3.1 Mil Households Still Unready for DTV

May 27, 2009  •  Post A Comment

The number of TV households completely unready for the digital transition decreased to 3.1 million, according to Nielsen.
The number represents 2.7% of TV households, down from 2.9% at the time of Nielsen’s last report two weeks ago, which stated that 3.3 million households were unready.
For TVWeek’s comprehensive coverage of the digital television transition, visit the DTV Switch Navigator page.
The other statistics released by Nielsen were in line with the previous report. Although they’ve made improvements, African-Americans, Hispanics and those under age 35 are still the least ready groups, at 5.4%, 4.7% and 5%, respectively.
Additionally, Albuquerque-Santa Fe, N.M., remains the least ready market with 8.40% of households completely unready.
(Editor: Baumann)


  1. Nielsen is notorius for being without-a-clue on house holds that are more than thirty-five miles outside the core of any metro market. (Three point one million is far too many people and it will be many more than that).
    So we’re just going to “Make-the-Switch” irregardless of the millions that will be left In-the-Dark?
    “In the public interest, necessity and concern”…do any of us remember THAT?
    Not in this corporate run time in our history.
    We are making a big mistake…the digital signals are “on” or “off”. Many viewers soon will have white noise, ONLY.
    I like digital. I use it all the time for pleasure and business…but when it comes to COMMUNICATION, there are other priorities and responsibilities and the cutoff next month will create a vacuum and an “outage” to the rural, the poor and the not-so-few.
    It will come and the damage to many will be what it will be…and that’s too bad and a shame.
    Peter Bright

  2. So what is your threshold for when we’re ready enough to make the switch? What’s the magic number, and why?

  3. @Peter Bright: I disagree completely, and I think the delay from the originally set February 17th date was sufficient enough time to allow consumers to upgrade their analog televisions. We committed to this change over almost a decade ago, and it’s no secret that digital broadcast technology is more efficient and energy friendly. If broadcasters continue to waste resources on broadcasting both analog and digital signals…who should foot the bill for the next delay?

  4. Why should _anybody_ coddle 3 million people… or even if it was 10 million. Before the original Feb. 17th deadline, there was — what felt like — more than a year of warning and a very large ad campaign to promote awareness. Then either dumb and/or lazy Americans of apparently large enough numbers were discovered not to be ready. So the deadline was extended and now surprise, surprise– they STILL aren’t ready. Well, screw them! If you snooze, you lose. They get what they deserve when they turn on TV in a couple of weeks and see nothing. They’ll only have their sloth selves to blame. If they’d ditch those dinosaur inefficient TVs and got a NEW one (LCD or plasma), they’d also save the environment. I guess they’re too stuck in their ways and unwilling ot put the effort to obtain a DTV converter. Nice. Delays for them.

  5. Peter you aren’t very “bright” now are you. So far 42% of all stations have already gone all digital. If there was going to be this big crisis as you predict it would already have started happening. It hasn’t. 35% of all stations have been all digital since Feb 17th. Where is all the chaos? I haven’t heard of any. If anything this is an IMPROVEMNENT for the very people you say are going to be hurt. I can’t wait until June 12th so people like you will go back into the holes you came out of when you’re proven to be so very very wrong.

  6. I think that delaying the digital transition again is unacceptable. What the remaining unprepared people need is a kick in the butt to get prepared. Completing the transition is the perfect kick to get these people moving. Enough coddling the procrastinators.

  7. TV already died about 10 years ago as far as I’m concerned. I’ll be glad when the analog signals go so I won’t have to see them anymore. I’ll upgrade to HD when there’s something actually worth watching on it (and that means NO BUGS!)

  8. Attacking Mr. Bright?
    Why are you folks attacking Mr. Bright when what he says is true. The people who are out-of-the-loop and out-of-funds are the people who will be left in the dark. And there are plenty of them.
    Also, people who live beyond the digital reach will no longer get their snowy signals – but at least they are signals.
    So can you leave the analog running for them? No, I can’t say that is the best solution. Broadcasters pay way too much to send out analog, and this is just a natural technological progression.
    For those who will be left in the dark, maybe analog radio will become their only means of reaching the outside world.

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