Digital TV will replace the six-decade long era of analog TV today which will leave more than 2.8 million unprepared homes across the country without TV service.
According to Nielsen, about 2.8 million homes are completely unready for the transition, despite an onslaught of TV ads about the impending change.
Another 9.5 million homes are partially unready, meaning that they may have upgraded some of their TV sets, but not all of them. “Younger, African American and Hispanic homes are disproportionately unready, while the elderly are the most ready,” TVNewsDay reports.
The Federal Communications Commission put 4,000 operators on standby for calls from confused viewers, ranging from How do I set up the digital converter box, What is a digital antenna and Where can I get the converter box coupons from?
Volunteer groups and local government agencies were also helping elderly viewers set up digital converter boxes in order to keep older TVs functioning.
The switch to digital broadcasts, which frees up bandwidth for other communications uses such as public safety first responders, was scheduled to be completed Feb. 17, but was postponed by the Obama administration as 6 million households were unprepared for the switch. Government funds to subsidize purchases of converter boxes had also run out which also contributed to getting the transition date postponed.
With the extension of the digital television transition deadline, another $650 million was added to the $1.5 billion initially committed to the transition, including the $40 coupon program and other and preparedness programs.
Visit the official Digital Television website for further information on how to make the switch to DTV.
Video: Switch to Digital Television Takes Place Friday