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One Year Left for Analog Channel 2

By Tom McNicholl

One year from today, analog channel 2 will no longer be broadcast over-the-air. The FCC has chosen 2/17/09 as the date that all TV stations in the US must cease broadcasting analog channels. Every US station is currently broadcasting a digital channel as mandated by the commission. Some stations will continue broadcasting their digital signals on their assigned channels and others will move their digital signals to the channels that their analog signals occupied. WKTV’s current digital channel is 29 and we will remain on that channel after 2/17/09. The low frequency of channel 2 is susceptible to noise, especially AC noise created by old power grids or noisy motors and other devices nearby to receivers. In the analog world, this shows up as noise in the picture and sound. In the digital world, this noise can block the signal at the receiver. Several transmitter and transmit antenna manufacturers suggested against going back to channel 2 with our digital signal after analog transmission ends. So we will stay on channel 29.

We have the ability to brand our digital channel with our analog channel number. So even though your digital receiver or converter box will find us on the frequency for channel 29, the display on your TV will show channel 2-1. Some receivers will display a table showing the RF channel, in our case 29, and the associated virtual channel the station has assigned to it, in our case 2-1.

So as an over-the-air viewer, what do you have to do to continue to receive WKTV?
* If you have one or more analog TV’s, purchase a converter
box for each TV
- This will cost you approximately $10 each for the first two
under the rebate program as explained in an earlier article
- The cost for each converter box after the first two will be
approximately $50 each
- Connect your current antenna to the converter box
antenna input
- Connect a separate cable between your converter box
output and the antenna input on your analog TV
- Initiate a channel scan on the converter box – WKTV
should display as channel 2-1
* If you have a TV with a digital tuner (DT capable), make sure
it is connected to a good antenna and the antenna is pointed
in the direction of Fairfield (north of Middleville), then initiate a
channel scan
- If your TV finds WKTV, it should display as channel 2-1
- Check the signal strength – most TV’s with digital tuners
have a menu item for this
- If the signal is low, your picture may cut in & out – in this
case, you may need to move or upgrade your antenna
- If the signal is in the middle of the scale or above and
steady, you shouldn’t have a problem with receiving us

By 8/1/08, we will be ready to transmit High Definition. At that time, virtual channel 2-1 will be WKTV HD and your TV will pickup virtual channel 2-2 which will be our CW network programming in Standard Definition (SD). NBC programming will be true HD and for the time being, all other programming will be upconverted to HD. Those with SD TV’s or converter boxes will still see the HD signal but will view it in SD or in a cropped format on an analog TV.

Our analog channel 2 transmitter is over 20 years old and the transmit antenna is the original at 50 years old. If one of these fails within the coming year and the cost of repair is excessive, we could exercise our right to end analog transmission on channel 2 before the 2/17/09 FCC deadline. So we’re encouraging our over-the-air viewers to make the change to digital now.

To cable subscribers please note, these changes do not affect you other than your cable provider will offer our HD channel by 8/1/08. Also note we are aware of the continuing problem with our audio lagging behind our video to cable subscribers. This problem is not originating at WKTV. Contact your cable provider in regards to this problem.

We have had many emails and phone calls asking us when WKTV will be offered by satellite providers. Your satellite providers have not come up with a plan to build an uplink facility in this area to provide local stations to you. Contact your satellite provider in regards to this.

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