Best Buy pulls analog televisions from shelves

Best Buy — the nation’s largest consumer electronics retailer — announced it has stopped selling analog TV sets.

The Minneapolis-based chain is the first consumer electronics retailer to publicly announce an exit from the analog TV business. Stores were instructed to stop selling analog sets on October 1.

This means all sets purchased at Best Buy will receive over-the-air signals when digital broadcasts replace analog transmission in February 2009. For those customers with analog sets, the chain will begin to stock and sell coupon-eligible DTV converter boxes and will be accepting NTIA coupons beginning in early 2008.

“We are committed to helping people understand the digital television transition, and exiting the analog video business is one way we can help avoid confusion,” said Mike Vitelli, senior vice president of electronics for Best Buy. “Customers can now be sure that any television they purchase at Best Buy will be fully compliant with the digital television transition.”

Best Buy said its home theater specialists have been trained to answer questions and help customers figure out the best way to comply with the DTV transition. These education efforts will continue through the transition date in February 2009.