Seattle — Amazon.com has launched a dedicated HD micro site designed to explain and sell high-definition TV and related products to less tech-savvy consumers.
The interactive micro site, called Amazon High-Def 101, serves as comprehensive knowledge base for HDTV and home theater, while also presenting the e-tailer’s extensive assortment of HDTVs, movie players, game systems, PC options, accessories and movies.
Educational features include a library of articles, frequently asked questions and educational videos aimed at helping the average shopper configure their HD home entertainment experience. The site also offers a dictionary of HD terminology that explains commonly used phrases and abbreviations, and serves as a forum for a community of home theater professionals who post weekly blog entries and participate in online discussions to help answer customer questions and provide direction.
“There are few resources today where the public can find simple and concise information about high definition,” said Peter Faricy, movies and music VP at Amazon.com. “Our goal with the Amazon High-Def 101 customer knowledge center is to provide our customers with centralized, easy to-understand information that will help demystify high-definition entertainment. Amazon High-Def 101 is a place where anyone can come to learn and ask questions about the complex HD landscape. We will continue to expand and evolve the site to meet our customers’ needs.”
Ron Sanders, president of Warner Home Video, welcomed Amazon’s “aggressive efforts to educate the consumer.
“This holiday season is critical for high definition,” he said, “and as an industry we need to place the focus on helping consumers understand the extraordinary benefits of HD media and how to get the most value out of their home entertainment investments.”
Paul Erickson, director of DVD and HD market research at DisplaySearch, an NPD Group company, concurred. “Many consumers remain unaware of the details and benefits of the HDTV experience, and this has been a challenge for the industry to overcome,” he said. “With consumers shifting toward flat displays, HD content availability increasing from pay-TV providers and movie studios, Blu-ray and HD DVD player prices falling, and popularity growing for HD game consoles, the potential has never been higher for this market. By helping to raise consumer understanding of both the benefits of HDTV and the advantages of next-generation disc formats over regular DVD, consumer education efforts like Amazon's High-Def 101 will help both consumers and the industry to take full advantage of this potential.”
The high degree of consumer confusion over the category was underscored by a recent Best Buy survey which indicated that 41 percent of HDTV owners understand “little to nothing at all” about high definition or what is required to experience it fully. Best Buy responded to the findings by creating its own Web-based educational campaign called HD Done Right.