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Best Buy Steps Up DTV Transition Efforts

Best Buy has launched an in-store campaign to help prepare consumers for the looming analog broadcast cutoff.

Beginning Feb. 1, all TVs on display in every Best Buy store in the country began running a “Blackout Prevention Day” video twice an hour. The clip, which educates consumers on the DTV transition, will run at least through Feb. 18. A bill to delay the digital conversion until June is currently before the House.

In addition, a script will be read once an hour over the public address system in 83 participating Best Buy stores, urging consumers to prepare now for the DTV transition and reminding them of their options.

Also, a DTV handout will be given to consumers and placed in bags as they leave the store, and all cashiers, Home Theater department sales staff and Geek Squad installers will wear “Blackout Prevention” T-shirts on Tuesday, Feb. 17.

Separately, Best Buy took over Washington’s Constitution Hall on Jan. 20 to create an indoor “viewing party” for President Obama’s inauguration. The company equipped the building with large-screen TVs, allowing up to 3,700 visitors at a time to watch the day’s events, while Geek Squad Agents and Best Buy “blue shirt” employees provided free help with anticipated technology issues, including mobile phone and email disruptions brought on by the million-plus crowd.

The company also created a “pop-up store” inside the building, where visitors could purchase memory cards, camcorders, batteries, chargers, GPS units and other accessories for the inauguration.