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Bye Bye, Rabbit Ears

antennaddd.jpgAs someone who once lived in a log cabin and often had to run outside to adjust the TV antenna attached to the roof, I have to admit I’m feeling a certain amount of nostalgia now that rabbit ears are going the way of the dodo bird.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced yesterday a digital-to-analog converter subsidy program in advance of the 2/19/09 digital television switchover. One more step toward assuring that the deadline is not delayed again.

Plenty of news organizations have covered the story including CNET, TV Squad, The Washington Post (Reuters) and The Boston Globe (AP). The gist is that if you’re not going to cough up money for a digital TV set, you will at least get a little help to defray the costs ($50-$75) of a converter box in 2009.

I’ve seen numbers before about how many cable customers are already watching digital TV, but I thought I’d go back and double check. As I thought had remembered reading, digital cable subscribers now outnumber analog cable customers in the nation’s two largest cable systems. Of course those figures don’t take into account the many non-cable subscribers in the country, but it’s still an interesting statistic. At the end of 2006, 52% of Comcast cable customers subscribed to digital cable services. 54% of Time Warner Cable customers did the same.

*Note: Photo courtesy of TV Squad