David Pogue at the New York Times, quoting from his surprise encounter with a rare non-clueless Best Buy employee:
Q: Is there a lot of consumer confusion about HDTV?
A: Oh, man, you have no idea. People come in here absolutely clueless. Or furious, because they bought an HDTV set, got it home, and discovered that the picture doesn’t look anything like it did here in the store. Because they don’t realize they need a high-def *signal* to feed that set. For example, they need to replace their cable boxes with digital ones, or put a high-def antenna on the roof.
I admit that we fell into something like this trap when going HD a few months ago. We knew we would need to feed it HD signal for best results, but weren’t prepared for how much worse traditional signal would look. But apparently not everyone notices. Or who notice but don’t care:
[D.P. adds: According to a study by the Leichtman Research Group, 50 percent of HDTV owners aren’t actually watching any high-def shows on them… but 25 percent of them *think* they are.]