The HDTV Revolution

« April 2006 »


Normally, you hear of hot new technology coming out of Japan. Handheld game systems. Robot dogs. High-definition DVD. But the Midwest is not about to cede first place in the consumer electronics arena. This week, select Indiana consumers got their first crack at an entirely new HDTV format. Hot Door Television.

In the kind of story that answers the question "Why, again, are we in the condition we're in?", at least two people have purchased flat-screen TVs that, upon closer inspection, have turned out to be stolen oven doors.

If you're anything like me, you have to be wondering how this could have happened. Were they insane? Had they been recently unfrozen from a glacier? Were they unfamiliar with the very concept of "television"? Or did they look through the window in the oven door, see the street beyond, and become entranced by the astonishing fidelity of the image?

Turns out it's not QUITE as bad as that, but it's close. It's the latest, most egregious example of idiots thinking buying high-end electronics off some guy in the street at a significant discount is a good idea.

I mean, don't get me wrong. I've heard some astonishing bullshit come out of the mouths of blue-shirted Best Buy employees over the years. But to their credit, they've never tried to pass off an oven door as a big-screen flat-panel TV.

The oven doors were packed into the empty TV boxes, you see. This provided, apparently, a rough form factor and weight match for the stupid fucks who bought them. Like Leann Day's boyfriend. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"If you're going to buy something from someone, make sure you open it up first. Especially if you're not buying it from the store." - Leann Day of South Bend, Indiana, whose boyfriend bought a repackaged, stolen oven door for $250.

You know all those times that President Bush is giving a speech, and he says something where it sounds like he's explaining government to kindergartners? THIS IS HIS AUDIENCE.

Buying anything off the street is a bad idea. But a TV? An item whose sole purpose is to sit there and be LOOKED AT? Why would you buy a television you'd never seen? It's like proposing to the woman you just paid for phone sex. You will not be happy with the results.

Obviously, these people thought they were buying stolen TVs. They were half right. The good news is, the police finally know why people have been breaking into homes recently and stealing oven doors. If this continues, soon half of Indiana won't be able to watch TV, and the other half won't be able to bake cakes.

Obviously, some consumer advocacy is necessary. Here are some tips for Indianites who may be shopping for big-ticket home entertainment items in the near future.

  • Flat-panel televisions do not smell like chicken grease.
  • Flat-panel televisions do not cost $250. Even stolen ones.
  • Flat-panel televisions are made by companies like Sony and Samsung, not companies like Viking and Kenmore.
  • Make sure your seller is knowledgeable. Ask if the television supports 1080i. Ask if the television has an HDMI input. Ask if the television has a self-cleaning cycle.

Still, there is a silver lining. The fuckers probably would have just used it to watch FOX News and American Idol anyway.