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Best Buy Launches Educational HDTV Campaign

Minneapolis — Best Buy is embarking on a multichannel educational campaign to help clear up what it says are widespread consumer misconceptions about HDTV.

The retailer based its assessment on a privately commissioned survey showing that 41 percent of HDTV owners understand “little to nothing at all” about high definition, while 89 percent of all consumers don’t completely understand the technology or what it takes to experience it fully.

In response to the survey findings, Best Buy earlier this month launched an HD Done Right campaign to assist consumers through the HDTV and home theater purchasing process. The cornerstone of the campaign is a micro site,, which went live today. The site assesses consumers’ HDTV status; breaks down the elements of the HD experience, including components, source material, sound and installation; offers a budgeting pie chart, so that TVs aren’t purchased to the exclusion of accessories and services; and provides a glossary of HDTV terms.

The company has also set up an HD Done Right Hotline at (888) BEST-BUY — or (888) 237-8289 — where home theater specialists impart “HD Troubleshooting” advice to callers.

In addition, Best Buy has improved its accessory and services assistance at, a spokesperson told TWICE, and has enhanced its HD Complete Advantage program that provides customers with financial incentives, i.e. discounts on TVs,  to purchase comprehensive home theater packages.

“As more and more people invest in new high-definition televisions and expand their home theaters, Best Buy wants to ensure our customers fully appreciate what’s needed to get the most from their purchases,” said Mike Vitelli, home solutions senior VP and general manager. “We want to serve as a trusted resource to our customers by helping them understand the necessary components and how to make the right budgeting decisions so they can have a truly outstanding HD experience in their home.”

The survey was conducted Aug. 3-5 by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Media Omnibus Services via 1,012 telephone interviews. Other key findings included:

·         Consumer misconceptions regarding HDTV range from not understanding it at all (32 percent) to moderate understanding (56 percent), while four in 10 people (39 percent) don’t even identify an HDTV as necessary for the experience. Only 11 percent of consumers in general and 19 percent of HDTV owners say they have a complete handle on the technology.

·         Beyond the TV, many consumers don’t understand that additional elements are required for the HD experience, including HD programming or an HD antenna (44 percent), HD cables (52 percent) and an audio system (62 percent). As a result, consumers are typically only budgeting for the TV itself, with 52 percent planning to spend 75 percent to 100 percent of their budgets on the set, even though accessories and other components can account for as much as half the cost of an HDTV system.

·         More than half (52 percent) of HDTV owners say it would be difficult to admit that an HDTV wasn’t set up right after they had shown it off to friends.