Half of U.S. Households Own a Digital TV

Dec 28, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Congressmen may be complaining about the lack of government promotion and oversight of the nation’s transition from analog to digital television, but consumers appear to be marching out on their own to buy digital TV sets.
The Consumer Electronics Association said today that more than half of U.S. households—57 million—now own at least one set capable of receiving digital TV without a converter. Those sets, with an antenna, now can receive broadcasters’ new secondary multicast signals.
“We have crossed a critical threshold,” said Gary Shapiro, president-CEO of the CEA. He predicted 2008 will continue to demonstrate DTV’s growth and success.
The country switches from analog TV signals to digital on Feb. 17, 2009, meaning existing analog sets that are not hooked up to cable or satellite boxes will require converters or will have to be replaced.
At several recent Capitol Hill hearings, House Democrats and some Republicans have complained about the lack of publicity about the transition, saying the FCC isn’t doing enough to lead the way or to monitor whether consumers are getting sufficient information.
The Consumer Electronics Association kicks off its annual show in Las Vegas Jan. 7. Mr. Shapiro predicts the switchover will fuel a big year for TV sales, with nearly 32 million units being shipped; high-definition is expected to account for 79% of those.
The CEA has scheduled a news conference during its Consumer Electronics Show to unveil plans for ramping up promotion of messages about the digital transition.
The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration on Tuesday will begin letting consumers sign up for coupons that provide a discount to buy converter boxes that allow analog sets to get digital signals. The boxes are expected to sell at $60 to $80 and the coupons offer a $40 credit.
Starting Tuesday consumers without satellite or cable can call 888-388-2009 or go to www.dtv2009.gov to request the coupons, which expire in 90 days. Major consumer electronics retailers have agreed to start redeeming the coupons Feb. 15.


  1. The real question should be, what percentage of households that rely on OTA for locals have a digital TV, including households that don’t subscribe to cable or satellite and satellite subscribers subscribers who don’t have access to locals for one reason or another (including those who live in a market that has locals via satellite but can’t get them because of line of sight issues)

  2. In answer to KyL416 very few households that now depend on OTA even have a notion that they will need to buy a converter box and BY THE WAY install an antenna and deal with the new problems of DIGITAL reception and the cliff affect.
    No small matter considering the US has the worst digital TV modulation in the world by a number of orders of magnitude.
    No wonder broadcasters and retailers have ignored the OTA digital transition for almost TEN years now.

  3. Where do I purchase a converter box for my TV
    that is not hd? I signed up for the coupon from the government. Thankyou

  4. Can i please get coupons, thank you for letting no this, Harvey

  5. Couldn’t be more impressed with this website and the great content. Please keep up the good work. Good, informative sites are getting harder and harder to find.

  6. Keep focusing on your blog. I love how we can all express our feelings. This is an extremely nice blog here 🙂

  7. Nice!! Great Ifo. Great People. Great Blog. Thank you for all the great sharing that is being done here.

  8. Interesting layout on your blog. I really enjoyed reading it and also I will be back to read more in the future.

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)