Nielsen reported today that more than 6.5 million U.S. households (5.7 percent) are not ready for the national switch to digital TV that is less than one month away. These latest numbers mark an improvement of 1.3 million homes from Nielsen’s December report on DTV readiness.
The status of the actual switch to DTV is in a state of flux right now. Earlier this year, the Consumer’s Union (which publishes Consumer Reports) pleaded to have the DTV switch delayed as it would disproportionately affect lower income and those in rural areas. The Obama administration is urging Congress to push the date back because of insufficient support for problems consumers will encounter.
Government funding to provide consumers with the $40 coupons for digital TV converter boxes dried up and the wait list for coupons has now topped 2.5 million people. Democrats in Congress have submitted DTV delay legislation, but so far efforts have been blocked by Republicans.
Nielsen also broke down DTV readiness by ethnicity and found that as of now, the DTV switch will have a greater impact on minorities than it would on white households.