3.1% of U.S. Homes Still Not Ready for DTV Switchover

May 1, 2009  •  Post A Comment

The number of U.S. homes that would lose all broadcasting if the planned analog-to-digital broadcast switchover took place today fell to about 3.5 million, or 3.1% of U.S. households, as many Hispanic families made the necessary adjustments to continue to receive programming, Nielsen said in a statement today.
Albuquerque-Santa Fe, N.M., remains the least prepared U.S. metropolitan area for the switchover, which is set for June 12.
For TVWeek’s comprehensive coverage of the digital television transition, visit the DTV Switch Navigator page.
About 100,000 households became digital broadcast-ready during the two weeks ended April 26, with the number of unprepared Hispanic households falling by almost half a percentage point, Nielsen said. About 5% of Hispanic homes remain unprepared for the switchover, which was bumped back from its original Feb. 17 date.
The percentage of U.S. homes that would go dark after the switchover has fallen about 2% in the past three months as more people either add service with a cable or satellite company, buy a digital-ready television or acquire a digital-to-analog converter box in a government-sponsored program. As of April 29, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration had spent more than $1.4 billion sending out about 56 million coupons to defray the cost of converter boxes.
Albuquerque-Santa Fe, the least prepared metropolitan market a month ago, remains in that position, with 8.8% of the area’s homes completely unready for the switchover, Nielsen said today. By comparison, fewer than 1% of homes in Providence, R.I.-New Bedford, Mass., Hartford-New Haven, Conn., Baltimore and Oklahoma City would go dark if the switchover took place today, according to Nielsen.


  1. I think the official switch should be delayed till we get that down to under 1%. Doesn’t anybody else agree? 😉

  2. Broadcasters have already wasted too much time and too much money due to the delay. Furthermore the people whom aren’t ready probably just don’t care. And who can blame them, TV is still a “vast wasteland.” If they want news, they can get it elsewhere.

  3. It never should have been delayed the first time. The people who haven’t done it by now either don’t care or they are procrastinators who need the change to happen before they are motivated to do anything about it. Some people are just like that. Make the switch already!!

  4. Administration can’t make the switch right now. Must wait until June. President’s too busy reminding us to wash our hands and cover our mouths when we cough.

  5. Broadcasters can make the switch anytime they want to. The majority have done so already. Administration (feds) only gave the public a false sense that the delay was mandatory. Obama only gave our tax dollars away to exend the date and add dollars to the coupon program. One more reason the countries debt has increased. Stimulus package….what stimulus package???

  6. This is what happens when government interferes with the market place. The transition to digital would have been seamless if the natural forces of market competition were not artificially manipulated. This bit of socialism was instituted by the former republican FCC chairman and is supported and promoted by Gary Shapiro (CEA). If the market had been left to true consumer demand, TV vendors would have continued to offer analog 4:3 CRT TV’s. During the recent economic turn down, consumer TV product choices could have included sub $200 analog TV offers from US retailers. This would have driven people into stores offering CE products, boosting CE industry sales and saving jobs. Instead, retailers are relegated to offering higher priced LCD HDTV’s leaving many consumers wishing for a new TV. Worst yet, the people in this country who are poor or newly poor, must now spend precious dollars to buy a converter box. In others words, this is a “gate fee” to watch what was free access to broadcast TV over the public airwaves. Now, to add insult to injury, each US NTIA certified converter box manufacturer must pay South Korean LG a $5.00 license fee to use their required video chip. Yes, every American consumer who must buy a converter box is being taken advantage of by having to support by US Law that results in fees to LG plus an addition $4.00 or more in license fees, to other license holders to access what used to be “Free TV”. This amounts to 10’s of millions of dollars taken out of American consumer’s pockets at the worst possible time since the 1930’s.
    Congress needs to investigate who benefits from this forced transition. Meanwhile, the public remains ripped off!

  7. Face it, there will always be people that aren’t ready, so cram it down their throat and make them get off the pot. I’m so tired of irresponsible people that blame everyone else except where the blame should be leveled. The mirror.Screw em….

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