Saturday, December 23, 2006

Does Jessica Simpson speak for you?

In heavy rotation on television now is a DirecTV commercial featuring Jessica Simpson. Reprising her role as Daisy Duke, she touts the benefits of digital broadcast, and the advantages of DirecTV’s high definition signal –- the primary benefit being able to see Ms. Simpson’s body in greater detail.

This post isn’t the discuss the pros and cons of DirecTV, but rather the attitude articulated in Ms. Simpson’s lines.
“DirecTV broadcasts in 1080i. I don’t know what that means, but I totally want it.”
I suspect that sentiment underlies more consumer electronics than anyone’s willing to admit. Do more megapixels make a digital camera better? Is an 80GB iPod better than a 30GB one? Is a 60" flat-panel display better than a 50" one? Is a 100 watt sound system better than a 50 watt one?

The answer to all of these is simply “it depends.” It depends on what your needs are, it depends on what your performance expectations are, and it depends on what aspects of picture taking/music listening/TV viewing/sound reproduction are important to you.

Because in each of the examples above, the best choice is not necessarily the biggest. Do you really know what you want, or are you more like Jessica Simpson? There are plenty of on-line resources to explain the ins and out of consumer electronics features. A little time spent in research can make a big difference when you’re ready to purchase.

Imagine going into a store and saying, “I don’t know what 1080i means, but I totally want it.” You’ll probably be sold something –- and it may actually have a 1080i display. But would you know if it didn’t?

Have a safe and happy holiday!

- Ralph

And if you've inferred that 1080i –- whatever that is -— is the non plus ultra, click here.

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