Millions Still Unprepared for DTV Switch

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2009 11:19 AM CDT
Television converter boxes on sale.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Millions of Americans, particularly in urban and rural areas, will see their televisions go black when broadcasters switch to digital transmission next week, the New York Times reports. A Nielsen survey indicates that more than 10% of the 114 million homes with sets are partially or completely unprepared for the switch. And this time, unlike in February, there’s no second chance. “I want to be clear,” the president said. “There will not be another delay.”

The government has poured in another $650 million to publicize the issue and help people buy converter boxes since the February delay, bringing total DTV spending over $2 billion. But no dice. “There are so many people who are always waiting until the last minute,” said Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. “Earlier on we could have more crisply and clearly indicated who was affected by the switch.”