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Over 12 Million People Unprepared For Digital TV

New York (NY) - Nielsen Media Research says that more than 13 million US homes are not ready for the digital TV switch next year.

According to a new study from the industry research firm, nearly 20 million households will need a digital TV converter when the government switches off analog broadcast signals on February 19, 2009.

Nielsen also broke down the country into areas that are most and least prepared. It says New York City is the best off, with 97% of homes already using digital TVs or some kind of digital programming receiver.

Portland, Oregon, meanwhile, is the least prepared with 22% of all households still relying primarily on antenna reception. Other unprepared citires incude Albuquerque, Houston, Minneapolis, St. Louis and Los Angeles.

Every household in America can sign up to receive two coupons from the government, each good for $40 off a digital TV converter, which takes the new signal and transforms it into one that older TV sets can accept.

Big box retailers began selling boxes specifically created for the switch earlier this month. They retail for $50 - $70.