Consumer advocates on Wednesday warned that up to 80 million television sets could go dark after a transition to digital broadcast signals and said the government should help owners get special converter boxes. ¶ About 15 percent of U.S. households rely on over-the-air television signals, and about 39 percent of households have at least one television that is not connected to satellite or cable television service, according to a survey by Consumers Union and the Consumer Federation of America. ... Link: Reuters.
See also Dualing Numbers: Consumer Advocates Toss New Data Into DTV Debate (Link: National Journal) and This Time Around, Consumer Groups More Involved In DTV Debate (Link: National Journal). These articles always fail to point out that the over-the-air (OTA) reliance varies enormously by market and, ironically for Chairman Stevens, who's pushing this in the Senate, and Chairman Barton, who's pushing it in the House, Alaska and Texas have the highest OTA percentages in the country -- 40% by my calculation in the highest market, Harlingen, Texas. --Dennis