Now Just 6.8 Percent Completely Unprepared

That’s still more than 7 million households.

According to Nielsen’s latest numbers, 6.8 percent of U.S. television households are completely unready for the end of full-power analog TV in February.

That’s still more than 7 million households without a TVs equipped with a DTV tuner or converter box or connected to cable or satellite. But it’s another steady improvement, down from 7.4 percent of the nation that was unprepared a month ago and 9.8 percent unready back in May 2008.

Nielsen found 10 percent of the nation is partially unready, meaning at least one television in the home is not about to receive DTV signals. That’s down from 10.3 percent a month ago.

Readiness among Hispanic households improved by nearly a percentage point, but still 11.5 percent of Hispanic households are completely unready, compared to just 6.2 percent of non-Hispanic households.

The Nielsen study continues to show that households headed by older people are more likely to be prepared, but the study does not say whether that’s due to a greater rate of cable and satellite subscription or a greater rate of converter box installation.

Among the 56 markets studied by Nielsen, Albuquerque, N.M., is the least prepared, with more than 13 percent of households unready. Tulsa, Okla., Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and Salt Lake City round out the bottom five for preparedness.

The most ready market Nielsen measured is Hartford-New Haven, Conn., where just 2.6 percent are completely unready, followed by Atlanta, Boston-Manchester, West Palm Beach and New York.