Mixed Signals

Feb 6, 2009 8:11am

The digital TV switch seems to rub everyone the wrong way — even though people seem split over whether to delay it, even though people seem to agree that there are bigger issues the nation is facing right now. On Wednesday the House voted, as the Senate already had, to put off the final transition until June.  The Obama administration is already on record as saying delay is wise.  (See my December POST on it, and some interesting comments.) So that’s that.  But here’s some fuel for the fire. The Pew Research Center, in its last survey before the vote, found that almost everybody — 97 percent of respondents — had heard analog TV signals would soon be cut off.  81 percent said they had heard "a lot."  Only three percent said they knew nothing of it when asked.  Find their summary HERE, though you’ll have to scroll past data about the economy and the peanut recall. On the other hand…. Nielsen research, in its last survey, says 6.5 million homes — 5.7 percent of those in America — are still unprepared for the cutoff of analog broadcasting.  Those least prepared tended to be older, poorer, more rural and more minority than the American average.  The poll was done with three weeks to go until what was — before Wednesday’s vote — the switchover date of Feb. 17.  Find Nielsen’s full summary HERE. It’s worth noting that the voting has been almost split along party lines.  Democrats complain about the botched transition and the poor left out in the cold; Republicans say get on with it and things will sort themselves out.

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