Info and Answers
Big-Box Stores: How Not to Shop
August 22, 2007 | by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Visit many of today’s “super stores” and you’ll find row upon row of over saturated and poorly calibrated sets. Good luck finding one that’s right for you!
View this entire articleView this entire article
Back to top
17 Comments (displaying chronologically) Post a comment
Posted by William  on  08/22  at  11:51 AM

How is this article at all helpful?  It’s basically saying you’re screwed when you’re looking for a new TV.  Also, why bash on plasma or even 720p sets which are perfect in certain situations for SOME people.

Posted by Dave  on  08/22  at  01:30 PM

I must say that this article ends at no point.  You talk about your visit to the local “Silly City” and how the store can only apeal to the most closed minded shopper that can barely tell the difference between the ancient tube TV to a new 1080p HDTV.  I believe you need to demount from your high horse and visit the web like everyone else.  I certainly do my research from manufactures web sites. 

In short, by going to the local electronics store, you should know what you are getting into.  In my younger days, I worked my way through college at “Silly City”.  Thanks.

Posted by Clark  on  08/22  at  06:07 PM

Weird.  You completely assumed all that you know.  You didn’t ask for help.  You walked in with a negative attitude.  You even knew what you WANTED to see and that’s what you saw.
What else did you expect?  Do you think that every employee at Silly City calibrates those Tv’s and wants you to buy a 1080p set?  When not working on commision, I would think not.  I would go as far as to say that those employees could care less… and that the picture settings are PROBABLY set flat (sets are usually saturated from the factory). 
Anyway.  Like I said you’re weird.

Posted by will  on  08/22  at  07:26 PM

What was the point of you publishing this article ? I can never get back the two minutes of my life that I just lost. Utterly useless uninformative article. No way you could possibly be getting paid to write these articles

Posted by Tom  on  08/22  at  09:51 PM

What is this foolishness? What is the point of your article? Pithy, incorrect statements followed by silly observations?

Do you even understand the issues surrounding resolution and visual perception? What plasma is noisy? Certainly not mine. My front projector is hot…but the plasma is cool as ice.

You don’t appear to understand this technology in the least bit.

Posted by Keith  on  08/22  at  11:16 PM

Steven, the stores don’t ‘set’ the displays to anything. You make broad assumptions about something you know nothing of. You may have ‘experience’ and a ‘discerning eye’, but that gives you nothing in the way of making an informed opinion about a store’s practices and intentions.

That was one of the most pointless, worthless articles I’ve ever read. Does this site even have editors? Your article was about whether you could live with an LCD, and you end by ripping on their demo room? Eh? Perhaps you’re an employee at “Best Purchase”...

Seriously electronichouse, I can’t with a straight face give your site any credibility when you publish articles such as this one.

Posted by James  on  08/23  at  12:02 AM

Well I work at sillys compitition lets call it good buy and I dont know about them, but none of our tvs are calibrated or set to anything. Basically SOP is to grab a random box of a model thats needed on the wall, mount it have it scan for channels and there you go. I will say that Best buy does offer ISF calibration as an install option but this is not done to the store tvs. If the tvs look that bad it is becuase they come from the feactory that way and leads into the discussion ISF calibration or not and should they come from the factory allready set.

Posted by Scott  on  08/23  at  03:49 AM

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) <>

This guy is a senior editor so I got this feeling of “scary” when I saw that. I had thought highly of this site in the past. That was a crap article focused on bashing the “city”. This guy probably got mad at the “city” because they would not return a TV he bought to try out.

Lets just spend $100 per TV getting it calibrated to a picture that a customer could not duplicate for free. So that would be even more deception than tv’s having the color +10 which anyone can adjust. Most calibrations invovle software adjustments. You would be selling tv’s with a setting the “customer” could not duplicate no matter how much he or she “fiddles” with the remote.

Get a ghost writer and cash your checks.


Posted by Scott  on  08/23  at  03:52 AM


  I also got here through a link from and to be honest I am disapointed they even linked to this artice. It lowers their standards just for being “connected”.

Posted by Zoinks  on  08/23  at  08:19 AM

If you have such a discerning eye, how could you possible pass on plasma that quickly. Mine is certainly not loud, nor hot. By the way, one of the best sets ever reviewed is a pioneer plasma that’s 720p native….but I’m sure you knew that being the elitist that you are.

Posted by Wowie McHowie  on  08/23  at  09:39 AM

This was an extraordinary article. It had no worth whatsoever. Congratulations!

Posted by Mike  on  08/23  at  10:54 AM

I agree with Clark - this article was truly a waste of time.  I got nothing out of it.  Seemed to be just a rant.  Failed to follow the basics of a story: who, what, when, where, why, and how.  What size screen were you looking for? This may sound like a silly question, but are you married?  If so, why did you not bring your spouse along?  The WAF (wife acceptance factor) is vital in most purchase decisions.  Usually, women have a better perception of color when shopping for a big screen - and they often control the purse strings. Next time you write an article, how about bringing it to a logical conclusion?

Posted by Mike  on  08/23  at  03:46 PM


Contrary to the implications in your article, several manufacturers (Samsung, Pioneer, Panasonic, etc) do offer 1080p plasmas.

Given the deeper blacks, the wider viewing angles, and the lack of motion blur, modern plasmas are still a very attractive option.

Posted by Ed Tsvik  on  08/27  at  10:54 AM

As a custom installer, I find the biggest problem with retail stores is they sell products not based on quality, but product margins and vendor negotiations.  I try not to get into a debate with clients on which technology is better: LCD; Plasma; DLP; LCoS; or projection.  Each technology has its pros and cons and what’s most important is where you are placing the display.

I believe the problem with big box retailers is the lack of focus on customer needs in selling the products.  With so many different display sets on the wall from a dozen or more manufactures, how can a salesperson effectively do their job?  Large retailers should help consumers by making decisions on which brands and technologies to sell based on their quality and the price point to consumers.  When spending thousands of dollars on a new display set, there is a minimum level of performance that must be met.  The fact that displays are simply taken out of the box and hung on the wall, can very misleading.  Each brand of display has a unique picture “stamp” to it.  Settings come from the manufacturer, but in reality every display set should look exactly the same.  A producer produces a movie, which looks a certain way when the film was shot, right?  Well, that picture should look the same way when it displays in your home.  Every display set should be calibrated, whether it’s a quick 15 minute calibration using a $15 DVD or done by a professional.  Not only will it provide you with the best picture but it will extend the life of your display.

Posted by Louise  on  08/28  at  09:46 AM

Whoa - Steven!  You sure got your head handed to you on a platter!!!
Actually, I thought the article was interesting for what it said - that the Big Box stores don’t get it at all.  And, in reference to not asking a sales person for help - why take up their time if you are not buying anything from them anyway?  Time is money on a sales floor.
I am shocked that you got such negative comments - it’s an opinion, folks!

Posted by Serg  on  08/30  at  07:07 AM

Weak Article

Posted by carolyn griffin  on  09/19  at  08:48 PM

bought 42” plasma.  color is perfect.  sound is good.  have regular cable although tv is hdtv.  does my set need to be callibrated.  cost is 275.oo to set callibrated. do not have hdtv through my cable co.  that would be extra 60.00 per month and i am perfectly satsfied with tv the way it is?  what should i do?

Page 1 of 1 pages

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.