Buying a Flat HDTV can be tricky to say the least. Do you pop for a plasma? Do you lock in on an LED? Do you need 3D? Should you have OLED? Is Ultra HD worth waiting for even if there is currently little to no content, no Blu-ray standard or broadcast standard? Its gets confusing.
Here's a list of the types of places you can buy your next HDTV from…
Brick and Mortar "Stereo Store"
Pro: These guys know their stuff and can help educate you on the right decision
Pro: They can help you install the set if needed.
Con: They can't price match with big box stores
Pro: These guys also really know their stuff thanks to attending CEDIA and getting training
Pro: CI installers are the most engaged with the concept of video calibration.
Con: They like to charge retail price
Big Box Stores
Pros: They have every set on display.
Pros: They often will price match.
Con: Their salespeople are often undertrained
Con: Their "demo wall" of TVs are setup to trick you
Pros: They often have the best price
Con: They don't even attempt to have a salesperson
Con: Their demos under the sodium lights are terrible
Con: They don't sell the best other gear for your system
Con: They don't have installation help if you need it.
Pro: They have a big selection.
Pro: They have low overhead which they share via lower prices
Pro: Many offer free shipping and or white glove installation where the plug everything in and take away the box.
Con: You don't see the product before you buy unless you "showroom" it s somewhere else.
Con: You might have to pay tax even if you buy it out of state.
Con: Forget them calibrating your HDTV. You need to find your own guy.
In the end, there are a TON of options to you when you buy your next flat HDTV. The more money you spend, the less grief you should expect. If you go the low-cost route – make sure you do your research first otherwise look to more traditional custom installation and brick and mortar options.