More than half of US homes already have digital TVs: report

Posted by Mark Raby

Los Angeles (CA) - Just before the government kicks into gear for the beginning of the transition away from analog signals, the Consumer Electronics Association says over 50% of American households are already prepared.

CEA president Gary Shapiro said, "We have hit a critical threshold."  According to the industry group, around 57 million Americans own a digital television.

On February 17, 2009, all analog signals will be switched off to open up that spectrum for other uses in the country.  However, politicians have showed concern over the public not being educated on the shift.  There is more confusion over what the change-over will actually entail.  Some consumers think they need to buy a new TV, even an HDTV, which is an idea perpetuated by some media reports and local TV spots.

All that an analog TV owner needs is a converter box that will transform the required digital signal to one that will work on the old TV set.  These will cost around $60, and people are able to apply for two coupons each worth $40 off one of these devices.