UPDATE, 3:09 p.m.: What exactly is free? Not to taint the effort, but just so you know how Geek Squad is able to offer this service for free, I did more research. Here’s the answer: “Taxpayers paying $99 per ‘free’ Geek Squad DTV installation”
With 14 days to go before the nation’s TV networks switch to digital broadcasts (thus leaving many older, analog TV watchers in the dark), I wondered if someone was going to step up and offer to install digital converter boxes.
Well, Best Buy’s Geek Squad has stepped up.
And it’s offering digital converter box installation for FREE to the first 10,700 people. That’s right, totally, absolutely free. No purchase from Best Buy required. Those who take the Best Buy’s tech support up on its offer can use a box they bought from a competitor. And it could be a box purchased last week, last month or even last year.
“The even better news is that (Geek Squad) will hook up converter boxes purchased from any retailer at any time,” confirmed a Best Buy spokesperson.
From now until Tuesday, June 30, Geek Squad will connect up to two DTV converter boxes per house free of charge to the first 10,700 people nationwide. First come, first served. The Western region, which includes Orange County, can handle up to 4,200 installations. The only requirement: the consumer must live in a Geek Squad service area (see below for locations). Besides the box installation, Geek Squad will:
The integration with a VCR is a nice touch I’m sure certain readers will be interested in.
Just so you don’t think that Geek Squad is doing this totally out of the goodness of its hearts, the crew was picked by the Federal Communications Commission, which is the government division overseeing the whole switch to digital broadcasts. Read the update on this: “Taxpayers paying $99 per ‘free’ Geek Squad DTV installation.”
While most of the nation is ready for the June 12 deadline, some 3.3 million households nationwide still need to upgrade their TVs to one that accepts the new digital signals — or face life without broadcast TV.
The Geek Squad free service is available in 31 states (listed below), and interested TV viewers can contact the company 877-BBY-DTV9 (877-229-3889) 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. CST daily. Should more than 10,700 consumers request the service, there is a small possibility that Geek Squad will up the number, according to a company representative.
The following states are part of the Geek Squad freebie:
More digital TV transition news:
Check out the Gadgetress Guide to the Digital TV transition
More TV news: