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Some U.S. Viewers Ready to Abandon TV

Analog broadcast television will come to an end in the United States on February 17, 2009. Although many U.S. viewers subscribe to cable or satellite TV services, apparently 15 percent still use a traditional TV antenna.

A recent ABI Research survey of U.S. terrestrial television viewers revealed that after analog broadcasting comes to an end, a majority (70 percent) will attach a digital converter box to their antennas.

Ten percent will switch to cable or satellite services. A surprising 20 percent will do the unthinkable -- they'll let the TVs they used for analog reception "go dark" forever.

According to principal analyst Steve Wilson, "Our survey data suggest that the net result of consumer's choices after analog switch-off will be a drop in overall terrestrial TV viewing. Terrestrial viewers tend to be more likely to use alternative video entertainment forms such as DVD rentals and broadband video and the transition may push them further in that direction."

The survey also examined the preferences of those viewers who have upgraded to high definition television, and found that while satellite HD services are attracting more subscribers, these viewers are not deserters from cable -- rather, they are former users of terrestrial broadcast and telco TV services.

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