I got my little envelope of analog entertainment life extension this weekend courtesy of Uncle Sam. According to Broadcast & Cable, Gary Shapiro, head of the Consumer Electronics Association, says that the government should give consumers more time to redeem the coupons. There has already been some online discussion advising consumers to wait for prices to come down before using their coupons but, really, with Wal-Mart enabling consumers to keep over-the-air goodness flowing into a chunky channel changer for less than $10, there’s not much incentive left to delay.
While CEA has a much better consumer-friendly track record than trade organizations for, say, content industries, it’s still a bit counterintuitive that Gary, whose organization represents the world’s largest TV manufacturers, backs a product that delays the purchase of a new digital television. It leads one to question how big an impact the analog cutoff will have on TV buying. I’m sure there will be a bump, particularly in smaller screen sizes. However, particularly with a shaky economy, it will be challenging to convince those prepared to make an under-$50 investment to a digital television at mainstream sizes.