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Business Guide to Consumer Entertainment: Purchasing a Television, Stereo or A/V Components


The days of grainy black and white television have long been gone. Now, people can watch movies with Blu-ray quality in three dimensions and surround sound. Consumer entertainment has become an important part of home life, with families huddling around the television or watching the latest thriller or fantasy epic on 52 inches of pure electric euphoria.

Consumer entertainment no longer means just the television. The television is the centerpiece to an electronic orchestra of DVD player, stereo surround sound, and even Internet streaming. Each piece helps complete the whole system, but with so many choices out there, it can be difficult to choose from the many types and styles available. You can have a plasma or LCD television in either 2-D or 3-D, and a DVD player built for standard or high definition DVDs. It all coalesces into a perfect consumer entertainment system.

Benefits

People spend $30 or more to see a movie in a theater, surrounded by complete strangers, and sit in uncomfortable seats. Consumer entertainment eliminates these annoyances and provides all the benefits at home.

Theater Experience

The sensitivity of surround sound systems can make a movie sound like it’s happening all around the viewer. The screams of a damsel in distress and the heroic cry of the underdog seem to be right next to the watcher's ear. High-definition television provides a crystal clear picture that looks more like a window than a television screen. People can experience a movie like never before with the vast array of consumer entertainment equipment available on the market.

Convenience

In the past, if people wanted to see a top quality movie, with all the bells and whistles of high tech sound and images, then they had to travel to a movie theater. Consumer entertainment systems provide the feeling of a theater without all the driving. People can sit in their living rooms and stream new movies from the Internet. They can also pop in a DVD and don a pair of 3-D glasses to watch a movie that the local theater may never have even had.

Prestige

When there is a major sports event, whose house are people going to want to watch it at? They're going to give their regrets to the friend who has a 10-year-old television and head over to watch the game with the guy who owns a 60-inch plasma with high definition and surround sound. A high tech consumer entertainment system provides prestige among the person's peer group and circle of friends.

Observation

With a crisp picture and good surround sound, there are aspects of a television show or movie that the watcher picks up on that someone without a consumer entertainment system may not. For example, a 60 inches of high tech picture may allow a person to spot someone in the back of a crowd and help provide an important clue to the plot. A good surround sound system allows a person to hear small background sounds that lesser systems don't pick up.

Pitfalls

Consumer entertainment systems can add an entirely new dimension to television and movie watching. Despite their obvious advantages, these systems are not without issues.

Jargon

With so many types of entertainment products out there, it is easy to be confused when buying one. Salesmen use jargon, such as dots per inch and wireless routing capability, to talk about a specific brand or product. A person may not want or need everything the salesman talks about but wind up buying way more than he intended or paying too much for shoddy goods. It's important that a consumer does research on the types of products he or she wants before going to a store. Salesmen want a nice commission, so they steer consumers to the more expensive products.

Obsolete Machinery

Consumer electronics grow and expand as new brands and technologies are constantly developed every day. The $2,000 television purchased only six months earlier may become an inferior model, and people are left wanting the latest and the greatest. The big fad in consumer entertainment may go the way of the Beta tape and HD DVD, leaving many people with an obsolete system that they have paid for a significant amount.

Pricing

The price of consumer entertainment systems depends on what the consumer wants. A smaller high-definition television costs only a few hundred dollars, but the big 60-inch screen can cost $2,000 or more. A standard DVD player costs as low as $30, but a Blu-ray player with streaming Internet capability can cost several hundred. A bargain basement surround sound costs $100, but the best models can cost a few thousand. The cost of the system depends on the budget of the consumer and the depth and intensity of the experience he or she wants from the system.

Consumer entertainment systems can have a significant impact on the quality of a person's experience while watching a television or a movie, so the decision-making process should not be taken lightly. A consumer should determine his or her needs and shop around for the system that gives him or her what he or she wants without breaking the bank.

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