About 8.5 million OTA households in danger of DTV reception trouble

A total of 8.5 million households nationwide that rely primarily on off-air reception for their TV signals are located in areas where the use of existing antennas will result in reception problems, such as “antenna gap” or other technical challenges, according to a new report from marketing intelligence firm Centris.

The number, 58 percent of all U.S. households that rely on over-the-air signals as their primary source of television, does not take into account those among the 42 percent who live in areas where there should be no reception problem but have failed to acquire and install a DTV converter box.

In early 2008, Centris released similar statistics that set off a controversy within the TV industry regarding the validity of the firm’s forecast. At that time, the company estimated 9.2 million such households would encounter geographically related reception problems. The downward revision reflects a decline in the number of OTA households since the original estimate.

Bill Beaumont, president of Centris, sees the DTV transition as an opportunity for service providers, manufacturers and retailers wishing to tap into this substantial market. “We expect this opportunity will not end on Feb. 17, 2009, but continue well into the year as consumers embrace new service providers and seek new TV reception solutions," he said.

For more information, visit www.centris.com.