Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The End of an Era: U.S. Best Buy Stores Say No More Analog TVs

According to a Reuters report, Best Buy's U.S. stores will no longer be offering analog TVs, opting for a digital-only tuner environment. Of course this goes in line with the FCC's decision to stop all analog broadcasts by February 2009.

In Canada, the CRTC has not made a similar mandate, and a spokesperson for Best Buy Canada tells me that the retailer will continue to sell analog products "as long as there is a demand for them".

Although a demand certainly still does exist, there's no telling for how long. After all, even my 60+ year old parents recently expressed to me that they'd like "one of those TVs that you can hang on the wall." Not to mention that both plasma and LCD TVs are available for reasonable prices that even the severely budget-conscious could afford.

That said, I do think it's a good move on Best Buy U.S.'s part to help push lagging customers toward digital TV.

Will the CRTC follow suit with the U.S. FCC and make similar moves for digital TV? Although the organization has taken steps to encourage the adoption of digital TV (like requesting that, by the end of this year, Canadian broadcasters offer at least two-thirds of their TV schedules in HD), there has been no specific deadlines (to my knowledge) that would absolutely ensure that this happens. Stay tuned (pun intended).

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