updated 01:10 pm EDT, Wed October 17, 2007
Best Buy Axes Analog TVs
Large-scale retailer Best Buy today said it would stop selling standard-definition TVs at all of its stores, becoming one of the first stores of its size to drop the format entirely. The company expects to sell only flat-panel HD and ED (enhanced definition) sets and will completely halt sales of analog sets, which normally ship in bulkier CRT forms, by the start of November. Some stores have already removed the sets, Best Buy said. Owners of older sets who need access to digital TV shows will be able to buy converter set-top boxes starting early next year.
Both the end to analog TV sales and the converter option are advance steps to prepare for the switch to strictly digital TV broadcasts, which begins in February 2009 when over-the-air broadcasts end and will finish when cable providers are allowed to wind down standard-definition content by February 2012. The move to digital has seen multiple delays as TV makers and network operators have often cited a lack of affordable TVs and broadcasting equipment to make widespread digital broadcasting a realistic option until recent months.