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Some over-the-air viewers will give up TV after transition

On Feb. 17, 2009, about one-fifth of existing over-the-air TV viewers will let their sets “go dark,” according to a new survey by ABI Research. If true, 20 percent of current OTA viewers will give up their TV after the transition.

About 10 percent of viewers will switch to cable or satellite services, while 70 percent plan to attach a digital-to-analog converter box to their TVs, the ABI survey found. No mention was made of whether those viewers would have to install new antennas, as other surveys have found they will.

“Our survey data suggest that the net result of consumers’ choices after analog switch-off will be a drop in overall terrestrial viewing,” said Steve Wilson, a principal analyst at ABI Research.

The firm conducted the Web-based survey of 1002 U.S. consumers in April 2008.