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Best Buy, Circuit City Bow Digital TV Information Channels

20 Aug, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

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Determined to avoid confusion regarding the switch from analog to digital over-the-air TV broadcasts Feb. 17, 2009, Best Buy and Circuit City Aug. 20 separately launched programs aimed at educating consumers.

Best Buy bowed Web site www.askablueshirt.com, which lets consumers access its home theater experts and find digital broadcast transition relevant information. In addition the Minneapolis-based consumer electronics retailer launched an interactive application on social networking site Facebook, which claims 90 million users worldwide.

Both the site and the Facebook link offer a quiz that combines questions about popular TV shows in the 1980s and ’90s together with DTV questions and answers on the digital transition.

Mike Mohan, SVP with Best Buy, said the site and Facebook application are designed to encourage young people to make sure they are ready for the switchover and to “help family and friends who have not yet prepared.”

No. 2 CE retailer Circuit City opened a toll-free telephone contact center to answer consumers' questions and assist with the purchase of government-approved digital TV converter boxes. The contact center will let consumers redeem government coupons to purchase converter boxes over the telephone.

Contact center associates also will be able to help consumers explore other options for the switchover, including upgrading to digital television sets, or signing-up for cable or satellite service.

The contact center can be reached at 888-280-9382.

"We know the clock is ticking,” said Brian Bradley, SVP, multi-channel at Circuit City. "Our contact center also will be an important new sales channel for people who live in rural areas and for customers who find it inconvenient to visit traditional retail locations."

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