Survey Says: Digital TV Comes in Better than Analog

WASHINGTON: Just as the FCC addressed problems with DTV reception, the broadcast lobby fired off flak about the wonders of it. The NAB's latest survey found that 75 percent of households relying entirely on over-the-air television have better reception in digital rather than analog TV.

Among those households, 47 percent reported a "major improvement" in reception. The poll also found that 54 percent of broadcast-only TV households were receiving more channels since buying a new digital TV set within the past 18 months. Eight percent of respondents said they were receiving fewer channels.

Jonathan Collegio, the NAB's point person for the DTV transition, nonetheless suggested that "antenna television viewers… upgrade and test their equipment early to learn about any reception or technical difficulties in their areas and whether a new antenna may be necessary."

The NAB derived its results from a phone survey of 1,080 broadcast-only households, conducted by SmithGeiger LLC March 26 through April 8.

Despite the NAB survey results, there are known coverage gaps with DTV signals. The FCC on Friday took steps to rectify the situation by issues rules on new digital translators. FCC's new DTV translator order ("FCC Issues Replacement Translator Order") is aimed out households that lose reception all together. -- Deborah D. McAdams