DTV at two and a half months out

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With the DTV deadline ticking down, here’s a snapshot of where things stand:


NAB is asking the NTIA to expedite digital-to-analog converter box coupons to consumers, in view of the dwindling calendar. In a letter to NTIA’s Meredith Atwell-Baker, NAB President/CEO David K. Rehr said, “As you also know, the law does not require that any coupons be mailed via standard third-class U.S. Postal Service mail, as is the current practice by your contractor, IBM. Accordingly, America’s broadcasters respectfully request that your agency and IBM do whatever necessary to ensure that all coupons be mailed in the most expeditious manner possible nationwide starting as soon as possible.”

Nielsen says 7.4% of US TV households are still completely unready for the transition, and 10.3% are partially unready – these numbers are steadily dwindling. Back in May, the numbers were 9.8% and 11.9%, respectively. The numbers are much worse for Hispanic households – 12.4% are completely unready, compared to 6.7% for non-hispanic households. Nielsen also finds that unreadiness is a youthful thing. 10.6% of under 35 households are unready, compared to 7% for 35-54 households and 5.9% for 55+ households.

Research firm Frank N. Magid Associates finds that consumers who buy high def television sets are frequently not getting around to ordering high def service from their MVPD provider. 41% have not done so. 80% of consumers who have owned an HDTV for some time subscribe to HD service. MVPDs are said to be expecting a jump in requests after the deadline.

Ion Media is continuing to push for analog shut-down tests to demonstrate to vulnerable viewers their vulnerability in the strongest possible terms. Tests will be conducted next week in Washington, Los Angeles, New York, Hartford and Dallas.