DTV station mark now more than 500

The total DTV station count now stands at 509, having broken through the 500 mark since last week. DTV is now transmitted in 147 markets reaching more than 90 percent of U.S. households. An additional 299 DTV stations have gone on the air in the last year.

HD over DTV is catching on with broadcasters as the networks plan to broadcast more than 2000 hours of it during the 2002-2003 season. The networks are currently in talks with their program suppliers to bulk up on HD production capabilities.

The CEA has consistently complained that the lack of HD programming was the cause of slow DTV product sales. July sales of DTV products were up 81 percent. The average price of these devices was $1,733. However, STB sales actually dropped during the first seven months of this year, from 79,101 to 44,291 units. The average price of an STB is $499.

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