Nielsen closely monitoring the DTV change in Wilmington


As stations in Wilmington, NC shut down their analog transmitters yesterday and went digital-only, Nielsen was checking its own preparedness with a “Super Site” in the market to monitor how its meters perform.

That’s being done with voluntary digital and analog encoding by two local stations, even though Wilmington is actually a diary measurement market.

Raycom’s WECT-TV (NBC) and Morris Multimedia’s WWAY-TV (ABC) encoded both their analog and digital signals so Nielsen could study yesterday’s analog switch-off.

So, while folks in Wilmington were leading the way for the rest of the US to make the digital switch in February, Nielsen was trying to find out how its A/P meters would be affected in survey households when the big switch comes. For that, it built a “Super Site.”

A “Super Site” is a collection of viewing sites built by Nielsen to simulate the various television distribution scenarios that exist in the market – including over-the-air and the market’s cable and satellite systems. Each viewing site in the “Super Site” is connected to an A/P Meter, providing Nielsen with information about code and signature detection for that specific viewing scenario.  Nielsen says the “Super Site” is an excellent way to measure how well the A/P Meter detects codes and signatures across a variety of real-world viewing scenarios.

A Nielsen spokesman says the company should know in a couple of weeks whether there were any problems with any of the distribution or encoding.