Fewer US viewers after switchover

A recent ABI Research consumer survey of US terrestrial television viewers revealed that after analogue broadcasting comes to an end, a majority (70 per cent) will attach a digital converter box to their antennas. 10 per cent will switch to cable or satellite services, while a surprising 20 per cent will let the TVs they used for analogue reception "go dark."

According to principal analyst Steve Wilson, "Our survey data suggest that the net result of consumers' choices after analogue switch-off will be a drop in overall terrestrial 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 and telco TV services.

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