Households not prepared for ASO

Latest research published by Nielsen shows that nearly 20% of US households are either partially or incompletely ready for the analogue switch off which is planned to take place on the 17th February 2009.
Congress is also reported to be unhappy with the lack of antenna knowledge in the country, knowledge that is said to be necessary to make ATSC equipments work faultlessly. Members are worried that millions of viewers are going to lose free television service without the installation of good rooftop antennas, which were not previously needed for good analogue television reception.
Reps. John Dingell, D-MI, and Ed Markey, D-MA, key leaders of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Internet, have joined about a dozen other committee members to warn broadcasters, the FCC and the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) about the importance of antennas. Their education campaigns, the members said, need to warn viewers of the need to upgrade or install new antennas to pick up TV signals.
“The commission has failed to provide the American public with adequate information concerning the need for new antennas and/or antenna adjustments to receive digital broadcast signals,” the members of Congress wrote, noting that a significant number of viewers may have reception problems.
Barry Goodstadt, senior vice president of Centris, a market research firm that first warned of the antenna problem, said the antenna message should have been in the DTV education effort in the beginning. “They should have let people know that buying a converter box was not the full story,” Goodstadt said. “The full story was that you had to make sure that your antenna worked adequately.”
The NAB is also concerned about antennas. Shermaze Ingram, spokeswoman for the NAB’s DTV education effort, said she didn’t know if antenna education was something that the trade association deliberately waited to do. “It may not have been a message that would have been as easily digestible to consumers six months ago,” she said.
Main sources: Nielsen and Broadcast Engineering
Item added: 20th October 2008