“I cannot imagine a circumstance in which a monopoly provider of a product in Australia achieving a profit of 85.5 per cent on sales would not expect or deserve to be referred to the ACCC,” […]
THERE was a time when buying a new television set was a major event.
The arrival of a Kreisler 21-inch B&W TV set was a huge investment for the Mac family of Sydney at the end of the 1950s. The joy of switching this miracle of technology on, and tolerating ghosting, squiggly lines and a loss of picture on at least one channel when it rained, was a small price to pay for the excitement of watching the news, cartoons, all those cop shows, westerns and, of course, “Disneyland” on a Sunday night. Fast forward to the present day of digital transmission, perfect pictures, global satellite coverage, Pay TV, HD, etcetera and it has seemed such an event has been consigned to the “ho hum” files.
A few years ago, I made my first visit to a Costco warehouse, at least I think that’s what you call it. A guy in front of me was wheeling around what appeared to be a shopping trolley with a thyroid condition, such was its enormous size.
He paused briefly in front of a series of large rectagonal boxes, stroked his chin in thought for a few seconds, nodded and then lifted a clearly very heavy telly into the trolley and headed to the cash registers.
It took a little while to realise that what used to involve a major sales pitch by staff and sometimes a few visits to make a final decision had now been reduced to a “would-you-like-fries-with-that-60-inch-TV-set, sir?” moment.
The wow factor seemed to have been lost from these purchases… until now. The major companies are making a renewed push into making this decision sexy again – 3K, 4K and now 8K-resolution sets, designed to make the whites whiter and the blacks blacker and so on, are hitting the market along with an enormous screen size being a major selling point. The last part of the sales pitch I also find amusing given that we are now only able to afford smaller and smaller homes to now be filled, supposedly, with bigger and bigger toys.
‘Tis a far cry from the days of “Bugs Bunny”, “Gunsmoke”, Graham Kennedy et al viewed in glorious black and white on a small screen, on a set smaller than the old radiogram it replaced in the corner of the lounge. One thing, though, doesn’t seem to have changed over the years… there’s still nothing bloody well worth watching!
Chris Mac can be heard on 2CC.