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Not Ready for DTV

4:45 PM -- Although a delay that would move the broadcast TV digital transition from Feb. 17 to June 12 remains thoroughly up in the air as the politicos hash it out, there's more evidence that millions of U.S. homes remain unprepared for the big switch.

The Nielsen Co. splashed a new coat of paint on the topic Thursday by reporting that about 6.5 million, or about 5.7 percent, of U.S. homes still aren't ready, and their residents would be staring at a screen full of snow if the transition occurred today.

Albuquerque/Sante Fe, N.M., has the dubious honor of being the most least prepared market, with 12.4 percent of homes there still unready. Hartford and New Haven, Conn. (1.8 percent) are the most prepared, according to Nielsen estimates. (See 6.5M Homes Not Ready for Digital Switch.)

The good news is that the latest figures represent a 1.3 million-home improvement since Nielsen issued this report late last year. The bad news: It's still only a 1.3 million-home improvement. And if Feb. 17 remains as the hard date, there's only 26 days for any further improvements to be made.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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