Converters have done a lot for the cable television industry in the last 20 years. By enabling subscribers television sets to receive more than twelve channels, they have opened up tremendous revenue opportunities as new services have become available. Bv incorporating programmable descramblers into converters, it became possible to secure the increasing revenues from theft of service. Rv adding addressability to the converter descramblers, we can now offer additional revenue-generating services, such as pay-per-view. Over the last twelve years, cable systems have purchased more than 60 million converters from equipment manufacturers, and are expected to buy another 6.4 million units per year through 1991, for a total of 85.6 million converters. With industry projections for a 1991 subscriber base of 50 million, an inventory surplus is mounting. How did we get here? With so many more converters than subscribers, why are new converters still being purchased? And, perhaps most importantly, what can the cable operator do to reduce surplus inventory, yet keep pace with the state of the art?