BRUCE MOHL | CONSUMER BEAT Will they get the picture? TV buying gets fuzzy as FCC and industry join to take viewers into the digital age By Bruce Mohl, Globe Staff | October 24, 2004 Richard Kiley of Boston isn't a Luddite, but he felt like one after a recent visit to his local Best Buy store. Kiley went into the store to purchase a new TV, expecting to pay about $200 for a standard analog television set. But his salesman pressured him to upgrade to a digital TV costing nearly four times as much. "He tried every tactic he could think of," Kiley said of the salesman. The superior sound and picture quality were the first selling points. When that didn't work, the salesman told him a government-mandated transition to digital TV would render the cheaper set useless in two years. "He was adamant that it would be absolutely no good," said Kiley, who walked out of the store in a huff, wondering whether there really was some government mandate forcing him to buy an expensive TV set he didn't want. No such mandate exists right now, but pressure is building. Just as the Best Buy salesman steered Kiley toward a digital TV, so, too, is the government urging all consumers to go digital as part of a wholesale shift to the new broadcast technology. The Federal Communications Commission, partnering with TV manufacturers and retailers, recently launched a educational campaign called "DTV -- Get It!" The federal agency is also requiring TV manufacturers to include digital tuners in more and more of the TVs they sell. The ultimate pressure is the looming deadline for digital TV conversion, a drop-dead date when broadcasters will be required to turn off their analog broadcasts and transmit digital signals exclusively. At that time -- the current target date is the end of 2006, but it's likely to be pushed back to 2008 or 2009 -- consumers with analog TVs will lose their service unless they buy a digital TV or a converter box that would allow them to continue using their existing set. ... http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2004/10/24/will_they_get_the_picture/ ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.