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Digital Deadline: Stores Running out of Analog-only TV Sets

This week's Digital Deadline story is from Philadelphia. It deals with stores running out of the lower cost analog TV sets after the FCC's March 1 deadline requiring all consumer electronics equipment with TV tuners to include an ATSC DTV tuner. In the article, Stores fast running out of analog TVs, Jonathan Takiff warns readers who don't want to "spend more than a Benjamin" to "run, not walk, to the nearest big-box store and hope its inventory of cheap video goods hasn't already been decimated." He says replacement TV's with ATSC tuners will be significantly more expensive--costing from $249 to $349.

After a brief description of the DTV transition, he recommends looking for one of the DVD recorders that include an ATSC tuner, noting that the Panasonic DMR-EZ17 DVD recorder will hit stores next month at around $239.95. He also mentioned RCA's DRC8335 combo recorder, listing at $249, which includes both a VCR and a DVD recorder and allows easy dubbing from VHS to DVD.

Takiff provides an excellent description of what's available in stores, what's coming and what options consumers have to continue to receive TV after Feb. 17, 2009. While you may not agree with his description of the DTV transition, his view of the consumer marketplace appears on target.