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Few Consumers Redeeming DTV Converter Box Coupons

More than 25 million North American television sets will not work after February without the digital TV converter boxes.

Less than 6% of respondents in a recent survey have redeemed digital television converter box coupons.

The survey of 800 North American consumers found that 23% of respondents have at least one television set that receives over-the-air signals.

Almost 40% of those with antenna-dependent television sets have no other means to view television, according to the NPD Group.

That means more than 25 million television sets will not work without the converter boxes, said representatives from DisplaySearch, an NPD Group company.

"While more than half of the consumers surveyed felt that the issues surrounding the end of analog broadcasting have been adequately communicated, it's surprising to see such a small percentage of the converter box coupons redeemed to date," Paul Gagnon, director of North America TV market research for DisplaySearch, said in a statement.

"This could be attributed to a lack of urgency on the part of consumers given that the analog cutoff date is still almost five months away, or they may be waiting to see if large price declines materialize for digital TVs during the holiday season," he said. "However, if a large number of consumers wait until the last minute, there could be problems satisfying the surge in demand for converter boxes all at once -- ultimately leaving some in the dark."

DisplaySearch presented an in-depth analysis of the survey at the sixth annual HDTV Conference last month. A related report -- which also covers consumer interest, plans, and adoption rates around technologies like video on demand, Blu-ray, and video sharing -- is available for $1,500.

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