2.8 million homes not ready for digital TV transition

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Posted by madcityradio.com on June 12, 2009 at 18:00:42:

In Reply to: NTIA: 319,990 DTV Coupon Requests Thursday posted by madcityradio.com on June 12, 2009 at 12:30:53:

The Capital Times 6/12/2009 1:19 pm

Throughout the day Friday all TV stations across the country will shut down their analog signals and switch to broadcast only in digital.

The switch impacts people who rely on over-the-air transmissions, who will now need a digital TV or a converter box to translate the signal in a way that older televisions can understand.

According to the Nielsen Company, 2.8 million American households, or about 2.5 percent of the television market, are still unprepared for the transition.

"Since February, when the U.S. government postponed the transition for three months, the number of households that are completely unready has been cut in half -- from 5.8 million to 2.8 million homes," said Sara Erichson, president of media client services at the Nielsen Company.

In the 56 markets that Nielsen, the company that does television ratings, measures, statistics show that young, African-American and Hispanic homes are disproportionately unready, while the elderly are the most ready for the transition.

According to U.S. Rep. Tom Petri (R-Fond du Lac), surveys show that there are still a number of homes in the Madison area that are not prepared for the switch.

In a press release, Petri cautioned that viewers need to have the correct antenna for the new signal.

"Digital signals don't fade the way analog signals do. With the new signals there will be no TV 'ghosts' and no 'snow.' You will either get a high-grade signal or none at all," the release said.

The Federal Communications Commission has a free digital transmission hotline you can call at 1-888-CALLFCC.

Free $40 coupons to help with the purchase of a converter box will still be available after the transition date.

More information about the TV transition and how to prepare can be found at http://www.dtv.gov/

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