The digital TV D-day is upon us, and more than 2 million U.S. homes are still at risk of having their televisions go fuzzy when the switch is flipped, according to surveys by the National Association of Broadcasters.
On Friday, June 12, over-the-air broadcasters will cease transmitting an analog signal. The NAB sponsored a survey of 948 homes still using antennae to receive over-the-air analog signals in early June, according to The Associated Press. The survey found that 1 in 8 homes had yet to install a digital-ready TV or a digital converter box, which researchers believe means that 2.2 million homes are unprepared nationwide.
Nielsen's numbers, however, are slightly grimmer. The TV ratings organization estimated that 2.8 million homes aren't ready for the switch as of Sunday. Interestingly, some larger cities are the most ill-prepared. In Los Angeles, 4.5 percent of homes aren't DTV ready, according to Nielsen.
If there is a bright side to all of this, it's that both estimates are drastically lower than similar surveys taken in February, when the digital transition was originally planned. The NAB estimate has been cut in half, and Nielsen's number is down from their previous estimate of 5.8 million unprepared homes. The delay to June 12 was granted at the request of President Barack Obama.
Broadcasters can end their analog transmissions beginning Friday morning, though many are expected to wait until the evening. A large number of stations — almost half — went fully digital with permission from the Federal Communications Commission back in February.
If you're still unprepared, here's a quick look at what you can do to get ready. You can also click here for more information or call the FCC's 24-hour help line at 1-800-CALL-FCC.