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Ready or not, digital is here to stay

Today is the big day for Americans still clinging to analog TVs and rabbit ears. For those folks that haven't already picked up a DTV converter box to translate the new digital signals, their TVs will now be relegated to useless lumps of plastic, metal, and glass.

The switch to DTV was supposed to take place on February 17, but Congress passed legislation to delay the switch until June 12 under the guidance of President Obama. The delay also gave the government additional time to disperse an additional $650 million USD in DTV coupons to Americans who still hadn't purchased a converter box.

Despite the extra time afforded to Americans to prepare for the DTV switch, additional funds for DTV coupons, and free assistance provided to setup converter boxes, the New York Times reported that roughly 2 million households will still be unprepared for today's switchover.

For those using cable, satellite, or digital TVs with an antenna, you have nothing to worry about -- your TV programming will be unaffected.

For more information on the DTV switch, you can check out the official website here.

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2.8 million haven't switched, not 12 million.
By reader1 on 6/12/2009 7:30:04 AM , Rating: 2
“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 Media Client Services, The Nielsen Company.

RE: 2.8 million haven't switched, not 12 million.
By Targon on 6/12/2009 7:49:54 AM , Rating: 5
Can you really trust ANYTHING from Nielsen though? The ratings system may be used by idiots in Hollywood to justify renewing pathetic shows and then canceling some great shows, but they don't have enough of a handle in what goes on in various markets because their methods of gathering data seem to skip many households.

It would be like doing a political survey in the deep south and expecting the results to reflect what you would see in the Northeast. Or in a given area, polling only those in the Republican party and then claiming that the results reflect everyone in that area. You miss out on things when better methods of seeing what people are watching.

I also suspect that if someone goes out and leaves their box on a given channel, that the ratings will include the shows that person is not watching.

By omnicronx on 6/12/2009 10:48:44 AM , Rating: 2
but they don't have enough of a handle in what goes on in various markets because their methods of gathering data seem to skip many households.
Well of course it does, its all based on stats, its not like they actually know what every single household is watching, anyone involved in the program has special boxes setup on their TV's. I have a Nielsen ratings box, they go around every area and find people from certain demographics. Its setup per user in the household too, so they know exactly who is watching what. Its not like they select people at random. In fact the person who came to sign me up went through my apartment and put her head to the doors to see if she could make out the voices just to make sure (I actually caught her doing it as I heard someone at the door). While not perfect, it does give a nice picture. They also pay you 200 dollars up front and 25$ each time you upgrade a piece of hardware on your TV. This way not only those that watch TV 24/7 will be interested, everyone likes free money.

By Keeir on 6/13/2009 2:41:35 PM , Rating: 2
Can you really trust ANYTHING from Nielsen though?

Its not so much as trusting Nielsen as who else would you trust for this data?

The government? The TV makers? Who else has a long history of both collecting large amounts of this data and being trusted enough to make major decisions on....

Nielson may not be perfect, but they are the best source for this data.

RE: 2.8 million haven't switched, not 12 million.
By pequin06 on 6/12/2009 7:55:54 AM , Rating: 2
It's pretty bad when reader1 points out a New York Times mistake.

RE: 2.8 million haven't switched, not 12 million.
By reader1 on 6/12/2009 8:28:26 AM , Rating: 2
The 12 million the NY Times reported is the number of completely unready and partially unready households.

"Partially Unready Household – a household that has at
least one Ready Set and at least one Unready Set"

By omnicronx on 6/12/2009 10:28:30 AM , Rating: 2
Now why can't the rest of your posts be this informative? This is very interesting, I really wonder how many of these unready sets will be able to take advantage as I assume they will setup their main TV first usually on the first floor of their house. I set up my grandmas TV in New York a few weeks ago (long island actually) and I could not get one channel to tune from her basement even though she has a 50 dollar indoor antenna. Apartment buildings will have similar problems.

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