May 28, 2008
| by Arlen Schweiger
Have you figured out if all of your TVs will be ready when the FCC flips the switch from analog to digital next February? Nielsen Media Research—you know, the guys who put out the all-important Nielsen ratings measuring how many people watch the TV programs—found that about 10 million households are “completely unready” for the transition.
The research, reported by The New York Times, cited that 9.4 percent of U.S. households would have all of their TVs go dark by the time of the transition if they didn’t make changes like purchasing a digital TV, a converter box or subscribing to cable or satellite service.
Nielsen added that overall, 25 million homes were only partly ready for the switch, as they had at least one TV that wouldn’t be able to receive the digital broadcasts.
About 17 percent of prime-time programming last month was viewed on unready TV sets, according to Nielsen. Of course, some of those unready TVs are the secondary ones in the kitchens and bedrooms—which if you’re like me, maybe you’ve kept them around as they’ve climbed down the ladder from primary TV to secondary position, but still function fine.
The CEA told Gadgetell that Nielsen’s 25 million partly ready households included some TVs that will work fine when the transition occurs, and reiterated that the 86 percent of households who have cable or satellite service will not be impacted.
But you might want to get your cable guy to make sure the line runs to your kitchen TV just as it does into the family room.
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.