Thousands of Bay of Plenty homes need to upgrade their televisions but many can't afford it.
Public information campaign Going Digital research shows about 9090 homes in the Bay of Plenty have televisions that won't work once analogue TV is switched off on December 1.
Television will still be free to air, but people will need to pay for a new UHF aerial or satellite to be installed along with a receiver which plugs into the old television. Paid services Igloo and Sky are already digital.
Solo mother Theresa Gray, of Ohauiti, said there was no way she could afford to have Freeview installed in her home.
"It's just something I can't even look at right now. I'm a solo mother and a student. The TV I have now works but it's not hooked up to the aerial. I've got an old TV so having digital wouldn't make a difference to the picture anyway."
Finding the money for a receiver would be impossible, she said. "Trying to find a spare $10 is difficult, there's no way I can afford to get Freeview or a new TV. I'm used to not having television, but I'm really getting sick of The Wiggles".
Kevin Port from Aerial and Satellite Systems said he would be expecting a huge backlog coming up to November and December. "I'm expecting a last-minute panic. People will be wanting us to do work over Christmas when people are going to their baches."
Todd Harding from Alliance TV Aerials Ltd said he'd had a steady flow of people upgrading as they bought new televisions with built-in Freeview.
"I still think it will be busy leading up to Christmas. I would say there are a lot of people and businesses who haven't even thought of it."
Alan Harding from The TV Guy said he was preparing for a big rush and he recommended people got in early. "In the Hawke's Bay, there was a huge rush at the last minute and there were people who had to go without TV. I'm looking at bringing in more subcontractors."
Aerial Master owner Simon Gerrie said his company installed both Sky and Freeview and was expecting resources to be stretched around December.
"It's better to get organised, particularly with Christmas and holidays at the same time."
Advanced Vision owner Paul McLachlan said he thought everyone would leave getting Sky installed until the last minute. "We've hired extra people so I think we will be able to cope."