Thirteen million households unprepared for DTV transition, Nielsen says

February 19, 2008

More than 13 million analog-only TV households today are unprepared for the DTV transition, and another 6 million households have at least one set that won’t work after analog transmission is shut off in February 2009, according to The Nielsen Company.

The company made public those and other findings during its annual client meeting on audience measurement Feb. 15 in Las Vegas. Nielsen’s findings on the nation’s preparedness for the transition shed light on readiness by age, race, ethnicity and geography.

For the past 18 months, the company has reviewed various components of the transition to measure its impact, said Nielsen senior manager Eric Rossi.

Nielsen found that adults older than 55 are better prepared than younger households. The research organization also found that whites and Asians are more ready than blacks. Additionally, it found that more Hispanic households still rely on analog, over-the-air broadcast television than non-Hispanics.

The company’s estimates are based on the same national and local TV ratings samples that are used to generate Nielsen TV ratings. These samples are representative of the total U.S. population and individual local markets.

Nielsen found:

  • 10.1 percent of all households would have no access to TV signals if the transition occurred today;
  • 16.8 percent of all households have at least one analog TV set that would not work after the switch;
  • New York is the most ready local TV market, with just 3.5 percent "unready" TV sets;
  • Portland, OR, is the least prepared local market, with 22.4 percent of all households using only analog sets and over-the-air television.
For more information, visit www.nielsenmedia.com.

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