When you have a question about technology, it is best to ask an expert. The team at Future Shop consider themselves experts in the field, and have created an entire web experience around the message.

FutureShop.ca Manager, Thierry Hay-Sabourin, had the challenge of bringing the store experts online.

“It’s not about Future Shop,” he says, “it’s about the technology and what the customer is looking for.”

FutureShop.ca has message boards and virtual experts where anyone can ask questions before, or after their purchase. The posts are handled by vendors, buyers, experts and the community at large.

“We’re proud to enable this conversation,” says Thierry, “to be the resource for customers to get this expertise.”

The site is also serving as the host for web events starring outside experts.

The first webcast featured web celebs Leo Laporte and Amber MacArthur in a Plasma v LCD debate at the Future Shop on W Broadway last week.

Here’s how it shook down:

Amber (LCD)

She Said: LCD tvs last longer, consume less energy and don’t suffer image burn.

She Said: LCDs are available in small sizes, as tiny as 10 inches – so they’re good for really tight spaces

She Said: LCDs are lighter, so if you want to mount it on a wall, you can do it yourself and have a wider option of where to place it. Plasmas are much heavier and need professional installation

She Said: LCDs are better in bright spaces, but you have to watch the viewing angle, unless its right in front of you, you won’t get the best picture.

Leo (Plasma)

He Said: Image burn was a problem with early generation plasmas, but since we’re onto 5th and 6th generations, it should no longer be an issue.

He said: Because of the way they display images, Plasmas have a much better contrast ratio and show darker images better. The refresh rate is also faster making them better for gaming.

He said: If you want a true home theatre experience, 50 or 60 inches, Plasmas are more affordable.

He said: Price used to be an issue when deciding, but now both formats are comparable, with prices 1/5 of what they were just a few years ago. You don’t really see 27” plasmas, and although you can get 50” LCD, they’re expensive, so the debate really divides itself by size.

The Verdict: If you’re setting up a big home theatre in the basement and you want the full experience, go for Plasma, if you’re just trying to get something to fit into your tiny condo box, go for LCD.

The debate, which also delved into HDTV and the future of television, has been archived at FutureShop.ca and future webcast / live events are planned.

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