The Internet & New Media
By Akosua Kathryn Albritto
Has Its Rewards & Savings
PC Richards, Target, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Wal-Mart, Circuit City and others have it out for the consumer. They’re out to meet the immediate desire to have. To have that camcorder, digital camera, gaming console, printer, laptop computer, portable DVD player or big-screen television. To have that real-life experience inside the comfort of your home.
Everything is quite breathtaking, literally but, the televisions are the true must-haves. Billie Holiday sang, “I Must Have That Man” in the 1950s. Are consumers singing the new version: “I Must Have That TiVo?” Quite seriously, the High-Definition TVs are mesmerizing. Choose between the LCD, plasma or 1080p High-Definition TV models. Connoisseurs of the screen see the difference; for others, all models have the effect of looking through a window into another landscape. HD-TV takes cooking shows, travel shows, concerts and action movies to another level. You’re not simply having a vicarious experience through the lead actors; you are the leads. It’s you that sky dives. It’s you that selects that salted mango on a stick. It’s you that does the lighting for a NWA concert.
Then DVDs put you in control. It’s not Dish-TV, regular network or cable. It’s you that calls the shots about what broadcasts in your home. Did you capture your child’s graduation with a camcorder? Did you take the most excellent shots of the live volcano on that island getaway using the digital camera? Is there a court show you tape while you’re at work? If “Yes” to any of these questions, then get a DVD recorder. Do you have music on compact discs or MP3s and the television speakers really bring out all the texture of sounds? Have you hundreds of videos that you aren’t willing to part with? A DVD recorder and player will solve these situations. Look for the brands that state “with two-way copying.” This means the machine can copy the videos onto DVDs or DVDs onto videos. There are also dual players that don’t copy videos to DVDs but play both DVDs and videos. Now, with your favorite song or movie on, the remote control in hand and a glass of wine on a side table, what could be better?
The consumer electronics stores know they can hook you, so the reclining easy chairs are lined up in front of the TV screens. As appealing as it is, say “No!” to another purchase. Patience has its rewards-and savings. Retail is about markup, markdown to move the inventory out of the store. The markdowns have begun. Stores are offering 10%, 20%-40% discounts right after Christmas. Some manufacturers offer 70% rebate if the consumer will buy NOW. The markdowns and rebates will continue through January because the current inventory has to make way for new inventory. The new inventory may be the same brands with updated packaging or an innovation to home entertainment. Take Blu-Ray technology as an example. Blu-Ray is said to surpass DVDs in visual crispness. Where you can now purchase new DVDs for as low as $7, Blu-Ray discs are working the allure of being the-first-kid-on-the-block or just having the bucks to buy it. Blu-Ray movies go for $35 and the player is about $800.
The final admonition: patience has its rewards-and savings. Just like record albums, audiocassettes, CDs, MP3s and the like, if Blu-Ray wants in on the vast consuming public, the prices will drop. Wait for the sales.