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HD Unit Return Rates Up After Holiday Giving

The trend of higher return rates for HD and DTV sets than for analog sets is continuing. According to local TV and print media around the country, a lot of consumers who purchased (or received) HD sets for the holidays are frustrated in their initial attempts to get a clear picture because they are not aware they're not always viewing HD content; they find the set-up too cumbersome compared with the far simpler plug-and-play analog configuration; and are taken aback that analog stations via cable often are of poorer quality than from their old analog sets. So they return the DTV sets to retailers in a huff.

Education, or lack thereof, is the key. It is not atypical, say some retailers, to have a customer plunk down $2,500 or more for a plasma or LCD HD set, take it home, set it up in their suburban (or exurban) living room, and then wonder why their indoor rabbit-ear antenna doesn't do justice to their HD expectations. (Talk about "welcome to the '50s!")