Progress continues on household DTV preparations

Slow, steady progress toward total U.S. household preparation for the DTV transition continues, according to the latest tally from The Nielsen Company, with the percentage of homes completely unprepared shrinking to 4.4 percent.

As of Feb. 18, when the latest numbers were released, more than 5 million U.S. households have done nothing to prepare for the switch-off of analog TV transmission. The figure represents continued progress, albeit slow, in completing necessary preparations for the conversion. Earlier this month, the federal government postponed the original DTV transition deadline from Feb. 17 to June 12 largely because of the millions of over-the-air TV viewers who had not made the necessary preparations to maintain TV service.

The latest numbers from Nielsen represents an improvement of more than 800,000 homes since Nielsen reported readiness status at the beginning of February.

Among the 56 local markets that Nielsen measures with electronic meters, the one that is least ready is Albuquerque-Santa Fe, NM, with 11.7 percent of the households completely unready. The most prepared market is Hartford-New Haven, CT, with only 1.2 percent of homes unready. Both markets held these positions in January and at the beginning of February.