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Where is one supposed to get a decent plasma demo?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs Forum' started by NicolasB, Apr 1, 2005.

  1. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    One thing that is repeated over and over on these fora until it's become a kind of litany is that any purchase decision should be made on the basis of a good demonstration: decide on the basis of what you like the look of or like the sound of, not by what other people say.

    This is good advice as far as it goes, but there's one rather significant flaw: where, precisely, can you actually get a demo that's good enough to be useful?

    It's difficult enough with audio. 90% of audio dealers (in my not inconsiderable experience of demonstrations) know less about AV than I do (and I am not an expert, I'm not even a well-educated amateur). The majority of demos that I've been to were useless, and many of the ones that were some use only became useful as a result of me kicking up a fuss about calibration - making the guy in the shop go away and fetch a sound meter and actually set the channel levels correctly, that sort of thing.

    There were a few very pleasant exceptions - but even there, you still couldn't really make a valid buying decision on that basis, because no dealer, however competent and well-intentioned, ever stocks all of the items you want to listen to, so you can't compare them side by side.

    It seems to me that, when it comes to auditioning displays, the situation is even worse than it is for auditioning sound equipment. The difference between a properly calibrated plasma screen and one where the settings are screwed up is truly night-and-day - but calibrating the screen that precisely isn't something a member of the public is likely to be capable of. How can you know whether any display you're looking at is actually displaying the picture to the best of its abilities?

    And how many stores have several properly calibrated screens installed in the same room, all fed from the same source, and each having access to a variety of sources (e.g. Sky, DVD, HD) so you can get a clear idea of what they'd be like in the home?

    Is there, for example, any dealer in the whole of Greater London capable of offering this?

    (I'm aware of one or two possible candidates in the South East - AV Sales, Nexnix - but these are a pretty significant train journey away from London. The screens in the AV department at Harrods seem to be reasonably well set-up - but they're probably not going to allow me to play about with switching sources, or with the display settings, and it's a lot of effort even to determine for certain whether or not any given feed is actually SD or HD.)
     
  2. Bernard Barnett

    Bernard Barnett
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    I was in the same boat as you. To those who said take a long trip to a specialist dealer and get a demo as you're spending so much money, I replied it seemed to me - and still does - you don't get a vast range of options even there. I too cast around greater London and couldn't find anything. In the end the decision was made for me; I was burgled and needed a plasma in a hurry. I contacted a not-too-distant dealer for whose opinions I'd grown to have the highest respect (MAW) and asked if he'd get me a Pioneer MXE - which he's consistently recommended - plus the associated bits. I have no regrets whatever. But you're dead right - getting a well set-up demo in the same place at the same time of everything you want to compare seems to be nigh on impossible.
     
  3. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon
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    You have that problem in London. Try plasma shopping in the north east of scotland and see how limited you are!
     
  4. Bernard Barnett

    Bernard Barnett
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    If you live in a remote area, you expect problems. If you live in a place where every other shop in a whole street (eg Tottenham Court Road) sells exactly the type of item you want, you don't!
     
  5. codlord

    codlord
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    There was one place in Tottenham Court Road (at least a year or so ago) that had a very good set of demo rooms (several rooms done out like lounges with various plasma/projectors set up). Best I have seen anywhere and seemed very knowlegeable at the time, although you will still have probs as far as your point about them not having everything you want side-by side.

    Not sure if it is still there or not becuase I have not been to London for a while and unfortunately I cannot remember the name of the place but I do know you had to go down some stairs to get to it in a large converted basement.

    If you are walking from TCR then you know you get to the shops on the left that are set-back from the road but have an upper level that is nearer the road (so you have a covered pavement) - it was on the opposite side of the road a bit further up from those shops. Sorry, thats about the best description I can remember...

    Maybe someone else can remember the place?
     
  6. codlord

    codlord
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    It *might* be Hi-Fi Experience that I am thinking of:
    http://www.hifilondon.co.uk/

    I found this thread while searching which may be of use:
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=58902

    I have not actually got any experience in buying from the shop I am thinking of, they did not have the AV/Amp I was looking for. They did try and sell me a better/more expensive amp but it would have been overkill for the rest of my kit, although the saleseman did say it would "be something to aspire to" :D gotta give him his due for trying...
     
  7. codlord

    codlord
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    Oops! just seen that other post is yours! doh!
    :suicide:
     

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