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Parts of U.S. still not ready for digital transition

Wed, 05/28/2008 - 8:25am
Brian Santo

Just less than 10 percent of all U.S. households are completely unready for the digital transition, according to a new report from Nielsen Media Research.

Minority households are least prepared for the transition, according to the report. Further, many people are not updating their second and third TV sets, which Nielsen warns could affect the ratings of early morning and late night TV shows.

Readiness varies market by market, according to the results.

Meanwhile, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is hosting an event today – sponsored by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) – to explain the digital television transition, help consumers understand what it will mean to them and let consumers know how they need to prepare.

The program will focus on the effect of the DTV transition on seniors who, according to Nielsen, are actually among the most well-prepared segments of the population.

Yesterday, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps was in Wilmington, Del., to thank the city and its local broadcasters for being an early testbed for the digital transition.

“There are still a lot of Americans who don’t know precisely what they have to do to make this transition work for them and their TVs,” Copps said, in prepared remarks. “Truth be told, no one has all the answers. That’s one big reason we’re so interested in running a test market – so we can identify any unanticipated problems. And the idea is that we will have the resources here on the ground in Wilmington to fix any such problems as quickly as possible and then be able to prepare for them when the rest of the country makes its transition.”

Copps had been advocating hard – and he got FCC Chairman Kevin Martin to agree – that running a test was critical given the number of technical issues yet to be resolved and with consumer education programs still not fully tested. 

“The bottom line is that the more real-world experience we can get in the next six months, the better off we'll be on February 17, 2009, when the rest of the nation hopefully goes digital,” Copps said.

More Broadband Direct:

• Sony steps up to tru2way plate 

• Parts of U.S. still not ready for digital transition 

• Verizon is steps away from offering FiOS TV in NYC boroughs 

• Akimbo shuts down, looks to sell assets 

• Cisco tightens mobile integration 

• Mickey on-demand: TiVo signs VOD deal with Walt Disney 

• Broadband Briefs for 5/28/08 

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