The majority of US households dependent on analogue television are unaware of the looming switch to digital-only TV, according to a survey by the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS). The APTS—whose members include non-profit broadcasters such as the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)—said 61% of participants in its survey had no idea that analogue broadcasts would end on February 17, 2009.
The APTS survey echoes research conducted by CBS Corporation, and unveiled last month, suggesting just 30% of the US population is aware of America's 2009 digital switchover deadline. The APTS survey found 10% had limited awareness, while 25% said they were somewhat aware or very aware. While some respondents were aware of the digital transition, 53% had no idea when analogue transmissions—relied on by 22m US households for their TV—were scheduled to be turned off.
The APTS said it would now urge Congress to designate targeted funding for consumer education initiatives.
Last month, US congressman Joe Barton, father of the legislation which set the 2009 digital switchover deadline, introduced a bill calling for a consumer education campaign to guide US households through the transition to digital-only broadcasting.
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