DTV Switch: 5 Mil Homes Not Ready

Feb 18, 2009  •  Post A Comment

More than 5 million U.S. households, or 4.4% of homes, aren’t ready for the switch to digital television signals, Nielsen Co. said today.
The new numbers were released the day after more than 400 stations threw the switch, ending analog broadcasts. The readiness numbers show improvement from two weeks ago, when 5.1% of homes were not ready for the switch.
For TVWeek’s comprehensive coverage of the digital television transition, visit the DTV Switch Navigator page.
People under 35 years old, African Americans and Hispanics are among the demographics least ready for the switch to digital television.
Albuquerque-Santa Fe ranked as the least ready U.S. market, with 11.7% of households unprepared for the DTV transition, Nielsen said. Houston, Tulsa, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin and Memphis were among markets where more than 7% of homes would lose signals if the whole country switched to digital broadcasts today.
Hartford and New Haven, Conn., counted as the most prepared market, with 1.2% homes still needing to take action to get ready for the final switch to digital on June 12.


  1. Hmm… With all the ads on TV and newspaper, if 4.4% of the homes are not ready, what will it take to get them ready?
    How low must the percentage go before it is “acceptable”?
    If the screen goes blank, they’ll get ready or not watch TV.

  2. My favorite reference so far comes from press coverage and a comment from Joe Glynn, VP of Engineering at WVIA in PA:

    He said most callers acknowledge that they only have themselves to blame for procrastinating.
    “Everybody admits it’s their fault,” he said. “They knew it was coming. Some people seemed to be mad at themselves for not doing something sooner.”

  3. Don’t be so quick to judge here. I am on the waiting list for two converters. Once I get them, it is bye bye Comcast and the monthly fees. I used to install antennae years ago, and frankly can’t wait to cut the cord and save money. If the government is handing out DA units why bother paying for them?

  4. I think the previous comment is a cause of much of the problem, too many people that got coupons that didn’t really need them so now they ran out. You are on the waiting list for the coupons, not the converters. If you can currently pay for cable then you should be able to afford to go buy the converters and then start saving your monthly fees. Just because the government is handing something out doesn’t mean you have to take it.

    1) This digital transition could be the greatest boost to population growth as millions of Americans realize they need to do something to kill the boredom of no late night or daytime TV.
    2)These people weren’t ever going to be ready for Digital TV until you forced them into it by turning the Switch!
    3) I for one am so tired of seeing the Television infomercials, warnings, and reminders of the switch to Digital that I HATE Congress for adding to the analog TV life. This only prolongs the agony of watching TV at all. And, the procrastinators still won’t be ready by June.
    4) Will the crime statistics show the increase in thefts of NEW Digital TVs from home break ins because they didn’t have a converter box or a coupon?

  6. If I had my way, they would never have delayed the transition. It’s all political anyway. The democrats didn’t want to be blamed if the switch didn’t go well, they had the votes, so they put it off. It was never about the public good. I watched the debate that day on c-span and every republican was against the the delay while every democrate was for the delay. If that’s not political, I don’t know what is.
    The same group of people won’t be ready on June 12th either. If the public don’t care enough about TV to go out and buy a little box for $50.00 to continue their free TV, then let them listen to the radio. I don’t feel sorry for any of them. They saw the commercials for months, they didn’t act, so who cares if they watch TV or not. The only way you’re going to get every TV hooked up in America is to go out to their house, give them a free converter box, hook it up for them, and then show them how to use it.

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