How big is the potential television market? One year ago, a Manhattan advertising agency, Newell-Emmett Co., picked a middle-sized city about 40 miles from Manhattan, dubbed it "Videotown" to keep its identity a secret, began keeping tab on the buying habits of its 40,000 citizens.

Checking every rooftop in every street, double-checking with dealers, Newell-Emmett researchers reached all the TV owners in Videotown. Last week they published the results of their first year's study.

The boom in television, they found, was even bigger than they had guessed. Videotown's most startling statistic: a year ago, one out of every 50 families owned...

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