Over-the-air (OTA) analog TV broadcasts will be eliminated
completely from the U.S. on February 17. 2009. Thanks to regulations
from the U.S. government, all OTA broadcasts from that point on will
In order to accommodate customers who rely on analog OTA
broadcasts, the government will issue
two $40 coupons to each American household which are good towards the
purchase of a digital-to-analog converter box. According to early estimates, the
converter boxes will retail for $60 to $70.
Best Buy, however, is ahead of the game and has completely
exited the analog TV business. The company has removed all analog TVs from its
stores and from now on will only sell models with digital tuners included.
Best Buy also announced that it will sell the upcoming DTV
converter boxes and will accept the government issued coupons to use towards
the purchase price.
"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 Best Buy senior VP Mike Vitelli.
"Customers can now be sure that any television they
purchase at Best Buy will be fully compliant with the digital television
transition. And for customers who aren’t in the market for a new television, we
can help you find the best solution to meet your needs."