Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Retailers Provide DTV Education, But Is It Enough?

Lately, the questions from property owners surrounding next year's transition to all-digital TV have started to increase. Don't worry if you not familiar with this ... most of your residents aren't, either.

Both broadcasters and retailers are taking steps to educate consumers. Circuit City was the latest to step in, announcing this week that they would launch a year-long education campaign in advance of the February 2009 switch. This follows announcements from Best Buy and Wal-Mart about similar programs earlier this week.

As part of the effort, Circuit City will present an interactive web forum with Sound & Vision Magazine on Feb. 19. Both Circuit City and Best Buy will start stocking DTV converter boxes the weekend of Feb. 17 in preparation for the first round of coupon buyers.

So I ask, will it be enough? As a property owner or manager, are you making any special efforts to educate your residents (and your staff) that they might be affected by this impending change? Folks expect to be able to come home, fall onto the couch and tune into their favorite programs ... especially now that they'll have something to watch besides reality shows.

And besides your residents, have you looked at how this will affect your own TVs throughout your community? Any TV that is already connected to a set-top box from a cable or satellite company won't be affected by this at all, but my guess is that many properties still have analog TVs in fitness centers, lounges and other common areas that are about to become expensive paperweights.

Now might be the time for a conversation with your video service provider and a quick property audit to determine how much February 17, 2009 will affect you.

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