Rob’s Tech School Part 2 – The Resolution Evolution

Posted by on February 1, 2013 at 7:52 pm
Oh dear...What's it all mean?

Oh dear…What’s it all mean?

480? 720p? 1080I? 4:3? 16:9?! What’s it all MEAN?!

It’s time to talk about screen resolutions and what they mean to us! The information in this article will hopefully help keep you from getting swindled by a crafty salesman who is trying to get you to buy something which doesn’t match your wants or needs, much like what a trickster at my local Best Buy tried to pull on ME once!

Good thing I knew what was up, or I would have gotten ripped off.

Here’s what happened

(By the way, if you REALLY don’t want to read my story, go to the bottom and hit page 2 for the lesson)

Many years ago I bought an HDTV from Best Buy. It was a 27 inch, flat screen, 1080p bundle of joy which brought me many hours of quality entertainment from my Xbox 360, movies, television, etc…Sure there was very little around which could take advantage of the technology but I had my 360 plugged in via HDMI and my dvd player plugged in with component cables and my computer hooked up with a vga cable. All was right with the world.

Then, after a couple of years, the tv just up and quit working one day.

“NO MATTER”, I said to myself. You see, I was a smart cookie and paid for the extended warranty plan on my beautiful TV so I phoned up their service guys and got someone out to have a look. Finally, he diagnosed the TV as being belly up and he issued me a replacement order. I popped on down to Best Buy and said “Gimme!”

Well, that model of television was no longer being manufactured, they told me.

“NO MATTER”, I said to myself. You see, I read the part of the agreement where it said if the same device isn’t available, they have to provide you with a device of “like kind and quality”, meaning the replacement has to do the same resolution, have the same inputs, and be just as functional as the one that died and if there’s nothing equivalent, they have to give you an upgrade! I told the customer service manager that and they told me to pop off to the tv section and find my replacement.

Here’s where things start to go pear shaped. They didn’t have any 27 inch, flat screen, 1080p bundles of joy. The only thing they had in 27 inch was 720p and it didn’t have the inputs I needed. Well, that means they have to upgrade me, right? Sure does! The next closest thing they had in 1080p was a 37 inch flat screen. It had all of the inputs I needed and the resolution to match my dead set so I told them to scoop it up for me and that they didn’t even have to gift wrap it.

No can do, says the salesman who was sent to assist me. We started our debate and the lovely salesman spent the next 20 minutes attempting to convince me that 720p and 1080p are the same thing and that the only thing 1080p does better is display still images.

I flipped.

Needless to say I walked out of there with a replacement of “like kind and quality”. So what did I know that the sales guy didn’t?

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