Nine million U.S. households completely unready for DTV transition

October 21, 2008

Figures released Oct. 15 by The Nielsen Company reveal that more than 9 million households in the United States remain unprepared for the February 2009 DTV transition.

Additionally, 12.6 million other households have at least one TV set that will not work after analog transmitters go dark Feb. 17, 2009. Taken together, the findings equate to nearly one in five U.S. households being partially or completely unready for the transition, according to Nielsen.

Between May 1 and Sept. 1, the number of fully unprepared households decreased 1.4 percentage points to 8.4 percent of all U.S. TV households, Nielsen said.

The research organization found that households headed by less educated, lower income and blue collar workers are the least prepared. Additionally, it found older white households are better prepared than younger African-American, Asian or Hispanic households.

Other findings include:

  • About 13 percent of Hispanic households are completely unready for the transition; a quarter of households that speak only or mostly Spanish are completely unprepared.
  • Almost 13 percent of African-American households are completely unready.
  • Households with annual incomes lower than $25,000 per year are five times more likely to be unprepared than those earning more than $75,000.
  • Households whose head of the house possess lower than a high school diploma are twice as unlikely to be ready compared to those with college degrees.
  • Households headed by those with blue collar occupations are about 75 percent more likely to be unready than those headed by white collar workers.

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