Saturday, January 5, 2008

Geek Consumer

Apparently I haven't been in the market for much gadgetry lately. I went to browse at Best Buy today because I have money from Christmas and well you know how much fire that can create in one's pocket. I do need a new wireless router for home so I started looking at them. Boy am I glad that I'm a networking geek. The marketing departments for the major brands like Linksys (Cisco), Netgear and D-Link work overtime on those packages. Faster, better, new!!! They're selling 802.11n gear as if it's a standard already and don't even look for a cheap 802.11b router, they no longer exist. What is really interesting to me is that the biggest broadband pipe that I've seen in most markets is 10Mbps down (not including FiOS since that's still a pipe dream for most people), but people are being sold into buying equipment that can run at 54Mbps or even >100Mbps. What's this for? I mean really even in the enterprise space where I work, we have 100Mbps ethernet everywhere, but the average desktop user is lucky to peak above 128Kbps sustained bandwidth for any length of time.

After deciding to wait on my router, I continued browsing and got to the home theater area of the store. While I've got a decent 5.1 Dolby/DTS system now, it doesn't support high definition video or audio and well ever since I got my HD TV I've wanted to actually see something HD. One thing that I noticed is that most of the systems at Best Buy have DVD players built into the receivers, while I'm all for saving space, I'm not sure I want to have my DVD player built into my receiver. I've had my current receiver for almost 6 years and in that time I've had at least 4 DVD players come and go due to failure. I guess it's like back in college when I refused to buy a TV with a built in VCR (man so old tech now).

Well that's my two cents... oh and as for my pocket, it's still on fire. Maybe after my tax refund I'll splurge. :-)

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