Free over-the-air TV poised for a comeback?

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An APTS survey (press release) found that more than 40 percent of current over-the-air households would rather continue to get their TV over-the-air after the DTV transition, via converter box or new digital TV, than subscribe to a cable or satellite provider (12 percent said they’d sign on to a pay service). A total of 44 percent of respondents said they would wither didn’t know how they’d adapt to the Feb. 17, 2009 analog shut-off or would “do nothing.” That said, early demand for the government’s $40 converter box subsidies has been strong. The program officially started Jan. 1 and in the first week they were available, nearly 2 million consumers requested the coupons, due to be mailed out beginning in February. At least one major consumer electronics exec is nervous that the industry will be able to meet the demand.