Last night, I made a late stop at church and happened to notice that no one had picked up the mail from the mail slot, so I did. What I found was a catalog from a competitor, so I did the natural thing - I threw it away!
No, I didn't throw it away, but I did look it over. One of the products featured on the cover of the catalog was a video projector for under $500 - a great deal right! Or maybe not. How do you know? The ad boasted "superior picture quality" and 2600 lumens and the "vibrant color imaging." That was just what our church needed! I almost ordered one. Not really.
Most people don't know better, but this projector won't have "superior" picture quality because it's SVGA native. SVGA is a computer screen resolution measured at 800x600 pixels. Most projectors (in 2010) are XGA (1024x768 pixels) or higher. SVGA was the standard for computer screens and projectors 10 years ago, and newer XGA projectors (which are on their way out now, but are many times more compatible with existing computers) are only slightly more expensive. Fewer pixels means a grittier picture. The little squares that make up the picture are larger, so the image can't be as smooth as a projector with more pixels.
"Superior" when compared to what? 15-year-old technology? Well, okay, you got me Mr. Marketeer.
Equipment using old technology promoted as "New!" and "superior" is simply hogwash. If you need something inexpensive, take some time to make sure that you're not buying something that's cheap because the manufacturer should have retired it 4-5 years ago, or because the dealer hasn't been able to sell it.
The right equipment doesn't always cost a lot more, and buying older technology assures that you'll be stuck with an expensive paperweight much more quickly.