AfterDawn: Tech news

US DTV conversion likely to boost cable subscriptions

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 15 Feb 2008 23:46 User comments (5)

US DTV conversion likely to boost cable subscriptions When analog TV broadcasts are shut off for good in the U.S. in almost exactly 1 year (Februrary 17, 2009) some people with analog televisions will be using their new DTV converters, while others will find themselves suddenly without reception entirely. A third group, though, will be avoiding the problem altogether and just signing up for Cable Television service.
According to a report from Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. on Friday, around 1.4 million households will probably switch to pay TV service as a result of the digital TV transition - enough to significantly lift the growth rates for the cable industry in 2009, compared to recent years.

Watchdog group Consumers Union is keeping an eye on cable and satellite providers to ensure they don't try to boost subscriptions by spreading misinformation about the transition. So far no such tricks have been spotted, but senior counsel Chris Murray says "We want the folks in the marketplace to know that we're watching."

If you're in the U.S. and need up to two of the 33 million available vouchers, you can apply online at or call the 24-hour hot line, 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009). You can also fax a coupon application to 1-877-DTV-4ME2 (1-877-388-4632) or mail one to P.O. Box 2000, Portland, OR 97208-2000. The program expires March 31, 2009.

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5 user comments

116.2.2008 1:42

We get crappy, compressed signals and the cable fatcats get fatter.

216.2.2008 18:10

I won't switch. Over the air HD is great for sports and thats all I watch that gets broadcast. Everything else that I like I either get from Netflix or its HD torrents each week. I'd switch if cable internet by itself was cheaper than my home phone and DSL service.

319.2.2008 1:44

Yep it's a win-win situation...... For everyone but the consumer!

Beware if you get one of those coupons you must use it in 90 days or it's no good AND you only get them once. Oh by the way those convertors I'm guessing are going to be a tad more expensive than the $40 coupon you get!

416.3.2008 17:48

The converter boxes are around $150-200. So do the math. You have 4 TV's in your house that is $400. Now you get one coupon for $40. It won't even cover the cost for one TV let alone 4 of them. It would actually be cheaper and more rewarding to buy cable TV for one year. Or at least subscribe to the fastest internet possible at 10MB/s and hopefully the don't delay bittorrent. You could subscribe to Graboid for around $30 for a platinum plan and get tons of movies and TV shows and not worry about the cost for a converter box or cable. Then your on your way for some real home entertainment.

59.4.2008 5:33

More complication on a thing that should be making a smooth transition.

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