know, this TV has two tuners in it. Those tuners are sensitive... and with these new fiber optic cables they're installing everywhere, if lightning strikes one of those - light follows light, you know, and it's going to take out one of those tuners and THEN you'll wish you bought the service plan!"
He may have continued, but half of my brain shut down to protect myself. I managed to get out that I had a Master's in electrical engineering, and that I felt I was aware of the risks inherent in owning a TV connected to a modern cable TV system. Bob completed the sale by saying, "You freaking guys never listen to me."
I wonder why!
|Information updated on Tuesday, 2 May 2000.|