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Nielsen: 1.2 Million Homes Still Have No Digital TV

3 Aug, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

With the July 31 deadline to apply for a digital converter box coupon passed, just over a million American homes, or 1.1% of TV households, are still unable to receive digital signals, according to data from Nielsen.

However, since the nation’s TV stations turned off their analog broadcasts June 12, the number of unready homes has been cut by more than half. The total of unready homes is down from nearly 6% of all households at the beginning of the year.

Nielsen reported that a majority of dark TVs aren’t located in central parts of Americans’ homes — in kitchens and spare bedrooms, instead of living rooms — and that more than half of the households not receiving digital broadcasts earn less than $25,000 a year.

The $40 converter box program, run by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), will end Oct. 30 when coupons requested on the July 31 deadline expire. As of late July, 63 million coupons had been mailed, and 33 million had been redeemed.

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