Nielsen Media Research estimates the number of households that are not ready for the upcoming DTV transition is down to 4.5 million, or about 3.9% of all TV households.
That projection is down by over half a million (570,00 homes) since Nielsen's mid-February status report, when the total was 5.1 million and unreadiness was at 4.4%.
Albuquerque-Santa Fe remains the least prepared market at a hair under 10%, down from 12% in mid-February.
Nielsen defines completely unready as homes without cable or satellite service and without a TV with a digital tuner or a DTV-to-analog converter box hooked up. The ratings company concedes some of those homes could have the converter boxes, just not hooked up yet.
The National Association of Broadcasters has taken issue with the un-readiness figure. In a release Wednesday, NAB suggested that the early returns on the Feb. 17 switch of 421 stations to DTV broadcasts suggested that there weren't any major problems, that there hadn't been a flood of calls to stations it had checked with and that most of the issues resolved over the phone, a point NAB president David Rehr reiterated at an FCC meeting Thursday on the status of the transition.
For more, read B&C's story here.