Monday, October 08, 2007
This system of producing images on a screen has proven to have several advantages over the Plasma screen TV technology that had been more popular until last year. LCD screens are more energy efficient than Plasma screens, function better in a greater variety of light levels, and don't make an annoying buzzing sound when operating at higher elevations. Also over the past couple of years the week spots of LCD screens have largely been worked out. They display darker blacks than they used to (darker callers like black require that the crystals align themselves to block light entirely- something they don't do very well) and newer crystals react to changing electrical stimulus more quickly than they used to- thereby minimizing the dreaded blurring that's always plagued LCD screens to some extent. LCD screens are also getting bigger which further erodes one of the prior advantages of Plasma screens.
All of these improvements have resulted in a surge in demand for LCD HDTV sets, but the industry misjudged the consumer demand and made to many units. That glut on the market forced retailers to lower prices well below the level of profitability just to move their stock.
Now, with the holiday season over, many retailers are suffering even more. They still have a glut of overstocked LCD screen TV's that they can't unload because people aren't shopping for them anymore, which is forcing them to lower their prices even more!
However, a lot of the people who got their LCD TV's for a steal back around the holidays are now being plagued by a new problem associated with their purchases. This problem isn't defective merchandise or credit card bills showing up in the mail (though the latter may actually be a problem for many new HDTV owners). The problem is phishing.
In much the same way that people get email from con artists claiming to be from their financial institutions in an attempt to get personal information like credit card numbers, many owners of recently purchased HDTV sets are getting similar emails. These emails are claiming to be from the store that sold consumers the HDTV sets and are asking for information like credit card numbers to verify warranty information or because the payment supposedly didn't go through.
This is just another example of the strange ways in which technology can go haywire.