With just a few days more than a year to go until analog TV signals cease on Feb. 17, 2009, the Nielsen Co. said that more than 13 million households across the nation are not ready for the transition to all-digital signals.
The 13 million households have TV sets that can only receive analog signals, while another six million households have at least one TV that will no longer work once the analog signals cease.
TV viewers have three choices in order to avoid losing their signals when the deadline passes: buy a digital TV, use a converter box or subscribe to a cable, satellite or telco service.
“The change to all-digital broadcasting is the most significant change in the history of television, because unlike other advances such as color, older television sets will no longer be able to receive television signals without a converter,” explained Eric Rossi, senior manager of product leadership and the leader of Nielsen’s digital transition preparedness team. “Over the past 18 months, we have been reviewing every aspect of the digital transition to measure the impact and help clients understand where things stand as we all prepare for the challenges.”
Nielsen found that adults ages 55 and older are more prepared than younger households; and that Caucasian and Asians consumers are more ready than African-Americans. More Hispanic households still rely on analog, over-the-air broadcast TV than non-Hispanics.
The survey results for the digital transition varied by market. New York is the most prepared for the transition, with just 3.5 percent having “unready” TV sets, while Portland, Ore., is the least prepared, with more than 22.4 percent of all households using analog sets or over-the-air TVs.
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