Best Buy Says ‘Good Bye’ to Analog TV Products

Best Buy, the large consumer electronics retailer announced this week that it had removed all remaining analog television items from store shelves as part of the nation’s transition to digital television broadcasting transition.

“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 also said that it will participate in the NTIA digital converter box coupon program, with converters expected to be available in the chain’s stores in early 2008.

The company ordered the removal of unsold analog television products, including TV sets and VCRs on Oct. 1 and is the first consumer electronics retailer to publicly announce that it would no longer supply analog TV products.

The chain is providing both in-store and online information about the U.S. DTV rollout in an effort to educate consumers to the changes ahead. Two weeks ago, the retailer announced that it was donating $50,000—along with the assistance of its “Best Buy Blue Shirts” and “Geek Squad” employees—to the Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) to manage a contest in which 7,000 FCCLA chapters nationwide will compete to come up with the best community outreach program to educate the public about the DTV transition. The contest will begin in January and the winning chapter will be announced in July 2008.