WASHINGTON: LG Electronics said its DTV converter-box hotline got 20,000 last month. As a result, the company is keeping the line and its concomitant Web sites live through the end of the year. LG is administering ConnectYourBox.com and ConecteSuConvertitor.com.
LG’s operators took more than 88,000 calls during the first six months of the year. More than one-fourth were made in January, the month before the anticipated DTV transition deadline before it was extended. Another call spike came in the days around the final June 12 transition date. Most queries were about reception or missing channels. Fewer than 10 percent were about hook-up problems, LG said. During the second quarter, less than one-half a percent of the calls involved problems requiring repairs.
LG said it’s making “final donations” of its Zenith-branded DTV converters to the New Mexico Media Literacy Project in Albuquerque, N.M. The boxes are refurbs, used by feds for public demonstrations. New Mexico markets were among the least prepared for the digital transition. LG said it has donated “hundreds” of converters to community organizations in Albuquerque, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Little Rock, Ark.; Minneapolis, Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Wilmington, N.C.
According to the latest estimate from Nielsen, 1.5 million homes are still without TV reception in the wake of the DTV transition, when the nation’s broadcasters shut down analog transmitters. The number continues to shrink as households hook up digital-to-analog converters, obtain digital TV sets or subscribe to a pay service. The federal government will continue providing $40 coupons for the converter boxes through the end of this month.
-- Deborah D. McAdams
More TVB coverage of the DTV transition:
July 16, 2009: “TV-less Households Now Total 1.5 Million”
Nielsen said today that 200,000 homes have upgraded to digital television in the last two weeks. In the month following the June 12 government-mandated digital TV transition, more than 1 million households have made the switch. This most recent improvement leaves 1.5 million American households, or 1.3 percent, unable to receive digital television signals through the week ending July 12.
July 1, 2009: “More Stragglers Make the Transition”
Another 400,000 homes made the digital transition over the last week, according to the latest Nielsen numbers. Since the June 12 switch to digital television, Nielsen more than 800,000 homes have tuned into DTV. The total number of TV-less homes now stands at 1.7 million, or 1.5 percent of U.S. homes.
June 24, 2009: “U.S. Households With No TV Now Number 2.1 Million”
Over the weekend following the June 12 transition to all-digital broadcasting, Nielsen estimated that around 2.5 million households went without TV. The firm said the total, representing around 2.2 percent of the nation’s TV households, had been completely unprepared for the final switch too all-digital broadcasting. Around 970 of the nation’s 1,800 or so TV stations ceased broadcasting in analog Friday, June 12.