At CES this week, Best Buy Inc.'s CEO Brad Anderson called the shutdown of most analog TV transmissions in 13 months “one of the biggest risks our industry has."
Anderson says he is "very nervous" about being able to supply customers with the millions of digital TV converter boxes needed when the analog boxes are no longer available.
Full-power television stations will turn off their analog signal on February 17, 2009, after which they will broadcast in digital only. Viewers who get their signals via an antenna instead of cable or satellite and don't have a digital-ready TV will need to buy a converter. That’s about 14.3 million households, by the way!
"The number of converter boxes that is going to be required could put tremendous pressure on us to solve all those problems" in a short time, said Anderson. "We're very nervous about the potential risk. Once it gets turned off, it could be very interesting."
Hmmmm…..this smells of Y2K tomfoolery and over-hyping, doesn’t it? He couldn’t be saying this, in part, to induce panic and stimulate sales, could he?
The converter boxes should cost between $40 and $70, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration has begun accepting requests for two $40 coupons per household to be used toward the purchase of the boxes.