Blog: The Evil Empire of the Marketing Department

Technology advancement or PR bluster? Guest blogger Mark Coxon analyzes the murky world of product releases.

Blog: The Evil Empire of the Marketing Department
If a new product proclaims itself to be the latest and greatest, is it?
Credit: Photo by channaher/Flickr
little let down by the latest round of promotion?  I believe that justification is within reach.

If you know about the Digital Cinema Initiative that defines standards for theaters, you may know that the movies are encoded in a minimum of 12 bit color.  More bits equal more shades of colors, which eliminates large blobs of pixels that make images look flat and 2 dimensional.  So on the surface, listing Deep Color support and 16 bit processing on a BluRay package looks great!  I mean, that is better than even the actual cinema requires.  And then reality comes crashing in. . . BluRay is encoded in 8 bit color.  The even sadder part is that if you have a nice one, you may get Deep Color (10 bit) out of your personal camcorder, meaning that your home movies will actually have better color depth than their Hollywood counterparts.

There are also specs for brightness of the screen in a theater, not just the resolution and color depth.  A screen needs to have a minimum amount of contrast to offer a vivid lifelike experience.  The new VPL series 4K projector touts itself as the pinnacle, which it may be if you stop at resolution as a qualifier.  Look past the 4K appeal, and you will find that unlike the Sony Pro SXRT series counterparts, this projector’s brightness of 2000 lumens is not adequate to meet those brightness and contrast standards on a large screen.  Making the screen smaller will help you reach the goal, but will also dramatically decrease the value of 4k resolution as the pixels get too small for the eyes to actually see much of a difference between that and 2K resolution.  Again reality trumps the marketing.

I want to wrap up by saying, “I am not a hater.”  I think Sony’s product is great for what it is and is an awesome fit for many projects.  My problem comes when the Marketing Department tries to make it something it isn’t.  Manufacturers Listen Up! Support the Rebel Alliance and reject the creative marketing that boosts sales in the beginning, but leaves the consumer feeling duped in the end.  Sell the value in what you actually have.  Market the innovations that exist and draw parallels and conclusions that reflect reality. 

As an AV Jedi, the best value I can bring is an honest recommendation of what product and services will get the consumer the best value for their money, and the best results for their budget.

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