9 Million Homes Still Unprepared For DTV Transition: Nielsen


The number of TV households that are unready for the Feb. 17, 2009, digital television transition now stands at 9 million homes, a decline of 1.4 % since May, according to The Nielsen Co.

That translates to about 8.4 % of U.S. TV homes.

The TV ratings firm has determined that Houston, among the 56 markets it monitors with electronic meters, is the least prepared for the DTV date, with an estimated 15.8% homes completely unready (the research was conducted before the effects of Hurricane Ike). Other markets that have much DTV work to do include Dallas-Ft. Worth, Tulsa, Salt Lake City and Milwaukee.

The Ft. Myers/Naples, FL. area is the most ready, with only 2.4% of homes unprepared, according to Nielsen. Other prepared communities are Hartford/New Haven; West Palm Beach/Ft. Pierce, Atlanta and Philadelphia.

One-quarter of all “unready” analog sets are not being used for over-the-air television, the company added. Those sets, primarily in bedrooms and kitchens, are used to view content on DVDs and VCRs or to play video games.

Of those consumers who have acted to prepare for the DTV transition, 38% have removed or replaced the analog-only set; 27% have subscribed to cable or satellite service and 25% have bought a new digital tuner, according to Nielsen.

Those who have not acted to prepare themselves for the transition tend to be less educated, lower income and blue collar, the Nielsen report said.