Millions Left Behind as TV Goes Digital

As Pedro Ortez and his wife, Wanda, watched Law and Order on Thursday night, they knew that soon after the program finished their screen would fade to static. The TV, which for years had served as the low-income couple's primary source of news and entertainment, turned into an inert box in the center of their apartment on June 12, when broadcasters stopped sending analog television signals and switched completely to digital. "Television is one of those few small pleasures in life," said Ortez, an unemployed 40-year-old custodian from the Bronx, N.Y. "It keeps us connected to the outside world."

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