Yeah, Best Buy is known for using less-than-kosher tactics to pull in extra loot, but this is pretty despicable, even for them, since it manipulates the fact that most people have heard you need to a calibrate an HDTV for the best picture. At a demo for their $US300 Geek Squad calibration service in an NC store, they have two identical HDTVs showing ESPN—one calibrated, which looks fantastic, and one that's supposedly not, which looks like total arse. That would be because it's showing standard def ESPN next to the "calibrated" set's ESPN HD. But it's even worse than that.
Besides using a promotional sign to cover up the standard ESPN's logo (which would make it obvious it's not ESPN HD), an employee actually told Consumerist reader that "the difference was strictly because of their colour calibration." When pressed further, he admitted that they even made the standard def picture look even crappier by stretching it out. Really, really abhorrent.
Home Entertainment mag has a great guide on how to shop for an HDTV at a big box store to make sure you don't get screwed when looking for a killer deal amidst the smoldering ashes of the financiapocalypse. You can also check out how the pros evaluate HDTVs, so you know what to look for in a set's picture. [Consumerist]