Five percent of U.S. households unprepared for DTV

With President Barack Obama’s signing of legislation to delay the DTV transition until June 12, procrastinators, those requiring extra help and the uninformed have a few more months to prepare. But how many households still aren’t ready?

A total of 5.8 million U.S. households — 5.1 percent of all homes — are not ready and would be unable to receive TV signals from full-power stations if the switchover happened tomorrow, according to figures released Feb. 5 by The Nielsen Company.

That’s down 700,000 households since the company measured readiness at the end of January.

The findings break down unpreparedness by household age and ethnicity. As of Feb. 1, the figures show 4.1 percent of white households were completely unprepared; 8.7 percent of African-American households had taken no steps; 85 percent of Hispanic households had done nothing; and 6.3 percent of Asian households had not prepared. A greater percentage of younger households — those under 35 years of age — are unprepared than those over 55: 8.6 percent vs. 3.2 percent.

By market, the research organization found Albuquerque-Santa Fe, NM; Houston; Tulsa, OK; and Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin, TX, are the metros with the highest percent of unprepared households.