Nielsen: 5.7 Pct of Homes Aren't DTV-Ready
by Geoff Duncan | January 23, 2009
Market research firm Nielsen reports that 6.5 million U.S. homes - that's about 5.7 percent of American households - aren't ready for the DTV transition.
Research and ratings firm Nielsen has unveiled new estimates indicating some 6.5 million U.S. households—or about 5.7 percent of U.S. homes—aren't ready for the digital television transition, scheduled (for the moment!) to take place on February 17, 2009. These numbers are actually an improvement over similar estimates released in December (which indicated from 7.8 million U.S. homes weren't ready for the transition) but still represent a stunningly high number for a technology transition that has been increasingly publicized for over two years.
Among local markets, Nielsen found that Albuquerque, New Mexico is the least prepared for the transition, with some 12.4 percent of households unequipped for digital television. The best-prepared markets were Hartford and New Haven Connecticut, where only 1.8 percent of homes aren't prepared for the transition.
Nielsen's estimates also include some demographic breakdowns: interestingly, fewer TV viewers over age 55 (just 4 percent) aren't ready for DTV, while 8.8 percent of viewers under 35 aren't prepared. The estimates also find higher percentages of African-American, Hispanic, and Asian households aren't prepared for the transition (9.9, 9.7, and 6.9 percent, respectively) than white households (where just 4.4 overall aren't ready).
"It is imperative that we operate at an accelerated pace to educate those who are at the greatest risk of losing their television service—low- income households, large numbers of senior, minority and disabled viewers," said Cynthia Perkins-Roberts, Nielsen African American Advisory Council (AAAC). "These viewers rely on traditional television the most and can least afford to lose their television lifelines."
The estimates are based on 56 local markets that Nielsen monitors with electronic metering technology television users voluntarily use in their households.