Now Playing: The USA will do this in 2 years - The Netherlands did it Monday
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AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - The Netherlands ended transmission of "free to air" analog television Monday, becoming the first nation to switch completely to digital signals.
Few Dutch consumers noticed, because the overwhelming majority get TV via cable. Only around 74,000 households relied primarily on the old-fashioned TV antennas in this country of 16 million, although 220,000 people had an "occasional use" set somewhere such as in a vacation house, camper or boat, according to government figures.
Last year in the USA, it was estimated that 21 million U.S. households do not get cable or satellite service and rely solely on free over-the-air TV. Consumers Union estimated an additional 20 million homes that have cable or satellite do not have all of their TV sets hooked up to the service and would need converter boxes, too.
Most developed countries have already begun testing or broadcasting digital TV signals on some bandwidths.
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