In sufficient quantity the digital tuner won't be very expensive at all. But getting to the point where this happens is the problem; in a price-competitive industry with very small margins, manufacturers aren't usually interested in being the first out there to force people into a new tuner. But if everyone has to do it at the same time, it might be possible. Yes, equipment will become unusable without a separate receiver; that's why a phase-in period was established. Digital television is not something brand new sprung on us today and given 2 yearsw to completely replace analog broadcasts; this stuff has been in existence for years, and many stations have broadcast digitally for years. We're just now reaching a period where people can actually believe a critical mass can occur.