TV Stations Complete Shift to Digital
Millions of American viewers could lose signal today
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 12, 2009 11:00 AM CDT
Community educator Ali Radheyyan shows a group of people how the switch over to digital television at the Immigration Refugee Community Organization in Portland, Ore., Thursday, June 11, 2009.    (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
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(Newser) – As the US completes the shift to digital TV today, viewers in more than 2 million households will see nothing but static, according to Nielsen and broadcasters’ estimates. Those without signals are likely to be from poorer, rural, and older demographics, the Wall Street Journal reports—though Nielsen research finds that elderly people are the "most ready," TVNewsday notes.

Some 82% of those relying on antennas are ready for the switch, broadcasters say. The delay could be a boon to digital TV makers; sales have risen 32% this year, but that may be due to lower prices. The shift could also help cable providers; Comcast has created a “rapid response” team to get cable to homes fast. But broadcasters already stung by the recession could suffer if some viewers abandon TV altogether.