Although Circuity City has claimed that its employees are trained and well equipped to handle any questions you may have concerning the digital TV transition, we'd highly recommend taking any advice sales pitches you receive in-store with a sizable spoonful of salt. According to new data from MassPIRG, sales clerks at Best Buy, Circuit City, RadioShack, Target and Wal-Mart "routinely gave inaccurate information about digital TV converter boxes and the government coupon program" when questioned by undercover researchers. Rather than get into what schemes were used (hint: buying a new set was often suggested over picking up an el cheapo converter), here's an overview of the facts. First off, you won't even be affected by the cutover if you receive your local broadcast stations via any means other than over-the-air. Secondly, all that's needed to convert digital OTA signals to signals that your analog set can digest is a (relatively) inexpensive converter box. Lastly, we wouldn't even recommend paying full price for said box -- you know, considering that the government's handing out $40 coupons to anyone who signs up here. So yeah, next time you catch some young buck trying to push that pricey HDTV rather than actually help you out, feel free to put him / her in their place.

[Via Electronic House, image courtesy of StarBulletin]

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PSA: not all big box employees understand the DTV transition