Lawmakers eager to speed the transition to digital television said Thursday the government may need to help millions of low-income Americans keep their analog TVs working. ¶ About 21 million homes, or 19 percent of U.S. households, get their TV signals at no cost using over-the-air antennas. They would be useless by the end of 2006 - the date Congress would like the digital shift to be complete - without also using a converter box. ...¶... A GAO study released at the hearing said the cost of the subsidy program could increase to between $1.8 billion and $10.6 billion if lawmakers also decided to subsidize a similar converter box for cable and satellite subscribers who could not get digital reception. Most lawmakers, though, focused on the homes that received just antenna TV reception. ... Link: washingtonpost.com.