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Cities More Prepared for Digital Switchover than Rural

23 Feb, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

With the complete digital television transition delayed until summer, research firm Centris has updated its figures on the number of people who will be affected by the analog shut-off.

Of the more than 14.5 million U.S. households getting their TV primarily via over-the-air analog, about 6 million are prepared for the transition, either by buying a digital converter box or subscribing to a pay TV service. However, the remaining households are located in rural areas where a digital converter box may not work.

“[They] are located in physical areas where using existing antennas will result in trouble with signal reception (‘antenna gap’),” Centris reported. “The result: a large number of TV viewers will likely require additional options, presenting a market opportunity for service providers.”

Centris also found that in the top 25 markets in America, the level of affected people ranges: in New York it’s only 5%, while in Portland, Ore., it’s nearly 20%. Of all the analog-only homes, almost 40% are renters.

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